Diana Fu

Diana Fu

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science






Room 3012, 100 St. George Street




Diana Fu is associate professor of political science at The University of Toronto, cross-appointed to the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy’s Asian InstituteHer research examines popular contention, state power, civil society, and citizenship, with a focus on contemporary China.  Her book “Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China” (2018, Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics Series and Columbia Weatherhead Series) theorizes a counter-intuitive form of mobilization under authoritarian rule. Based on political ethnography inside labor organizations, it uncovers how China’s migrant workers organized for rights without protesting en masse.

The book won the 2018 American Political Science Association’s Luebbert Prize for the best book in comparative politics, the 2019 International Studies Association’s best book award in international political sociology, and the 2019 Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association.

She holds a D.Phil. in Politics and an M.Phil. In Development Studies with distinction from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She was previously a Walter H. Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and a Predoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her articles have appeared in Perspectives on Politics, The China Journal , Governance (winner of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholarly Article Award in labor and labor movements), Comparative Political Studies (co-winner of the best article published in CPS), and Modern China (2009).

She is currently one of twenty public intellectuals fellows at the National Committee on US-China Relations and serves as a national co-secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship for China. Her research and media interviews have appeared in Boston ReviewCBCForeign Affairs, Foreign PolicyThe Economist, The Financial TimesReuters, and The New York Times, among others. She was a television host for a TVO documentary series, “China Here and Now.”

She enjoys Latin dance and creative writing.

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