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Lynch, Dan 林丹

Member, Board of Scholars; Professor, City University of Hong Kong

Taught at USC 1996-2017, now at City University of Hong Kong.


  • Ph.D. (Political Science), University of Michigan, 1996

  • M.A. (International Affairs/East Asian Studies), George Washington University, 1989

  • B.A. (Political Science/Communication), University of Kentucky, 1985

Postdoctoral Training

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Center for International Studies and Pacific Council on International Policy, 1996-1997

Daniel C. Lynch was a Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California and now teaches at City University of Hong Kong. He was a founding member of the USC US-China Institute Executive Committee and is a member of our Board of Scholars. Lynch is the author of three books: China’s Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy (Stanford, 2015), Rising China and Asian Democratization: Socialization to “Global Culture” in the Political Transformations of Thailand, China, and Taiwan (Stanford, 2006) [paperback edition: August 2008)], and After the Propaganda State: Media, Politics, and “Thought Work” in Reformed China (Stanford, 1999). He has published scholarly articles in such journals as The China Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, and Asian Survey.

Description of Research
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Professor Lynch's most recent book looks at how Chinese political and intellectual elites expect China will, or should, change in the years leading up to about 2030. He is focusing on five interrelated issue-areas: domestic political processes and institutions; comprehensive national power and its implications for the country's role(s) in world politics; Party-state defense of cultural integrity and national identity under conditions of deepening globalization; development and diffusion of potentially transformative new technologies; and prospects for achieving sustainable development. Lynch's goal is to understand how Chinese people patched into policymaking networks are conceiving their own society's future; he is not trying to develop "objective" predictions or forecasts of his own. But he is interested in assessing how the Chinese expectations differ from dominant expectations implicit in Western social science models, and what these differences may mean for China's actual course of development. In addition to this large-scale project, Lynch--in his spare time (!)--continues to monitor the domestic politics of Taiwan and Thailand, and in particular the problems these societies face in deepening democracy, consolidating autonomy, and achieving social justice. Unavoidably and increasingly, Taiwanese and Thai people must face their domestic challenges within the context of China's rise. How these outside "others" experience Chinese change can be just as illuminating as how Chinese people themselves interpret their country's developmental trajectory.

Research Specialties
International relations of East and Southeast Asia; domestic politics and foreign policies of China, Taiwan, and Thailand; state-society relations; democratization; socialization into the international society of states

Selected Publications:

  • Lynch, Daniel (2015). China's Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy. Stanford University Press, 2015.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2015). "China's Rise is Over," Stanford University Press Blog.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2011). "What China Can Learn from Thailand," The Diplomat, July 8, 2011.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2011). "China: What's Next (Taiwan)," The Diplomat, February 15, 2011.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2010). "The Study of Chinese Communication in the 2010's," International Journal of Communication, December 4, 2010, pp. 495-500.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2010). "What to Read on Taiwanese Politics," Foreign Affairs (online), February 9, 2010.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2010). "Democracy, Security, and Regionalism in Asia: A Review Essay," Asia Policy, July 2010, pp. 189-95.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2009). "The Next Chinese Revolution," Far Eastern Economic Review, Oct. 1, 2009.

  • Lynch, Daniel, “Chinese Thinking on the Future of International Relations: Realism as the Ti, Rationalism as the Yong?”  The China Quarterly, No. 197 (March 2009), pp. 1-21.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2008). "Why Mr. Samak Must Go," Far Eastern Economic Review.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2008). "Will the Olympics Change China?,"Far Eastern Economic Review.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2008). "Mr. Ma's Taiwanese Identity,"Far Eastern Economic Review.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2007). Envisioning China’s Political Future: Elite Responses to Democracy as a Global Constitutive Norm.  In International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 51, pp. 701-22.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2006). Rising China and Asian democratization: Socialization to “global culture.” Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2005). Taiwan adapts to the network society. In E. Friedman (Ed.), China’s rise, Taiwan’s dilemmas, and international peace (pp. 130-146). London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2005). Refocusing the Taiwan Nationalists’ ‘subjectivity’ movement. Washington, DC: Jamestown Foundation.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2004). Taiwan's self-conscious nation-building project. Asian Survey, 513-33.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2004). The Asia-Pacific region in a time of insecurity: Implications for public policy and the private sector. Report for the First Annual Pacific Rim Workshop organized jointly by the Pacific Council on International Policy and the University of Southern California. Los Angeles: Pacific Council and USC.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2003). The Turbulent US-China Relationship: Insights from chaos theory and constructivism. Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, Claremont-McKenna College.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2002). Media in China; Socialist spiritual civilization; and Thought work. Three articles for The Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. New York: Scribner's.

  • Lynch, Daniel (2000). The nature and consequences of China's unique pattern of telecommunications development. In C.C. Lee (Ed.), Power, money, and media. Northwestern.

  • Lynch, Daniel (1999). After the propaganda state: Media, politics, and "thought work" In Reformed China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.


  • "The International Impact of the Beijing Olympics" (2009: USCI | YouTube)

  • "The Week that Changed the World: China’s Expanding Global Influence" (2010: USCI | YouTube)

  • "The Rise of China and the East Asian Regional Order" (2011: USCI | YouTube)

  • 2012 Taiwan Election (2012: USCI | YouTube)

  • "The Chinese Debate on America's Decline in the 2000s (2013: USCI | YouTube)

  • Comments on Taiwan - China - U.S. Relations (2014: USCI | YouTube)

  • On the U.S., China, and Taiwan (2015: USCI | YouTube)

  • On China's Futures (2015: USCI | YouTube)

  • Discussant at China's Growing Pains (2016: USCI | YouTube)

Honors and Awards:

  • Fieldwork grants awarded annually by the USC School of International Relations, Center for International Studies, and/or US-China Institute to research various aspects of Chinese elite thinking on the Chinese future, 2006-2007

  • Blakemore Foundation Grant for Advanced Study and Research in Chinese (National Taiwan University), 2003-2004 

  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Research Grant, for fieldwork and archival research on the role of national collective identity factors in the divergent political trajectories of China and Taiwan, 2000-2002 

  • Fulbright Award, Fieldwork grant to research the role of national collective identity in Thailand's democratization, 1999-2000 

  • APRU Fellowship, for taking part in a study tour and workshops in Berkeley, Kyoto, and Bangkok on the Asian economic meltdown, 1999 

  • USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, Fieldwork grant to research the role of underground media in Taiwan's democratization, 1998 

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, USC Center for International Studies and Pacific Council on International Policy (Los Angeles), 1996-1997  

  • Dissertation Write-Up Grant, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), 1995-1996  

  • Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Foundation Dissertation Fellowship on Peace and Security in a Changing World, for advanced study at Stanford University followed by dissertation field and archival work in Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Hong Kong, and Taipei, 1993-1995