Interests: My research and teaching has been focused on the political economy of development in East Asia, especially China. I am interested in the question of power in its various expressions and scales in the process of social, cultural, spatial and economic change. My first book, Making Capitalism in China: The Taiwan Connection, (1998) focused on the role of culture in capital flows. I analyzed the cultural and institutional configuration in the processes of Taiwanese direct investment in southern China in the 1980s-90s. In my second book, entitled The Great Urban Transformation: Property and Politics in China, I deal with the issue of territoriality. I look at how the transformation of the state and the society shapes and is shaped by land issues in cities and villages; and how land and power together tell the story of territorial transformation in post Mao China. For my research I draw inspiration from life experiences of real people in real places; and I rely heavily on fieldwork-- in-depth interviews and participatory observation with a reflexive perspective. I believe that theorizing starts from muddy realities. It is a process of open dialogues and self-reflections, of which the historical and the geographical, the institutional and the emotional are all indispensable parts.
2006. Brokering Power and Property in China's Townships, Journal of Pacific Review, Vol.19, No. 1. pp.103-124.