I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University. My research centers on International and Comparative Political Economy of Development. My research examines the role of values and identities, economic-security nexus, and sectoral structures in foreign economic policy (including trade and inbound and outbound foreign direct investment) and the politics of market reform and institutional development in developing countries. Other current research includes China’s global economic reach and its impacts on the developing world and the political economy of identity in the global era.
I am the author of China’s Regulatory State: A New Strategy for Globalization (Cornell University Press / Cornell Studies in Political Economy, 2011). China’s Regulatory State examines China’s distinctive integration into the international economy across industrial sectors and shows how and why the Chinese government combines market liberalization with sector-specific reregulation and industrial policy. I conducted research for this book as a Fulbright Scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of World Economics and Politics. My doctoral dissertation, on which my first book is based, was nominated by the U.C. Berkeley Department of Political Science for the Gabriel Almond Award for Best Dissertation at the American Political Science Association. China’s Regulatory State has been reviewed by numerous academic and policy journals.
I am regularly invited to provide expert analysis and commentary, which you can find here. The Economist, Foreign Affairs, National Public Radio (NPR), Inside Higher Ed, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and other outlets have featured my research; and I have testified in Congress in front of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
My next book (under contract with Cambridge University Press) examines the nation-specific sectoral politics of market governance and its relationship to socioeconomic development in China, India, and Russia in the post-liberalization era. My article in Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions on "State Capitalism, Chinese style" reports research findings on the institutional foundations of capitalism in large, globalizing developing countries. Another article, published in Review of Policy Research, examines the design and implementation of China's policy toward foreign direct investment in telecommunications, including analysis on developmental and security-oriented goals and domestic institutional and geopolitical implications. An article published in Comparative Political Studies compares China and India's variegated paths toward globalization across industrial sectors.
The political economy of identity in the age of globalization is another major theme in my research agenda. I have studied the impact of domestic ideas and politics on free trade arrangements between small and large countries. A current project explores the evolution of national identity, authoritarian institutional legacies, and sectoral patterns of Taiwan's global economic integration in the context of China's political economic rise.
Other ongoing research investigates China’s foreign economic engagement and its political impact on the developing world. Additionally, I have conducted research on comparative democratization and authoritarianism, specifically the role of churches in mobilizing civil society when they do not have institutional access to political regimes in power.
Committed to methodological pluralism and the importance of letting research questions drive the use of research methods, I initiated, co-organized, and co-authored, with Francesca R. Jensenius and Akasemi Newsome, "Fieldwork in Political Science: Encountering Challenges and Crafting Solutions," a symposium in PS: Political Science and Politics on conducting in-depth fieldwork gathering qualitative and quantitative data in developing countries. The symposium is also featured in the PS's Virtual Issue: Navigating The Profession: Sage Advice From The Pages Of Ps.
Affiliated with Temple's Asian Studies program, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in Political Science in my areas of research expertise. This include classes on Chinese economics and politics, political economy of development, globalization and the state, comparative politics of developing countries, and Evidence and Knowledge, a Political Science undergraduate major requirement, which surveys social science research methods.
During summer 2017, I conducted research while based at the National Taiwan University as a visiting professor. In 2014 and 2015, I conducted in-depth fieldwork in Asia and Russia. I also lectured as a Visiting Professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico in 2014. During 2012-2014, I conducted research in China, India, and Taiwan with a Residential Research Faculty Fellowship awarded by the Institute of East Asian Studies, U.C. Berkeley; and served as Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society of the U.C. Berkeley School of Law and Scholar-in-Residence in the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program of the Institute of International Studies, U.C. Berkeley.
Prior to arriving at Temple, I served as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center for International Studies. I was also affiliated with the U.S.-China Institute. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley, and I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area.
When not doing research or teaching, I enjoy traveling the world and eating and cooking gourmet cuisine with my husband Robert C. Romano, a software engineer, and our children. I also enjoy running on city streets, hiking in neighborhood hills, browsing bookstores, and writing poetry.
Photo credit: Margo Reed Photography.