Jessica C. Weiss is an associate professor of government at Cornell University. She studies the role of domestic politics in foreign policy and international relations, with a focus on popular sentiment and nationalist protest in China and the Asia-Pacific.
Her first book, Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, August 2014), examines the role of nationalism in China’s foreign relations. Examining dozens of episodes of anti-foreign mobilization in China from 1985 to 2012, she concludes that the Chinese government has carefully chosen when to tolerate or repress grassroots nationalist mobilization to signal resolve or reassurance.
Her ongoing research investigates how domestic political dynamics may facilitate compromise or exacerbate conflict. Understanding how different regime types understand and interact with one another is critical to assessing the risk of conflict in a region characterized by a diversity of political institutions and deep ambivalence over China’s rise. She is currently working on a series of papers and a second book project to uncover how autocracy, democracy, and the interactions between regime types affect prospects for peace.
Dr. Weiss received her Ph.D. in political science in 2008 from the University of California, San Diego and joined the faculty at Yale University for several years as assistant professor of political science. Her research explores the connection between domestic politics and the international relations of authoritarian states. Her dissertation, Powerful Patriots: Nationalism, Diplomacy, and the Strategic Logic of Anti-Foreign Protest in China, analyzes the pattern of nationalist protest in China in the post-Mao era. To explain why Chinese and other authoritarian leaders sometimes allow and sometimes suppress nationalist protests, she identifies the conditions under which nationalist protests can be effective diplomatic bargaining chips. She recently published a book based on her dissertation, Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press 2014).
Weiss has received fellowships from the Department of Education Fulbright-Hays program, the National Science Foundation IGERT program, and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science, where she founded the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES).
Weiss, Jessica Chen. "Circumstances, Domestic Audiences, and Reputational Incentives in International Crisis Bargaining." Journal of Conflict Resolution (with Alexandre Debs), forthcoming and OnlineFirst. Ungated version
Weiss, Jessica Chen. "The Political Geography of Nationalist Protest in China: Cities and the 2012 Anti-Japanese Demonstrations."
The China Quarterly 222 (June 2015): 403-29 (with Jeremy Wallace). Ungated version
“Popular Protest, Nationalism, and Domestic-International Linkages in Chinese Politics,” in Emerging Trends in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, ed. Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn. Wiley & Sons.
Weiss, Jessica Chen. "Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences and Nationalist Protest in China." International Organization 67(1): 1-35 (2013).
Weiss, Jessica Chen. "The Sino-Vietnamese Standoff in the South China Sea," Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Winter/Spring 2012. (with John D. Ciorciari). (2012)
Weiss, Jessica C. “The Need for Liberalization in China: Electoral Reform and the People’s Congress System.” Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs (2003): 39-44.
Weiss, Jessica C. “Stability, Development, and Democracy: Conflicting Objectives? U.S. Aid to Egypt, 1975-2000.” Stanford Journal of International Relations, Vol. IV, No. 1, (2002): 48-57.