Yuen Yuen Ang is associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, where she is also a faculty associate of the Center for Chinese Studies and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. Ang’s research aims to advance our understanding of development as a non-linear, adaptive process, using China as a primary case. Part of this agenda involves challenging the assumption that a universally best standard of institutions exists. Her work shows that normatively weak institutions can be functionally strong.

Her book How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell University Press, 2016) won the 2017 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for “outstanding first book in international relations, comparative politics, or political economy.” It was also named by Foreign Affairs as “Best Books of 2017.”

Ang’s research has been supported by the ACLS/Andrew Mellon Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation, among others. She has served on the United Nations Expert Group on Eradicating Poverty and is a member of the Advisory Board of Cambridge University Press’ Element Series on “The Politics of Development.” A Singapore native, she holds a PhD from Stanford University.


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