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Professor and Edward Caird Chair of Politics, University of Glasgow

Jane Duckett is Edward Caird Chair of Politics and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the British Academy (2016), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2019), and the Academy of Social Sciences (2019). She is also a Guest Professor at Nankai University (Tianjin, China). In 2012 she received the Lord Provost of Glasgow Education Award. From 2014-2017 she was President of the British Association for Chinese Studies.

Prof Duckett's early research on the Chinese state under market reform included a book-length study, The Entrepreneurial State in China (Routledge, 1998). She then (with Bill Miller) made a comparative study of public attitudes to openness in East Asia and Eastern Europe, published as The Open Economy and its Enemies (CUP, 2006). Since then, her research has been concerned with Chinese public policy. She has argued through studies of social welfare, poverty, unemployment and health policies, that the politics behind them and their enormous redistributive consequences make them central to the Chinese state’s marketising project. Her monograph, The Chinese State’s Retreat from Health: Policy and the Politics of Retrenchment (Routledge, hdbk 2011; pbk 2013) drew on comparative political theory to explain the Chinese state’s retrenchment in health care provision between the 1980s and 2003. She co-edited (with Beatriz Carrillo), China’s Changing Welfare Mix: Local Perspectives (Routledge, 2011), a book that investigated China’s evolving social welfare provision. She has also published papers on the Chinese media's reporting of health reform, on public participation in policymaking, and (in Health Policy and Planning and Health Expectations) on the Chinese public's attitudes to their health care system. Her current research into the international influences on domestic Chinese public policies has been published in Europe-Asia Studies.

Prof Duckett studied at Fudan University in Shanghai (1984-5 and 1987-8) and at Nankai University in Tianjin (1992-3). In the late 1980s she worked in the Shanghai office of the American law firm, Paul Weiss. She has also worked in China as a policy and social development consultant on a number of international aid projects. Her research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, British Council, British Academy, and the European Commission.

See her recent paper (with Matthias Stepan), 'The Domestic Politics Behind China's International Engagement', Political Insight, March 2018, pp. 37-39.

See her analysis of 'The 2017 National People's Congress and China's Social Policy Priorities', for the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, November 2017.

See also ‘Are Chinese people satisfied with health care?’ Scottish Centre for China Research Briefing Paper 1, April 2016 (with Neil Munro), which reports the results of a public opinion survey of the Chinese population.


  • –present
    Edward Caird Chair of Politics, University of Glasgow