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John K Yasuda

Assistant Professor of Chinese Politics (EALC)

School of Global and International Studies

Indiana University

About Me

I am an assistant professor of Chinese politics at Indiana University's Department of East Asian Languages and Culture and the School of Global and International Studies.  My research focuses on issues related to regulatory failure, the political economy of development, and bureaucratic politics.  

I am the author of On Feeding the Masses: An Anatomy of Regulatory Failure in China (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming) which examines the regulatory politics involved in China's gut-wrenching food safety crisis.  The book argues that in order to understand China's governance failures, scholars, regulators, and consumers must take a deeper look at the challenges large-scale countries face (in terms of scale externalities, multilevel coordination challenges, and problem identification).  I have also written on regulatory politics and development issues in aviation safety, environmental protection, fishery conservation, and financial regulation.  

I am published in Regulation and Governance, the China Quarterly, and the Journal of Politics.  My work has also been cited by a number of media outlets, including the Guardian, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and Southern Weekly (南方周末).  

I seek to unveil the root causes of the world's worst regulatory failures, and the solutions to address broken systems of governance.  I explore the interplay between formal and informal institutions, cultures of risk, and policy entrepreneurs.  What do unmitigated disasters such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the Global Financial Crisis have in common?   What happens when markets rapidly and unexpectedly outpace regulatory development?  Can private actors be trusted to police themselves? How is coordination possible in fragmented regulatory systems?  My next project focuses on China's untamed financial markets to address these pressing questions.

I received my PhD in comparative politics from the University of California, Berkeley.  I was then a postdoctoral fellow at Penn's Center for the Study of Contemporary China, where I am now a research associate.  In summer, I teach in the Wharton-Lauder Institute's Global Immersion Program as China Faculty-Lead.  Previously, I was an assistant professor at Colorado College.  I hold an MPhil in comparative politics from the University of Oxford and a BA from Harvard College.