Xiaojun Li


I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of British Columbia and NYU Shanghai (currently on leave). I am also non-resident scholar at the 21st Century China Centre at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Previously, I was a Princeton-Harvard China and the World Fellow at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, a POSCO Visiting Scholar at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and an inaugural Wang Gungwu Fellow at the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. 

My research lies at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics. Some of my previous and ongoing works have explored the impact of domestic politics on the process and content of foreign economic and security policies and how global supply chains reshape politics of trade and investment. Using China as the primary case of inquiry and employing a variety of methods, including interviews, archival research, survey experiment, and large-N analysis, my research aims to shed light on China’s multifaceted global engagements and impacts as well as the domestic drivers behind them.

My recent books include Token Forces: How Tiny Troop Deployments became Ubiquitous in UN Peacekeeping (Cambridge University Press 2022), Fragmenting Globalization: The Politics of Preferential Trade Liberalization in China and the United States (University of Michigan Press 2021), and How China Sees the World: Insights from China’s International Relations Scholars (Palgrave 2019). My articles have appeared in general political science journals such as Journal of Politics and Political Science Research and Methods, international relations journals such as International Affairs and International Studies Quarterly, area studies journals such as Asian Survey, China Quarterly, and Pacific Affairs, as well as interdisciplinary journals such as Business and Politics, Regulation and Governance, and Studies in Comparative International Development. My research has received grants and awards from such organizations as the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation of the United States, the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, the Association of Chinese Political Studies, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.

A native of Shanghai, I obtained my PhD in political science from Stanford University and Masters in statistics and political science from University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!).