Lynette Ong

Acting Director, Dr. David Chu Program in Contemporary Asian Studies
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Asian Institute


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.

Professor Ong’s theoretical interests are authoritarian politics and the political economy of development. She studies contentious politics and repression in China, particularly with respect to land acquisition and housing demolition, and has a broader interest in how social mobilization take shape in authoritarian countries, and the nexus between protest and repression in non-democratic settings.

Professor Ong is also working on a comparative project on China and India. Behind the rapid economic growth rates in both countries, benefits of development have been unevenly distributed among societal groups. She seeks to understand the costs of development and the politics of redistribution.

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 Politics, International Political Science Review, China Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey and the Journal of East Asian Studies.

Professor Ong’s opinion pieces have also appeared in the Foreign Affairs, Far Eastern Economic Review, China Economic Review, China Economic Quarterly, East Asia Forum, Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, Asia Sentinel, New Mandala and Asia Times Online.

Her latest piece on Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and regime stability in China published in Foreign Affairs can be found here:

My 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.

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