Photo credit: Qichen Zhu
Ketian Vivian Zhang
Welcome! My name is Ketian Vivian Zhang. I am an Assistant Professor of International Security in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018, where I am also an affiliate of the Security Studies Program. I previously held fellowships with at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University.
I study rising powers, coercion, economic statecraft, and maritime disputes in international relations and social movements in comparative politics, with a regional focus on China and East Asia. I bridge the study of international relations and comparative politics and have a broader theoretical interest in linking international security and international political economy. In particular, my research agenda emphasizes how globalized production and supply chains affect states' foreign policy and domestic state-society relations, especially regarding coercion and protests. My book project examines when, why, and how China uses coercion when faced with issues of national security, such as territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, foreign arms sales to Taiwan, and foreign leaders’ reception of the Dalai Lama. Part of my research has appeared in International Security, Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, Asia Policy, and Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs. My research has been supported by organizations such as the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the MIT Center for International Studies, the MIT Energy Initiative, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.
I hold a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was previously a research intern at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C., where I was a contributor to Foreign Policy in Focus. Some interviews about me and my research can be found here and here.