Research Team

  • Team Leader:               Daniela Stockmann                  

    Danie Stockmann is the Principal Investigator and team leader of the project.  Dr. Stockmann is Associate Professor at Leiden University.  She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.  Her research focuses on Chinese politics, public opinion and political communication, comparative politics, and research methods.  Dr. Stockmann’s recent book Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (Cambridge University Press, 2013) explores the effects of media marketization on the production of news and public opinion in China, placing China within a broader comparative context. In 2015 the book has won the Goldsmith Book Prize for the best academic book on media, politics, and public affairs by the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University.

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow:               Ting LUO              

    Ting Luo is Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University.  She holds a PhD in government and an MSc in public policy and administration from London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in political science from Nankai University in Tianjin, China.  Dr. Luo’s PhD research examines how a village’s economic strength and economic autonomy affect the political competition between local government and challengers in China’s village elections, drawn upon her extensive fieldwork experience in a rural county of Guangdong Province. She argues that in China’s village elections, only when village wealth is autonomously achieved can the electoral competition be free from the manipulation and control of local government.

  • PhD Candidate:               Yuxi NIE              

    Yuxi Nie is a PhD candidate in the Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University and involved in the project for web administration, research assistance and communication. She received her MA in TV Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a BA in English Literature from Xi’an International Studies University. She was also a visiting student at University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include communication, social media, discourse analysis and research methods. Her PhD project intends to find out the relationship between Micro-blogging and media policy in China, and how digital media shape the communication strategies of the PRC’s official news agency Xinhua.

  • Research Master student:               Vincent Bakker               

    Vincent Bakker is a second year Research Master student of the two year master’s programme, Research Master Political Science and Public Administration at Leiden University. He holds a BSc in Public Administration (with a focus on Economics) from Leiden University and hopes to obtain his MSc degree by the summer of 2017. He is involved in the project through the preparation and analysis of (survey) data. His main field of interest concerns comparative political economy. His research interests hence relate to varieties of capitalism, welfare state arrangements, and social policy with a particular focus on labour market institutions. As a student assistant at the Institute of Public Administration he is also involved in teaching and the preparation and moderation of two newly introduced Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs).


  • Former Members


  • PhD Candidate:               Zheng LI              

    Zheng Li is a PhD candidate in the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University and involved in the project as young researcher, concentrating on the project’s communication, web administration, and research assistance.  She received an MSc in Media and Communications from London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Media Studies-Television Production from University of Westminster.  Her research interests include audience studies, media commercialization and politics in China.  Her dissertation focuses on the production of reality TV and audience perceptions of its entertainment, socio-political, and cultural aspects, focusing on legal mediation broadcasting in Shanghai.

  • PhD Candidate:               Zhongyuan WANG              

    Wang Zhongyuan is a PhD candidate in the Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University and involved in the project as young researcher, concentrating on the project’s data management and research assistance.  He received his MA in political science from Fudan University and BA in politics and public administration from Xiamen University.  He was also a visiting student at National Taiwan University.  His research interests include comparative authoritarianism and political transition, local politics and governance, contemporary Chinese politics and Media, and the politics of Taiwan.  His PhD project is about elections under authoritarian regimes, focusing on the conditions and mechanisms that contribute to the stabilizing or destabilizing authoritarian rule in mainland China and Taiwan under KMT rule.

  • PhD Candidate:               Jing ZHANG              

    Jing Zhang is a visiting researcher in Cognitive Psychology Unit of Leiden University, she is a PhD candidate of Zhejiang University, China. She received an MEd in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Hangzhou Normal University, and a BE in Computer Science and Technology from Hangzhou Dianzi University. Her research interests include human understanding, embodied cognition and consciousness. Her dissertation focuses on sense of agency and sense of ownership, how the two senses interact with each other to build an integrated sense of self, and how the environment might be affected by this unified sense which is very important to human self-consciousness.