Hongshen Zhu

Hongshen Zhu

Global China Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Virginia


I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the East Asia Center of the University of Virginia. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania. My research focuses on authoritarian politics, comparative political economy, and Chinese bureaucracy and governance. I am interested in using high-frequency and geo-located data to analyze political decision-making. My work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Economist, and other outlets.

I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science and M.A. in Economics from Duke University. Before that, I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Warwick.

You can contact me via email at hongshen@virginia.edu.

  • PhD in Political Science, 2022

    Duke University

  • MA in Economics, 2017

    Duke University

  • BSc in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, 2015

    University of Warwick



“Contentious Origins of Authoritarian Social Protection: China’s “Threat-driven” Strategy in Redistribution.” Studies in Comparative International Development. 2024. link DOI

“Dual Mandates in Chinese Congresses: Information and Cooptation.” With Melanie Manion and Viola Rothschild. Issues and Studies. 2022. Vol. 58, No. 1: 1-20. preprint DOI

Under Review

“Crisis and Correction: Do Government Rectification Efforts Restore Citizen Trust After Governance Failure?” With Melanie Manion and Viola Rothschild. Revise and Resubmit at Political Behavior. link

“Twisted Tongue: Limits of China’s Propaganda during Crises and Policy Changes” With Tony Zirui Yang. Revise and Resubmit at Political Science Research and Methods. link

“Applying Insights from China: A Typology for Subnational Comparative Politics.” With Viola Rothschild. Revise and Resubmit at Chinese Political Science Review. link

“Community Policing and Political Participation in Contemporary China.” Accepted at APSA Chinese Politics Mini-Conference 2024 With Viola Rothschild. link

“Policy under Conflicting Mandates: Evidence from 1 Billion Cellphones during China’s COVID Lockdowns.” Presented at APSA Chinese Politics Mini-Conference 2022

Working Paper

“How Adaptive Propaganda Works: Evidence from China.” With Xinzhuo Huang and Haibing Yan. Presented at UCSD/Carter Center Young Scholars Conference

“Bureaucrat Selection under Weak State Capacity: Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo.” With Dongil Lee, Eric Mvukiyehe, Christelle Tchoup, and Guo Xu.



Political Economy of Global China. University of Virginia. Fall 2023 syllabus

Chinese Politics. University of Virginia. Spring 2024 syllabus