Cai Zuo

Credentials: China

2009 SKJ Fellow

Cai Zuo, a graduate student in Political Science, spent 3 years working as a research assistant at the Research Center for Contemporary China at Peking University. After obtaining her masters in political science, her research focus changed to the state-society relations in the everyday lives of people. While doing field research at Shenzhen in 2008, she noticed that compared to other special economic zones, political activism was more developed there: aggrieved homeowners and migrant workers are more able to get their opinions successfully absorbed into policymaking and implementation. This observation has been the inspiration for her dissertation research, which will explore the causes of a strong society in an authoritarian state and the impact of private investment on state-society relations. This summer, Cai will use her SKJ grant in China to meet with local government officials, social science scholars, and political activists in order to set the stage for her future dissertation field research.