Rongbin Han


Assistant Professor of International Affairs

Curriculum Vitae

Rongbin Han is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 2012, under the supervision of Kevin J. O’Brien. He was born in East China’s Jiangsu Province and got his bachelor degree in International Studies from Peking University, Beijing, China. He also received a Master of Social Sciences from National University of Singapore in 2006.

Education
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 2012, Political Science
  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley 2007, Political Science
  • Master of Social Sciences, National University of Singapore 2006, Social Sciences
  • B.A., Peking University 2003, International Studies
More About

Rongbin Han is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 2012, under the supervision of Kevin J. O’Brien. He was born in East China’s Jiangsu Province and got his bachelor degree in International Studies from Peking University, Beijing, China. He also received a Master of Social Sciences from National University of Singapore in 2006.

Dr. Han’s research interests are social activism, media politics, political participation, and democratization. His area focus is China. He has published on village elections in China. His dissertation studies Internet governance in China and highlights how the state and non-state actors interact on online forums and bulletin board systems. He argues that besides the cat-and-mouse censorship game in which the state, forum management and users struggle over the freedom of expression, state and social actors also engage in discourse competition to engineer online popular opinion to their advantage. In discourse competition, the regime, its challengers and netizens with various dispositions rely on identity and expressive power to win support or defame their opponents.

Besides internet politics, Dr. Han is also working on several other projects, including elite mobilization in Chinese heritage preservation movement and politics of land appropriation in peri-urban China.

Areas of Expertise
  • East Asian and Chinese Politics
  • Social Activism
  • Media & Cyber Politics
  • Political Participation
  • Comparative Democratization
Honors, Awards, and Achievements

AWARDS AND GRANTS                                                          

  • 2011-2012: Finishing Fellowship, Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley
  • 2011-2012: Haas Junior Scholars Program Grant
  • 2011: Graduate Division Summer Grant, UC Berkeley
  • 2010: Elvera Kwang Siam Lim Fellowship in Chinese Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley
  • 2009-2010: Dean’s Normative Fellowship, UC Berkeley
  • 2007-2009: Non-Resident Tuition Fellowship, UC Berkeley
  • 2008: Center for Chinese Studies Summer Research Grant, UC Berkeley
  • 2006-2007: Department Fellowship, Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley
  • 2005: National University of Singapore Travel Grant
  • 2003-2005: National University of Singapore Research Scholarship
  • 2004: Asia Research Institute Fieldwork Funding for National University of Singapore Graduate Students
  • 2003: Excellent Graduate Award of Beijing Municipality
  • 2003: Excellent Graduate Award of Peking University
  • 2000-2003: Yingcai Scholarship of Peking University
  • 2002: Excellence Award for fieldwork paper competition (China Reform Magazine)
  • 2001: Danish government stipend for Exchange Student at Denmark’s International Study Program (DIS) affiliated to Copenhagen University
Course Instruction
  • INTL 4360 East Asian Political Systems
  • INTL 8300 Chinese Politics
  • INTL 3300 Comparative Politics
  • INTL 8405 Digital Media and Comparative Politics
  • INTL 4665 Digital Media and Global Politics
Research Interests
  • Comparative Democratization
  • Media Politics
  • Social Activism
  • Politics of Authoritarian Regimes
  • East Asian Politics
  • Chinese Politics
Selected Publications

PUBLICATIONS                                                                  

  • “Cyber Activism in China: Empowerment, Control, and Beyond,” in Axel Bruns, Eli Skogerbø, Christian Christensen, Anders Olof Larsson, and Gunn Sara Enli (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (Routledge, forthcoming).
  • “Defending the Authoritarian Regime Online: The ‘Voluntary Fifty-Cent Army’,” forthcoming in China Quarterly.
  • “Challenging, But Not Trouble-Making: Cultural Elites in China’s Heritage Preservation” (with Yao Yuan), forthcoming in Journal of Contemporary China.
  • “College Education and Attitudes toward Democracy in China: An Empirical Study” (with Gang Wang and Liyun Wu), Asia Pacific Education Review, August 2015.
  • “Manufacturing Consent in Cyberspace: China’s ‘Fifty-Cent Army’,” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 44: 2(2015), 105-134.
  • “Path to Democracy? Assessing Village Elections in China” (with Kevin J. O’Brien), Journal of Contemporary China 18:60 (2009), 359-378. (Also translated and published in a Chinese journal: “民主之路?——中国村民选举评析”(与欧博文合著),国外理论动态,no. 7 (2011).)
  •  Chinese Translation of W. Phillips Shively, The Craft of Political Research (6th Edition) (Prentice Hall Press, 2006) (with Jiguang Guo, Hengfu Ruan, Yuanyuan Wang, and Dan Li), (政治科学研究方法, W. Phillips Shively著, 新知译, 上海人民出版社, 2006.)

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • “Combating Corruption Online: Citizen Participation and State Responses in China,” Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, September 5, 2015.
  • “Three Images of ‘Public Intellectuals’ Contesting Online Expression in China,” paper presented at the 13th China Internet Research Conference, University of Alberta, Canada, May 27-28, 2015.
  • “Paying Lip Service or Taking It Seriously? How Chinese Government Respond to Online Complaints” (with Yuan Wang), paper presented at the 13th China Internet Research Conference, University of Alberta, Canada, May 27-28, 2015.
  • “Imagined Enemies: Political Critics and the Backlash in Chinese Cyberspace,” paper presented at Midwest Political Science Association 2015 Conference, Chicago, April 16, 2015.
  • “Manufacturing “China Dream”: State Censorship and Political Astroturfing in Chinese Cyberspace,” paper presented at Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Chicago, March 27, 2015.
  • “Not Organized, But Linked: Networked Activism in China’s Land Expropriation,” paper presented at AAS-in-Asia Conference, Singapore, July 17-19, 2014.
  • “Contesting Heritage Preservation in China: The Critical Role of Cultural Elites” (with Yuan Yao), paper presented at Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, March 28, 2014.
  • “Contesting Authoritarian Rule: Pop Activism in Chinese Cyberspace,” Comedy and Satire as Protest in Asia Workshop, Center for Asian Democracy, University of Louisville, October 18, 2013.
  •  “Adaptive Persuasion in Cyberspace: The ‘Fifty Cents Army’ in China,” Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, September 1, 2013.
  •  “When Playful Netizens Meet the Authoritarian State: Pop Activism in Chinese Cyberspace,” Ninth Annual Graduate Seminar on China, Chinese University of Hong Kong, January 9-12, 2013.
  • “Defending the Authoritarian Regime Online: The Rise of Voluntary Fifty Centers in Chinese Cyberspace,” The 10th Chinese Internet Research Conference, University of Southern California, May 22, 2012.
  •  “The Invisible Border of Cyberspace: Online Communities and Public Sphericules,”  “Placing East Asia: A Graduate Student Conference on Urbanism and the Production of Space,” Haas Junior Scholars Program and Institute of East Asian Studies, U.C. Berkeley, March 2, 2012.
  • “Irony, Pop Contention and Its Discontents: Dynamics of Public Discussion in Chinese Cyberspace,” “The Art and Politics of Irony,” Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, McGill University, April 13, 2012.
  •  “Social Resistance in Chinese Cyberspace,” Talk at Chinese Youth University for Political Sciences, Beijing, China, May 20, 2010.
  •  “Weak Weapons vs. Organized Resistance in Rural China,” Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2005 Conference “Futuring Asia: Contemporary Challenges and Emerging Realities,” Tokyo, Japan, Aug 22-25 2005.