Welcome! I'm a political scientist and associate professor of government at Cornell University. I study China's foreign relations with an emphasis on nationalism, popular sentiment, and domestic politics in international relations.
My first book, Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, August 2014), examines the role of nationalist, anti-foreign protest in China’s international relations. Examining dozens of episodes of anti-foreign mobilization in China from 1985 to 2012, I conclude that the Chinese government has carefully chosen when to tolerate or repress grassroots nationalist mobilization to signal resolve or reassurance.
My research investigates how domestic politics may facilitate compromise or exacerbate conflict. Understanding how different regime types understand and interact with one another is critical to assessing the risk of conflict in a region characterized by a diversity of political institutions and deep ambivalence over China’s rise.
My current book project, Hurting the People's Feelings: Public Opinion and Nationalism in China's Foreign Relations, maps the contours of Chinese attitudes towards international affairs, why and when the government invokes public opinion and nationalism, and the conditions under which its efforts are effective domestically and internationally.
News and events
New paper shows that concerted US pressure can affect China's RMB policy, forthcoming in Review of International Political Economy
Anti-Japanese protests have adverse consequences for political promotion and attracting foreign investment in China's cities, forthcoming in China Quarterly
Now a Washington Post Monkey Cage editor, expanding coverage of China and East 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
"Will Beijing cut Trump some slack after that phone call with Taiwan?" in the Washington Post Monkey Cage, December 6, 2016.
"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