Meet John Minnich, 2021 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grantee

The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2021. The APSA DDRIG program provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation research in political science. Awards support basic research which is theoretically derived and empirically oriented.

John Minnich, Massachussetts Institute of Technology

John David Minnich is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include international relations, political economy, and Chinese foreign policy. His dissertation, “Re-Innovation Nation: Economic Security and Technology Transfer in Post-WTO China” examines China’s use of policy tools that “trade” access to the Chinese market for transfers of foreign technology to Chinese firms. Using a combination of statistical analysis of an original dataset on Chinese technology transfer policies and qualitative case studies of technology transfer in individual industries, he finds evidence that top-down strategic interests drive Chinese technology transfer policymaking, but that the salience of these motives varies with the degree of bureaucratic fragmentation within China. In addition to providing one of the first systematic analyses of foreign technology transfer in China in the post-WTO period, the dissertation sheds light on the strategic sources of economic policy in China and the importance of multinational enterprises as international political actors. In addition to the ASPA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, John’s research is supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics & Statecraft Fellowship and MIT’s Center for International Studies. Previously, John was a Senior Asia-Pacific Analyst at Stratfor. He holds a BA summa cum laude in History and Asian Studies from Cornell and an MA with honors in International Relations from the University of Chicago.