Forthcoming. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Elements in Global China). 

Infrastructure is at the heart of China's presence in global development and is also central to larger debates about Chinese influence. This Element provides a comprehensive account of major, Chinese government-financed infrastructure projects in the Global South since 1949. Using new datasets, it demonstrates that Chinese global infrastructure is distinct in terms of its historical tenacity and massive contemporary scope. But this does not imply that contemporary Chinese global infrastructure or the Belt and Road Initiative should be studied in a vacuum. Historical and comparative perspectives show that contemporary projects often emerge based on similar political logics to those that shaped infrastructure investment in earlier periods of Chinese history and other international contexts. The Element then examines how infrastructure projects have created both purposeful and unintended sources of influence by serving as valuable but risky political capital for host country governments as well as the Chinese government.

Six Years at Sea...and Counting: Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy and China’s Maritime Commons Presence. 2015. Washington, D.C.: Jamestown Foundation, with Andrew Erickson.

No Substitute for Experience: Chinese Anti-Piracy Activities in the Gulf of Aden. 2013. Newport: Naval War College Press China Maritime Study #10, with Andrew Erickson.


“Symbols of State: Explaining Prestige Projects in the Global South.” Forthcoming, International Studies Quarterly

“Influence and Support for Foreign Aid: Evidence from the United States and China.” Forthcoming, Review of International Organizations.

“Understanding China’s Shifting Priorities and Priority-setting Processes in Development Assistance for Health.” Forthcoming, Health Policy and Planning, with Bingqing Guo, Victoria Fan, and Karen Grepin. 

Can Aid Buy Foreign Public Support? Evidence from Chinese Development Finance.” Forthcoming, Economic Development and Cultural Change, with Lukas Wellner, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, and Bradley Parks.

Puzzling Partnerships: Overseas Infrastructure Development by Chinese State-Owned Enterprises and Humanitarian Organizations.” 2023. Studies in Comparative International Development 58: 195–223, with Wendy Leutert and Elizabeth Plantan.

Conditioning China’s International Influence: Intentionality, Intermediaries, and Institutions.” 2023. Journal of Contemporary China 32(139): 1–16, with Courtney Fung, Enze Han, and Kai Quek.

"Aid, China and Growth: Evidence from a New Global Development Finance Dataset." 2021. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 13(2), with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, and Michael Tierney. 

"Foreign Aid and the Status Quo: Evidence from Pre-Marshall Plan Aid." 2019. Chinese Journal of International Politics 12(4): 585-613, with Daniel Markovits and Dustin Tingley. 

"Seven Decades of Chinese State Financing in Africa: Tempering Contemporary Debates." 2019. Economic History of Developing Regions 34(3): 259-279. 

"Autocratic Aid and Governance: What We Know, Don’t Know, and Need to Know." 2019. American Political Science Association Annals of Comparative Democratization 17(2): 11-16, with Bradley Parks. 

"Online Volunteer Laboratories for Human Subjects Research." 2019. PLOS ONE 14(8): e0221676, with Ryan Enos, Mark Hill, and Amy Lakeman.

"Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa." 2018. International Studies Quarterly 62(1): 182-194, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

"Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited." 2017. Journal of Conflict Resolution 61(5): 935-963, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

"‘Ground-Truthing’ Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from Uganda and South Africa." 2016. Journal of Development Studies 52(6): 780-796, with Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Michael Tierney, and Bradley Parks. 

"China’s Blue Soft Power: Antipiracy, Engagement, and Image Enhancement." 2015. Naval War College Review  68(1): 71-91, with Andrew Erickson.  

"Ripples of Change in Chinese Foreign Policy? Evidence from Recent Approaches to Nontraditional Waterborne Security." 2014.  Asia Policy 17: 93-126, with Andrew Erickson.  

"Aid to Africa: Harmful or Helpful?" 2014. China Economic Quarterly 18(2): 29-33, with Bradley Parks. 

Under review

“At the Helm of Hegemony: Emperors, Legitimacy, and Diplomacy in Late Imperial China.” Revised and resubmitted, Security Studies.

“Complementary Partners? Attitudes toward Multi-Actor Development Projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo." Conditionally accepted, Journal of Politics, with Wendy Leutert and Elizabeth Plantan. 

"Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries." Revise and resubmit, Journal of Urban Economics, with Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

Can Rising Powers Reassure? Shifting Power, Foreign Economic Policy, and Perceptions of Revisionist Intent," with Ryan Powers.