Lynette Ong

Office Location

SS 3053

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Area Group(s)

  • Comparative Politics
  • Development Studies


  • B. Com., University of Aukland
  • M.A., University of Sussex
  • Ph.D., Australian National University

Lynette Ong

Associate Professor


Research interests: authoritarian politics, contentious politics, political economy of development, urbanization, China, Southeast Asia, India. Her current research addresses China’s state repression, social control, and citizens’ resistance. She writes about Chinese state’s outsourcing of repression using “thugs-for-hire” and engaging with brokers to bargain with disgruntled citizens. Using survey data, she explores the question why citizens in authoritarian countries, such as China, participate in protests. She also writes how regime types affect land politics in China and India. Her publication on state control and resistance has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Political Studies, Foreign Affairs, China Journal, Journal of Contemporary Asia and Journal of Contemporary China. Her earlier work examines the political economy of development in China, particularly local government’s use of bank resources to finance government expenditures and the implications for developmental state model. Her work published in the mid-2000s highlighted the perils of mounting local government debts in China. She is the author of Prosper or Perish: Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China published by Cornell University Press, in 2012. Her work in this area has appeared in Comparative Politics, International Political Science Review, China Quarterly, Journal of East Asian Studies, among others.
She contributes her opinions regularly to popular audience. Her opinion pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, South China Morning Post, Ottawa Citizen, East Asia Forum, New Mandala, among others. She was awarded An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship by Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies in 2008-09.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Political Economy
  • Contentious Politics
  • Politics of China and East Asian Countries
  • State Power and Social Control

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