Yunyun Zhou

Senior Lecturer - China Studies
Image of Yunyun Zhou
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Phone +47 22856857
Room 342
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 Oslo

Follow my work on : Twitter  / ResearchGate / Google Scholar


Following my undergraduate studies in Beijing (BA in Literature and BS in Psychology), I have completed my master's degree (MSc in Sociology) and PhD in Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford. I have been an exchange student at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scholar at Peking University and Paris 8 University. I have previously taught political sociology and qualitative research methods at Sciences Po Paris.


I position myself as a fieldwork based researcher working at the intersection of political sociology, gender studies and cultural studies. My research takes a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary Chinese politics, society and culture. My general research interests lie in how individuals negotiate with authoritarianian states, how socialist regimes transform, and how gender matters in these political processes. Using a political ethnographic approach, my current book project examines communist women cadres’ political encounters in China’s local party-states. My book illustrates the process of how the ‘ruled’ are transformed into the ‘rulers’ in everyday practices of China’s post-socialist governance. Discussions about the function of authoritarian state power through the political formation of communist cadres are also central to the book.

In addition to the monograph, I am currently working on an article-based project on political socialisation among the Chinese youth in middle schools. My latest publication include an article on gender lobbying (性别游说, xingbie youshui) and legislation mechanisms in China published in Politics & Gender and another that appeared in the Made-in-China Journal, which analyses China’s state discourses on sacrifice, gratitude and heroism in its COVID-themed cultural representations.

My previous research looked at democratic conceptualisation and as well as the legal and citizenship awareness of migrant youth and LGBT groups in Beijing. I was a research associate in the European research group ‘New Political Representative Claims: A Global View’ in Paris. In this project, I explored why and how we need to reconsider the concept of politically 'representing (代表, daibiao)' in classic political theory in China’s linguistic and cultural contexts. My previous work also examined the Chinese Communist Party’s evolving mass-line work, in particular its latest reforms on ‘women’s work (妇女工作, funü gongzuo)' in the Xi-era. This research has been published on the English-French bilingual journal China Perspectives.


EXFAC03-EAST – Exfac for East Asian Studies

KIN4510 – How to Study Chinese Culture and Society at an Advanced Level

KIN4520 – Recent Developments in Chinese Society

KIN4550 – Research Topics in Chinese Culture and Society


2021 "Coalition-based Gender Lobbying: Revisiting Women's Substantive Representation in China's Authoritarian Governance." Gender & Politics. 17(3). Co-authored with Jiang Xinhui.

2021 “The Cultural Politics of National Tragedies and Personal Sacrifice: State Narratives of China's 'Ordinary Heroes' of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Made in China Journal. May 30, 2021. Co-authored with Xie Kailing.

2019   “Being a Good Daughter of the Party’? A Neo-Institutional Analysis of the All-China Women’s Federation Organisational Reforms in China’s Xi Era”. China Perspectives. 2019 (2):17–28.

2019   « La petite fille modèle du Parti »? Analyse néo-institutionnelle des réformes organisationnelles de la Fédération des femmes à l’ère de Xi Jinping. Perspectives Chinoises. 2019 (2):19-32.

Published in the special issue: Mediating the Party-state, Serving the People: Mass and Grassroots Organisations in XXIst Century China.

2019   “From Representation to Dàibiao: A Comparative Study of the Notions of Political Representation in France and China”. Journal of Chinese Governance. 2019(4):4: 295-316. Co-authored with Yves Sintomer.

Published in the special issue: Reappraisal of Political Representation across Political Orders: New Conceptual and Analytical Tools.

2018   “Writing Prostitution into Modern’s China’s State-building”. Book review in Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review. 2017 (Nov). republished in Book & Ideas in 2019.


2020   Interviewed by Shen Lu, in "Pretty Lady Cadres: New Data Shows the Limits of Women’s Advancement in China’s Leadership". ChinaFile. December 21, 2020.

2020   Coauthored with Emilie Frenkiel and Yves Sintomer. « La gestion chinoise de la pandémie est ambivalente ». Le Monde. June 2, 2020.



Tags: China, Chinese politics, Authoritarianism, Feminism, Political representation, Political ethnography.


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Published Aug. 5, 2020 9:32 AM - Last modified Jan. 14, 2022 4:52 PM