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Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones (摸着石头过河). Photo by Elizabeth Phung

Pekingology was the term applied to the work of China watchers who were trying to figure what was going on inside the tightly sealed society of China, and the even more closed upper reaches of the Chinese government (Horner, 2009, 90-91).

This blog takes its name from a tradition that runs deep through Western social science, that of looking to the East.  Orientalism, or in this case, pekingology, referring to the former romanization of Beijing, has gone through many changes since Marco Polo’s writings relayed stories of Cathay.  This tradition has developed a variety of names for those who participated in these activities such as old China hands, referring to those who reported about China before “Liberation,” that is, the Communist Party’s rise to power, and more commonly, China watchers.

I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Chinese. I work as a research fellow on the Open Information and Governance teams at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing. My research interests lie in sustainable energy and development in emerging economies. I will be posting partly on the effect of modern development on the natural environment both in China and abroad.

All views are my own, and not of my employer. Comments are always welcome.

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