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The Australian National University
Christian Sorace

Dr Christian Sorace


Visiting Assistant Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 2014–2015
PhD (Government), University of Texas at Austin, 2014
MA (Social Science), The University of Chicago, 2007
BA (Philosophy and Film Theory), Trinity College (Connecticut), 2003

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Christian Sorace is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World. His research focuses on the ideology, discourse, and political concepts of the Chinese Communist Party and how they shape policies, strategies, and governance habits. Christian’s book Shaken Authority: China’s Communist Party and the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake (under contract with Cornell University Press) analyzes the political trajectories and outcomes of the post-earthquake reconstruction project on the basis of how the CCP conceptualizes and attempts to engineer political economic development. He is currently finishing a series of articles on keywords in the CCP’s political vocabulary. Christian’s new research project is a cross-national comparison of planned urban redevelopment, demolition, and relocation in Mongolia and China. Before joining ANU-CIW, Christian received his PhD from the University of Texas – Austin focusing on Chinese politics, comparative politics, and political theory, an MA in social science from The University of Chicago, and a BA in philosophy and film theory from Trinity College (Connecticut). 

Other Languages

  • Chinese
  • Mongolian (Beginner)

Research Interests

  • Chinese Communist Party Discourse and Ideology
  • Political Epistemology
  • Crisis Governance
  • Urban and Rural Development
  • Aesthetics and Politics
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Current Projects

  • Televised Confessions and Self-Criticism in the Xi era
  • Chinese Communist Party political concepts
  • Cross-national comparison of planned urban redevelopment, demolition, and relocation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, China
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Selected Publications

Contributions to The China Story

‘In Rehab with Weiwei’, The China Story Journal, 14 October 2015, online at:


Shaken Authority: China’s Communist Party and the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.  Under Contract with Cornell University Press.

'Party Spirit Made Flesh: the Production of Legitimacy in the Aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake', The China Journal (forthcoming).  

'The Communist Party’s Miracle? The Alchemy of Turning Post-Disaster Reconstruction into Great Leap Development', Comparative Politics, Vol. 47, No. 4 (July 2015): 479–498.

'China’s Vision for Developing Sichuan’s Post-Earthquake Countryside: Turning Unruly Peasants into Grateful Urban Citizens', The China Quarterly, Vol. 218 (June 2014): 404–427.

'Ai Weiwei: China’s Last Communist', Critical Inquiry, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Winter 2014): 396–419.

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Related Websites

Updated:  19 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World