Maritime Trade Policy Communications in Late Imperial China (in progress)

As part of my dissertation research, I am creating an original dataset of domestic political communications related to maritime trade policies in late imperial China. The data are primarily generated through reading and codifying Qing era (1644-1911) memorials, written communications produced by officials throughout the empire and sent to the imperial palace. Primary sources include archival materials in the First Historical Archives of China (中国第一历史档案馆), Grand Secretariat Archives (內閣大庫檔案) in Taipei, and memorial holdings in the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) in Taipei. The data will be used to explore how various domestic stakeholders in late imperial China---including officials and private actors---used lobby-like communications and other strategies to pursue their interests with regard to maritime trade, as well as the conditions under which domestic actors were effective in shaping foreign economic policies.

Global Chinese Official Finance

With colleagues at AidData and Heidelberg University, I help track contemporary Chinese state financing throughout the developing world. Data are created using a methodology called Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF). The latest version of the data (1.3) was published in October 2017 and includes over 4,000 Chinese official finance projects across 138 developing countries between 2000-2014.

The data, methodology and other supplementary information are available here.

In a working paper, we use the data revisit the relationship between foreign aid and growth.

Recently our work has been covered by the Associated PressBBCCNN, The New York Times, The South China Morning PostThe Straits Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Chinese Official Finance Commitments Worldwide, 2000-2014


Global Chinese Diplomacy

Tyler Jost and I use official, publicly available Chinese civilian and military sources to comprehensively track Chinese outgoing and incoming high-level diplomatic activities. We introduce and apply these data to help explain why governments might delegate some of their diplomatic activities to non-diplomatic, specialized actors such as military bureaucrats. We find that the military has become an integral component of China's diplomatic apparatus: high-level Chinese civilian leaders engaged in 1,376 instances of interstate diplomacy between 2002-2010, while P.R.C. military leaders engaged in 1,115 instances during the same period. Moreover, we find that military diplomats pursue different strategic objectives than their civilian counterparts.

The data and codebook will be made publicly available once finalized.