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Rongbin Han

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor of International Affairs

Dr. Han is currently an associate professor at the Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia. His research interests center on regime transition, media politics and social activism in authoritarian regimes, with an area focus on China. He is the author of Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience, and has published in The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, and Political Research Quarterly, among others.



Dr. Han received his Ph.D. in political science from University of California, Berkeley in December 2012. Before Berkeley, he studied at School of International StudiesPeking University, China (1999-2003) and Department of Political ScienceNational University of Singapore (2003-2006).

Selected Publications:


Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience (Columbia University Press, 2018). 


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters


2023. “Racial and Gender Stereotypes in Immigration Attitudes: Evidence from China” (with Li Shao, Juan Du and Dongshu Liu), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,

2022. “Opportunistic Bargaining: Negotiating Distribution in China” (with Juan Du and Li Shao). The China Quarterly, online first & open access.

2022. “Cosmetic Responsiveness: Why and How Local Authorities Respond to Mundane Online Complaints in China” (with Yuan Wang). Journal of Chinese Political Science, online first.

2022. “Debating China beyond the Great Firewall: Digital Disenchantment and Authoritarian Resilience,” Journal of Chinese Political Science, online first.

2022. “Scaling Authoritarian Information Control: How China Adjusts the Level of Online Censorship” (with Li Shao), Political Research Quarterly 75(4): 1345-1359 [A preprint version is available here]

2021. “Defusing Environmental Activism through Scientific Greening: Government Framing Strategy and Its Effects in China” (with Juan Du and Weixia Lv). Environmental Policy and Governance, online first.  

2021. “Modernization Planner, Authoritarian Paternalist, and Rising Power: Evolving Government Positions in China’s Internet Securitization” (with Weishan Miao). Journal of Contemporary China, online first. [A preprint version is available here]

2021. “How does Marriage Demand Stimulate Support for Immigration in Asia?” (with Li Shao, Juan Du and Dongshu Liu), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, online first. [A preprint version is available here, with the online appendix]

2021. “Cyber Nationalism and Regime Support under Xi Jinping: The Effects of the 2018 Constitutional Revision,” Journal of Contemporary China 30:131(2021), 717-733. DOI: [A preprint version is available here]

2019. “Patriotism without state blessing: Chinese cyber nationalists in predicament,” in Teresa Wright (ed.) Handbook of Dissent and Protest in China (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019): 346-360. [A preprint version is available here]

2019. “Rescuing Authoritarian Rule: The Anti-Gongzhi Discourse in Chinese Cyberspace” (with Linan Jia), in Chris Shei (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis (Routledge, 2019): 415-427[A preprint version is available here]

2018. “Withering Gongzhi: Cyber Criticism of Chinese Public Intellectuals,” International Journal of Communication 12(2018), 1966-1987.

2018. “Governing by the Internet: Local Governance in the Digital Age” (with Linan Jia), Journal of Chinese Governance 3:1 (2018), 67-85.

* The article has also been included in Jianxing Yu and Sujian Guo (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Local Governance in Contemporary China (Macmillan, 2019): 421-440.

2017. “Supervising Authoritarian Rule Online: Citizen Participation and State Responses in China,” The Journal of Comparative Law 12:2 (2017), 397-416.

2016. “Challenging, But Not Trouble-Making: Cultural Elites in China’s Heritage Preservation” (with Yao Yuan), Journal of Contemporary China 25:98(2016): 292-306.

2015. “Cyber Activism in China: Empowerment, Control, and Beyond,” in Axel Bruns, Eli Skogerbø, Christian Christensen, Anders Olof Larsson, and Gunn Sara Enli (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (Routledge, 2015): 268-280.

2015. “Defending the Authoritarian Regime Online: The ‘Voluntary Fifty-Cent Army’,” The China Quarterly 224 (2015):1006 – 1025.

2015. “College Education and Attitudes toward Democracy in China: An Empirical Study” (with Gang Wang and Liyun Wu), Asia Pacific Education Review 16:3(2015), 399-412.

2015. “Manufacturing Consent in Cyberspace: China’s ‘Fifty-Cent Army’,” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44: 2(2015), 105-134.

2009. “Path to Democracy? Assessing Village Elections in China” (with Kevin J. O’Brien), Journal of Contemporary China 18:60 (2009), 359-378.

*The article receives the 2018 John and Vivian Sabel Award of the best article published in the Journal of Contemporary China and has been reprinted in Kevin O’Brien and Zhao Suisheng (eds.), Grassroots Elections in China (London: Routledge, 2011) and in Anthony Saich (ed.), Political Governance in China (Elgar, 2015). It has also translated and published in a Chinese journal: “民主之路?——中国村民选举评析”(与欧博文合著),国外理论动态,no. 7 (2011): 59-70.

Articles Featuring Rongbin Han

Combating Corruption Online: Citizen Participation and State Responses in China

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