Brown University

Edward S. Steinfeld

Edward S. Steinfeld is Professor of Political Science, the Dean’s Chair in China Studies, and the Director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University in the United States.  Steinfeld's expertise focuses on contemporary China's political, economic, and commercial rise.  He received his PhD, MA, and BA in Political Science from Harvard University.  Steinfeld previously served as a faculty member in MIT's Sloan School of Management and Department of Political Science.


Steinfeld’s research focuses on understanding China’s contemporary experience of technology innovation and industrial upgrading.  Through deep and long-term interaction with Chinese and global companies, Steinfeld examines the relationship between governmental industrial policy and enterprise-level technological capabilities, as well as efforts at knowledge generation by Chinese firms operating in worldwide production and R&D networks.  


Steinfeld speaks and reads Mandarin fluently, having first lived in China in 1989, and then subsequently for multiple year-long stays through to the present.  Steinfeld has served as a visiting faculty member at several leading Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University (2012-2013) and Beijing University (1999 and 200).  Steinfeld was also a visiting scholar at the Institute for Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1994).  Steinfeld has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, U.S. governmental agencies, and a number of Chinese and multinational enterprises.  


Steinfeld is the author of the books Playing Our Game: Why China's Rise Doesn't Threaten the West (Oxford, 2010) and Forging Reform in China: The Fate of State-Owned Industry (Cambridge, 1998). He is also the author of numerous articles in both academic and non-academic journals. 

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