Christopher Carothers

Christopher Carothers

  • CDDRL Postdoctoral Scholar, 2019-20


I am a scholar of comparative politics and currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Contemporary China. My research is on authoritarianism and corruption control with a regional focus on East Asia—especially China, the Koreas, and Taiwan. My first book, Corruption Control in Authoritarian Regimes: Lessons from East Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2022), is about why some autocrats are motivated to curb corruption, why their efforts succeed or fail, and what the political consequences of such efforts are. I received my Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University in 2019.

My writing has been published or is forthcoming in numerous academic and policy journals, including Perspectives on Politics, Government and Opposition, the Journal of Democracy, Politics and Society, the Journal of Contemporary China, the Journal of East Asian Studies, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the China Leadership Monitor, and The National Interest.

Before academia, I lived and traveled in East Asia for several years, learning Chinese and Korean along the way. I worked for The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong, taught English in Xinjiang, and studied Korean in Seoul. I received my B.A. (summa cum laude), also from Harvard, in Social Studies and East Asian Studies.