Photo (headshot) of Lynette Ong

Lynette Ong

Director, East Asia Group
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science




Room 222N, 1 Devonshire Place



Lynette Ong is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, jointly appointed by the Department of Political Science and the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs.

She was An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies in 2008-09. She received her  PhD from the Australian National University

Her theoretical interests are comparative politics, politics of development, political economy of finance and public finance. Her regional interests are primarily China, followed by East and Southeast Asia. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia.

Her book, “Prosper or Perish: The Political Economy of Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China” was published by Cornell University Press in 2012. Her publications have appeared in Comparative PoliticsInternational Political Science ReviewChina QuarterlyPacific AffairsAsian Survey and the Journal of East Asian Studies. Her opinion pieces have also appeared in the Foreign Affairs, Far Eastern Economic ReviewChina Economic ReviewChina Economic QuarterlyEast Asia ForumAsia Sentinel, New Mandala and Asia Times Online.

Her research were and are currently funded by SSHRC, European Union, Connaught Committee, Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, Association of Asian Studies, and International Center for Tax and Development at Sussex University.


Selected Publications:


Prosper or Perish: Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China, 2012, (Ithaca, NY & London: Cornell University Press).

“State-led Urbanization in China: Land Revenue and Concentrated Villagers’ Living,” forthcoming, China Quarterly.

The Apparent “Paradox” in China’s Climate Policies,” Asian Survey, 52(6), 2012.

Development and Clientelist States: Local State-Business Relationships in China,” Comparative Politics, 2012.

Fiscal Federalism and Soft Budget Constraint: The Case of China,” International Political Science Review, 2012.

Communist Party and Financial Institutions: Institutional Design of China’s Post-Reform Rural Credit Cooperatives,” Pacific Affairs, 82(2), 2009.

The Political Economy of Township Government Debt, Township Enterprises, and Rural Financial Institutions in China,” China Quarterly, 186, 2006.

Multiple Principals and Collective Action: China’s Rural Credit Cooperatives and Poor Households’ Access to Credit,” Journal of East Asian Studies, 6(2), 2006.


Selected Other Publications:

China Rural Credit Problem,” East Asia Forum, 19 June 2013.

China’s Banking System and Access to Credit,” Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 7 March, 2013

Indebted Dragon: The Risky Strategy Behind China’s Construction Economy,” Foreign Affairs, 27 November 2012.

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