Austin Strange

Austin Strange

Research Interest

Chinese foreign policy, international political economy, international development, trade, and diplomacy.

Austin Strange is an assistant professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at The University of Hong Kong. He researches and teaches Chinese foreign policy, international political economy, and international development. Austin’s first research agenda investigates contemporary China’s overseas development finance. With colleagues, he is currently writing a book for Cambridge University Press on this topic. A separate book project examines shifts in China’s approach to global development and China’s influence in developing countries since 1949. His second agenda examines the domestic sources of trade and diplomacy across Chinese history. His research employs observational datasets, survey experiments, interviews, and archival work.

Austin is also a postdoctoral fellow with the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program. He received a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, M.A. from Zhejiang University, and B.A. from the College of William & Mary.

Austin researches and teaches Chinese foreign policy and international political economy. His research primarily focuses on China's historical and contemporary foreign economic policies. More information on his research is available at


Explaining Chinese Development Finance. Under contract. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney.

“Aid, China, and Growth: Evidence from a New Global Development Finance Dataset.” Conditionally accepted. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, and Michael Tierney. 

“Foreign Aid and the Status Quo: Evidence from Pre-Marshall Plan Aid.” 2019. Chinese Journal of International Politics 12(4): 585–613, with Daniel Markovits and Dustin Tingley. 

“Seven Decades of Chinese State Financing in Africa: Tempering Contemporary Debates.” 2019. Economic History of Developing Regions 34(3): 259–279. 

“Online Volunteer Laboratories for Human Subjects Research.” 2019. PLOS ONE 14(8): e0221676with Ryan Enos, Mark Hill, and Amy Lakeman. 

“Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa.” 2018. International Studies Quarterly 62(1): 182–194, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

“Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited.” 2017. Journal of Conflict Resolution 61(5): 935–963, with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

“‘Ground-Truthing’ Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from Uganda and South Africa.” 2016. Journal of Development Studies 52(6): 780–796, with Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Michael Tierney, and Bradley Parks. 

“Ripples of Change in Chinese Foreign Policy? Evidence from Recent Approaches to Nontraditional Waterborne Security.” 2014. Asia Policy 17: 93–126, with Andrew Erickson.

“Who Pursues Prestige Projects, and Why? Evidence from Chinese Development Finance.” Working paper.

“Trade Preferences in a Non-Democratic Regime: Evidence from Late Imperial China.” Working paper.

“Diplomacy and Domestic Authority: Ming and Qing Tribute Exchanges.” Working paper.

“Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries.” Working paper, with Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks and Michael Tierney. 

“Delegated Diplomacy: Why China Uses the Military for Face-to-Face Exchanges.” Working paper, with Tyler Jost. 

“Competing for Aid Recipients? Donor Responses to Chinese Development Finance.” Working paper, with Andreas Fuchs and Soo Yeon Kim.

“Autocratic Aid and Governance: What We Know, Don’t Know, and Need to Know.” 2019. American Political Science Association Annals of Comparative Democratization 17(2): 11–16, with Bradley Parks.

“China’s Blue Soft Power: Antipiracy, Engagement, and Image Enhancement.” 2015. Naval War College Review 68(1): 71–91, with Andrew Erickson.

Six Years at Sea...and Counting: Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy and China’s Maritime Commons Presence. 2015. Washington, D.C.: Jamestown Foundation, with Andrew Erickson.

“Aid to Africa: Harmful or Helpful?” 2014. China Economic Quarterly 18(2): 29–33, with Bradley Parks.

No Substitute for Experience: Chinese Anti-Piracy Activities in the Gulf of Aden. 2013. Newport: Naval War College Press China Maritime Study #10, with Andrew Erickson.