Meet Christina Lai, 2019 First Generation Scholar in the Profession

Christina Lai is a junior research fellow in the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She was previously a lecturer in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she taught Qualitative Research Methods and Introduction to Global Security. Christina received her Ph.D. in international relations from the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Her dissertation addresses the conditions under which weaker states balance against or bandwagon with a strong state. China’s rise provides an opportunity to examine this question, as over the last two decades, China has experienced one of the most dramatic and sustained periods of economic growth of any great power in world history. It complements previous research on this issue, exploring how China has attempted to legitimize its rise and to forestall any strategic encirclement by the U.S. and others. She is interested in U.S.-China Relations, Chinese Foreign Policy, East Asian politics, and Qualitative Research Methods. Her works have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China, Pacific Review, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Asian Survey, Asia Time, China’s World, and, Asian Security. Her research projects were supported by the Lynde and Bradley Foundation, Global Taiwan Institute, Georgetown University, and American Political Science Association.

About the APSA First Generation Scholar in the Profession Travel Reimbursement Grant
In 2015, the APSA Executive Council approved a new standing Committee on First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession, parallel to the existing APSA status committees.  The goal is to bring focused attention to the ways in which class, economic inequality, and mobility can affect political scientists’ ability to thrive educationally and professionally, perhaps throughout their careers. The APSA Committee on the Status of First Generation Scholars matched contributions that were made to the APSA Annual Fund during one week in September 2019 to support the professional development support of first gen scholars in the profession.  Learn more.