Welcome! I am a political scientist and professor of government at Cornell University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute Center for China Analysis. I study Chinese politics and foreign policy, focusing on the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy, particularly nationalism and public opinion.
From August 2021 to July 2022, I served as senior advisor to the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State on a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured IR Scholars (IAF-TIRS) while on sabbatical from Cornell.
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 book project, A World Safe for Autocracy? The Domestic Politics of China's Foreign Policy (under contract, Oxford University Press), looks at how domestic politics and regime insecurity shape China’s foreign policy. Drawing on the domestic dimensions of authoritarian rule in China, A World Safe for Autocracy? examines Beijing’s ambitions, prospects for peaceful coexistence, and the future of international order.
Recent publications and commentary
"Even China Doesn't Believe Its Own Bluster," New York Times, May 6, 2023.
"Don't panic about Taiwan: Alarm over a Chinese invasion could become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Foreign Affairs, March 21, 2023.
Today, Explained (podcast), "The US is obsessed with China," Vox, March 21, 2023.
"The United States should deter - not provoke - Beijing over Taiwan. Here's how," Washington Post, February 20, 2023.
The Problem with Jon Stewart, "U.S.-China Tensions: Threat inflation and balloon deflation," February 8, 2023.
The Ezra Klein Show, "Is this how a Cold War with China begins?" January 27, 2023 (transcript).
Ian Johnson, "A professor who challenges the Washington consensus on China," New Yorker, December 13, 2022.
"Biden's Chance with China," Foreign Affairs, November 11, 2022.
"America and China don't need to knock each other out to win," New York Times, October 19, 2022.
"How to avoid war over Taiwan: Threats, assurances, and effective deterrence," Foreign Affairs, October 13, 2022 (with Thomas J. Christensen, M. Taylor Fravel, Bonnie S. Glaser, and Andrew J. Nathan)
"The China trap: U.S. foreign policy and the perilous logic of zero-sum competition," Foreign Affairs (September/October 2022). Featured on the Sinica podcast, September 1, 2022.
"Avoiding ideological conflict with Beijing: Thomas Pepinsky and Jessica Chen Weiss," Sinica podcast, July 15, 2021.
"The Clash of Systems? Washington Should Avoid Ideological Competition With Beijing," Foreign Affairs, June 11, 2021 (with Tom Pepinsky).
"Domestic politics, China's rise, and the future of the liberal international order," new article in International Organization (with Jeremy Wallace).
Review essay in Foreign Affairs, "The stories China tells: the new historical memory reshaping Chinese nationalism," March/April 2021.
"China's leaders say that Biden offers a 'new window of hope.' Their experts are more skeptical," blog post in the Washington Post Monkey Cage, January 21, 2021 (with Kacie Miura).
“Nationalism and the Domestic Politics of Chinese Foreign Policy: Lessons for the United States,” policy paper for the Penn project on the Future of US-China relations, September 2020.
"America, Don't Try to Out-China China," New York Times, September 2, 2020 (with Ali Wyne).
"Beijing's self-defeating nationalism: Brazen diplomacy and rhetorical bluster undercut Beijing's influence," Foreign Affairs, July 16, 2020.
"No 'Beijing Consensus': Why the U.S. risks a Pyrrhic victory in confronting China," essay in SupChina, June 29, 2020.
"How coronavirus changes the political outlook in China and the U.S.," blog post in the Washington Post Monkey Cage, April 23, 2020.
"China's coronavirus statistics aren't the real problem," op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2020 (with Jeremy L. Wallace).
Citizens and the State in Authoritarian Regimes: Comparing China and Russia (Oxford University Press) now available for pre-order. Use promo code ASFLYQ6 to save 30%.
"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.
"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
"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
"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
Powerful Patriots book launch and panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 6, 2014