Welcome! I am a political scientist and associate professor of government at Cornell University. I am also a Washington Post Monkey Cage blog editor and a non-resident senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
I study Chinese politics and foreign relations with an emphasis on nationalism and public opinion, focusing on the connection between domestic politics and international relations.
My first book, Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, August 2014), examined how the Chinese Communist Party has managed nationalist, anti-foreign protests, tracing the government's repression and facilitation of grassroots mobilization as a means of conveying reassurance and resolve.
My current research looks at how the Chinese Communist Party's reinvigorated authoritarianism and nationalist propaganda shapes its international behavior and domestic support. What are China’s connections to the global resurgence of authoritarianism and challenges to liberal democracy? With the future of liberal internationalism in question, what kind of global order will Beijing support, and will the Chinese Communist Party’s brand of authoritarian nationalism hold greater appeal? These are some of the questions that animate my current work.
News and updates
"Understanding and rolling back digital authoritarianism," in War on the Rocks, February 17, 2020.
"Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation," op-ed in the New York Times Sunday Review, September 29, 2019.
"Authoritarian Audiences, Rhetoric, and Propaganda in International Crises: Evidence from China," article in International Studies Quarterly (paywall free here)
"Campaign rhetoric and Chinese reactions to new leaders," article in Asian Security
"A World Safe for Autocracy? China's Rise and the Future of Global Politics," essay in Foreign Affairs (July/August 2019).
Testimony before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee hearing on "China's Digital Authoritarianism," May 16, 2019. Write up in the Cornell Chronicle.
"What's the response in China to the trade war?" in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, May 15, 2019.
"No, China and the U.S. aren't locked in an ideological battle. Not even close." in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, May 4, 2019.
"How hawkish is the Chinese public? Another look at “rising nationalism” and Chinese foreign policy" now out in the Journal of Contemporary China
New paper showing that concerted US pressure influenced China's RMB policy in Review of International Political Economy
Anti-Japanese protests have adverse consequences for political promotion and attracting foreign investment in China's cities, in China Quarterly
Delighted to join the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog as an editor covering China and Asia
"China and the Future of World Politics," review essay in Perspectives on Politics
"Will China Test Trump? Lessons From Past Campaigns and Elections" in The Washington Quarterly
"Here's what China's people really think about the South China Sea" in the Washington Post Monkey Cage, July 14, 2016.
"Nationalist Protests, Government Responses, and The Risk of Escalation in Interstate Disputes" now out in Security Studies
"Putting concepts into practice: a call for measuring and explaining variation in
Chinese nationalism," contribution to Nations and Nationalism roundtable
New collaborative project, China’s Cities: Divisions and Plans, awarded for 2016-2019
"Circumstances, Domestic Audiences, and Reputational Incentives in International Crisis Bargaining" now out in the Journal of Conflict Resolution
Testimony before the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Hearing on Reviewing President Xi's State Visit, October 7, 2015. (Full text of statement)
New York Times Q&A with Edward Wong, "Jessica Chen Weiss on Nationalism in Chinese Politics," September 24, 2015.
"The Political Geography of Nationalist Protest in China: Cities and the 2012 Anti-Japanese Demonstrations" now out in The China Quarterly
Foreign Affairs review by Andrew Nathan, Jan/Feb 2015
Financial Times review by Richard McGregor, November 2, 2014
China Digital Times interview, October 27, 2014
Powerful Patriots book launch and panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 6, 2014
Washington Post op-ed, September 30, 2014
ChinaFile interview, Asia Society, September 4, 2014