Xiaobo Lü

Professor of Political Science

Comparative Politics

Department Chair 2015-2018


Xiaobo Lü, Professor of Political Science, joined the Barnard faculty in 1994. In addition to his teaching duties for the Department of Political Science, he is affiliated with the Human Rights Studies Program at Barnard. He served as Director of the Weatherhead East Asia Institute, Columbia University. From fall 2008 through summer 2010 he was in Bejing as the founding Director of Columbia Global Centers | East Asia.

Professor Lü teaches such courses as "Asian Politics," "Politics of Development in East Asia," "Introduction to Comparative Politics," and "Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Politics." He is a recipient of the Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching at Barnard College.

Professor Lü's research interests include Chinese politics and society, political corruption and governance, and the political economy of transition from state socialism. His research and scholarship have been supported by the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), the Pacific Cultural Foundation, The Asia Foundation, and the International Political Science Association.

Professor Lü serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Chinese Political Science and on the senior editorial board of Crime, Law, and Social Change.

Selected Publications:

Taxation without Representation in Contemporary Rural China, with T. Bernstein (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

"Transition, Globalization, and Changing Industrial Relations in China," Industrial Relations in the Age of Globalization: Labor, Management, and the State in Comparative and Historical Perspective, R. Sil and C. Candland, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Cadres and Corruption: the Organizational Involution of the Chinese Communist Party, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000).

Promise and Problems of Old and New Democracies, editor (New York: The Academy of Political Science, 2000).

"Taxation without Representation: Chinese State and Peasants in the New Reform Era," with T. Bernstein, The China Quarterly, No. 163 (September, 2000): 111-32.

"Booty Socialism, Bureau-preneurs, and the State in Transition: Organizational Corruption in China," Comparative Politics Vol. 32, No. 3 (2000): 273-294.

"The Political Foundation of Chinese Style Gradualism: A Paradox of Too Strong Private Interests," with C. Henning, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics Vol. 156, No. 1 (2000): 35-59.

"Organizational Involution and Sociopolitical Reform in China," with L. Dittmer,Informal Politics in East Asia, L. Dittmer, H. Fukui, and P. Lee, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

"Transition from State Socialism and State-Labor Relations in China," inGlobalization and the Dilemmas of the State in the South, F. Adams, S. Gupta and K. Mengisteab, eds., Macmillan, (1999): 251-73.

"From Rank-Seeking to Rent-Seeking: Changing Administrative Ethos and Corruption in Reform China," Crime, Law and Social Change Vol. 32, No. 4 (1999): 347-70.

"The Politics of Peasant Burden in Reform China," Journal of Peasant Studies, v.25, n.1 (1997), pp. 113-38.

"Structural Transformation of the Chinese Work Unit: Macropolitical Implications of Micropolitical Change" (with Lowell Dittmer), China Studies, n.3, (Spring 1997), pp. 111-43.

"Enterprise Paternalism and Transition to Market Socialism: the Political Economy of State Sector Reform in Former State Socialist Systems," Mondes en Développement, n.99 (1997), pp. 41-56.

Updated September 10, 2012 by Nell Dillon-Ermers



Academic Focus: 

Political economy of transition from state socialism
Political corruption and governance
Chinese politics and society


Selected syllabi are available on-line.

POLS V 1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics

POLS BC 3425 Colloquium: Politics of Development in East Asia

POLS BC 3500 Colloquium: Political Economy of Corruption and its Control

POLS V 3620 Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Politics

POLS W 4435 Political Corruption and Governance

POLS BC 3761 Senior Research Seminar in Comparative Politics

POLS G 8471 Chinese Politics in Comparative Perspective (CU graduate course)

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014



At Barnard
Tel 212.854.4440
Fax 212.854.3024

At Columbia
Tel 212.854.7912
Fax 212.749.1497

Office Hours: 

Spring 2018 Office Hours:

Wednesday 2-4 PM

207 Lefrak


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley


M.A., Institute of Foreign Affairs, Beijing


B.A., Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages, China