Meet Zeren Li, 2020 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grantee

The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2020. 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.

Zeren Li, Duke University

Zeren Li is a PhD Candidate of Political Science at Duke University. His research focuses on business-state relations, bureaucracy, good governance, and authoritarian politics with a regional interest in China. Before joining Duke, he obtained a MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and a LLB from Fudan University.

His dissertation, Institutionalized Rent-Seeking: The Political-Business Revolving Door in China, proposes a theoretical framework for understanding the emergence of revolving-door officials in authoritarian regimes and tests the theory through rigorous inquiry into firms in China. 

Methodologically, he is interested in the “Big Data” analysis of state-business relations. For his dissertation and other research projects, he develops automated methods for collecting and matching extensive administrative data and creates two original databases: the Chinese Revolving-Door Officials Database and the Chinese Public-Private Partnership Database. His research has been funded by institutions including Google Cloud Platform, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, and other research grants.