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John Wagner Givens
Scholar of Chinese Politics, Law, and Society

John Wagner Givens is an Asian Studies Center Associate and Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He previously held positions as a post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville, an Associate Lecturer at the University of the West of England, and a Visiting Scholar at Nankai University in Tianjin.

John’s research interests span a range of topics including law, foreign policy, and political economy, but he specializes in ostensibly liberal institutions in nondemocratic regimes. He is currently working on a book manuscript on lawyers that sue the Chinese state. With Jason Abbott and Andrew MacDonald he has co-authored an article comparing the politics on new media in China and Malaysia. Some of his other current projects look at the political impact of the Internet in China, media bias and elections in Malaysia, and research methods in China. He has published in several journals, including the Wisconsin International Law Journal, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, and St Antony’s International Review.

John’s teaching experience includes Comparative Government, Chinese Law, Chinese Foreign Policy, Chinese Political Economy, Chinese Culture and Social Identity, and the Government and Politics of China.
He has appeared on Chinese Central Television’s international news channel.

John has received a Research Award from the Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business at the University of Indiana, a Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, a Research Grant from the Leverhulme Trust, and a Clarendon Fund Scholarship from the University of Oxford.

John was briefly a member of Hong Kong’s only bluegrass band and owns what is presumably the world’s only seersucker Mao suit, which was paid for by China Central Television.

Some of his recent and working papers are available here:

Sleeping with Dragons? Politically Embedded Lawyers Suing the Chinese State

A Comparative Analysis of Online and Print Media During the 2013 Malaysian General Election: A Research Note

“New Social Media and (Electronic) Democratization in East and Southeast Asia: China and Malaysia Compared”

The Beijing Consensus is Neither: China as a Non-Ideological Challenge to International Norms

On Their Best Behaviour: Foreign Plaintiffs in Chinese Administrative Litigation

With Andrew MacDonald: Squeezing the Same Old Stone: Evidence from Administrative Courts Explain Tax Reforms, Land Seizures and Protest in Rural China

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