Dr Jennifer Hsu

Dr Jennifer Hsu

Visiting Fellow

Department of Social Policy

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About me

Jennifer Hsu is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Social for the 2017-2018 academic year. She is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham. 


Jennifer’s research is primarily focused on relations between state and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in China, particularly the scope of interactions between the local state and NGOs. Within this research program, she has sought to locate her research in a number of interdisciplinary domains: theories of state-society relations, organisational development of NGOs and civil society, and the internationalisation of Chinese NGOs. The different areas of her research enhance our theoretical understanding of how state and society engage under varying socio-political environments.

Her monograph: State of Exchange: Migrant NGOs and the Chinese Government (University of British Columbia Press) seeks to further the discussion and analysis of Chinese state-NGO relations by emphasising the importance of the local state in the work of NGOs and subsequent NGO landscape. She offers the first systematic account of state-NGO relations across different levels of the Chinese state and makes a compelling case for the need to articulate a framework and typology that accounts for the central and local states in their interactions with NGOs. Such a framework is not only applicable to the study of China but also in regions such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East where recent socio-political changes demonstrate the emergence of non-state actors and thus the heterogeneity of the state, demanding an appropriate framework to assess the ensuing socio-political changes. Read more

While at the LSE she is working to develop a theoretical framework with her co-authors to comprehend the re-emergence of government-organised NGOs in the development landscape. Another research focus for the year, involves analysing the relationship between voluntary activities and the formation of class understanding in China today.

Her research, while focused on understanding the politics state-NGO relations, is interdisciplinary and is published in leading journals in political science, sociology and development studies. 



China; non-governmental organisations; civil society