Kennedy, Scott 1967–

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Kennedy, Scott 1967–


Born September 18, 1967. Education: University of Virginia, B.A., 1989; Johns Hopkins University, M.A., 1992; George Washington University, Ph.D., 2002.


Office—Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University, Goodbody Hall 250, 1011 E. 3rd St., Bloomington, IN 47405-7005. E-mail—[email protected].


Woodrow Wilson Center, Cold War International History Project, Washington, DC, research assistant, 1992-93; Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, research assistant in foreign policy studies program, 1993-97; Indiana University, Bloomington, lecturer, 2000-02, assistant professor, 2002-06, associate professor of political science, 2006—, director, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, 2007—. Visiting scholar, Pudong Institute for the U.S. Economy, Shanghai, China, 1999, Peking University Research Center for Contemporary China, Beijing, 1998-99.


International Studies Association, Association for Asian Studies, American Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.


Shapiro Traveling Fellowship, George Washington University, 1998; Brookings Institution research fellowship, 1999; Summer Faculty Fellowship, Indiana University, 2006 and 2007; other student fellowships.


(Editor) China Cross Talk: The American Debate over China Policy since Normalization: A Reader, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2003.

The Business of Lobbying in China, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including China Quarterly, Asia Policy, Political Science Quarterly, World Policy Journal, China Journal, Problems of Post-Communism, Asian Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Business & Society. Service advisory board member, China Economic Quarterly, 2003—.


Political science scholar Scott Kennedy is interested in international relations, particularly in the affairs of China. He stated in his profile on the Indiana University Web site in 2008: "My interest in East Asia comes from two sources; the first is my interest in world affairs in general, and the second is my family's experience in the region. My grandmother was stationed in Macau for the Christian Science Monitor in the early 1970s, and my uncle has lived in Japan for most of the past forty years. Further prompted by my grandfather, an engineer who had traveled to Asia, I tried a Chinese language course my second year in college. But it was a semester in Beijing in 1988—meeting average Chinese, riding on trains, and bicycling down Changan Avenue through Tiananmen Square—that sealed my fate as someone who wanted to make China a part of my career.

"Since then, my research interests have focused in on two areas, both of which cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The first is political economy. My dissertation, which I am currently revising into a book, examined to what extent economic factors affect the ways in which companies lobby the government and if that in turn shapes which companies have the greatest influence over public policy. My favorite part of the project were the interviews, an exhilarating experience and an invaluable tool given the potential weaknesses of macro quantitative data in China. I am also quite interested in questions of foreign policy and U.S.-East Asian relations. I recently edited a book, entitled China Cross Talk, on the American debate over China policy since normalization. My interest in U.S.-East Asian relations derives partly from my time at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, DC, where I learned that it is important for scholars not only to carry on a dialogue with each other but also to speak to audiences beyond academia in the public policy arena, the business community, and the broader public."

China Cross Talk: The American Debate over China Policy since Normalization: A Reader provides "a firsthand intellectual history of the debate" on Sino-American relations, according to Shunyo Liao in a Pacific Affairs review of the book. Readers get a thorough background and presentation of both sides of the issue. The author begins with a chapter that reproduces official statements and other reports to provide readers with an understanding of current and historical political positions. Kennedy then offers a list of pros and cons regarding China-U.S. affairs, and the author shows how U.S. policies toward China have evolved, depending on the American government's changing perceptions of China. These attitudes have ranged from hostility to friendship. Next, Kennedy discusses what he feels are five central issues, which he calls the "five Ts." These include Taiwan, Tiananmen, Tibet, trade, and technology. He addresses these issues while organizing the book into six time periods: 1978 to 1983, 1984 to 1988, 1989 to 1992, 1993 to 1995, 1996 to 2000, and 2001 to the present. These periods cover such distinct issues as America's efforts to normalize relations with China, the role that China played during—and then after—the Cold War, the reaction to the Tiananmen student revolt, the effects of China's efforts to modernize and its relationship with America, and, most recently, how the American government is just beginning to view China as a potential strategic partner. Liao reported that Kennedy's book is simply presenting the facts as they may be found and does not make any recommendations on future U.S. foreign policy. The critic faulted the book for lacking "a theoretical framework" and for an "inadequate inclusion of the Chinese perspective," but concluded: "Such caveats aside, this is a good book of firsthand intellectual history aimed at understanding U.S. policy toward China."

Kennedy takes on a very delicate subject with The Business of Lobbying in China. Chinese businesses and the communist government rarely acknowledge the roll of business associations, and so there is very little published information on the subject to draw on for research. In a review of Kennedy's book for the Political Science Quarterly, Andrew C. Mertha noted that "business associations have traditionally been little more than an arm of the state" and "do not fit into any of the prevailing models of Chinese political economy." Kennedy, however, attempts to break through official positions to show that businesses in China do, indeed, have an interest in public policy, even though they supposedly have no independent role, being under state control. He further explains that business associations in China, counter to what many in the West have come to understand, are actually decentralized. However, Kennedy also qualifies this point by acknowledging that companies are still subject to considerable governmental controls. "Kennedy is thus careful never to overstate the significant yet necessarily modest degree of pluralism exhibited by these associations," according to Mertha. Thus, while still not free to practice Western style capitalism and to exert the kind of political influence that large corporations in America do, business associations in China are experiencing a fluctuating relationship with their government depending on changing economic conditions and the role individual companies play within their particular part of the economy.

Mertha was particularly impressed with Kennedy's discussion of the electronics and software industries in China, which he asserted "offer fascinating new insights into the dynamics within these sectors," but he wished that the author had gone into more detail about the dynamics between politics and policy in China. The critic concluded: "That aside, Scott Kennedy has produced an exceptional book that should be required reading in graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on China's political economy and the political economies of developing countries more generally."



Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September, 2005, C.A. Haulman, review of The Business of Lobbying in China, p. 152.

Far Eastern Economic Review, April, 2005, Sidney Rittenberg, review of The Business of Lobbying in China, p. 68.

Foreign Affairs, September, 2003, review of China Cross Talk: The American Debate over China Policy since Normalization: A Reader, p. 188.

Journal of Economic Literature, June, 2005, review of The Business of Lobbying in China, p. 619.

Pacific Affairs, spring, 2004, Shunyo Liao, review of China Cross Talk.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2006, Andrew C. Mertha, review of The Business of Lobbying in China.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2003, review of China Cross Talk, p. 55.


Indiana University Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Web site,˜ealc/ (April 17, 2008), faculty profile of Scott Kennedy.

Scott Kennedy Home Page,˜kennedys (April 17, 2008).

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Kennedy, Scott 1967–

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