Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Wei Liang


I am passionate about exploring the relationship between politics and economics and the policy issues derived from the interaction, including trade, development and governance.

I love being a professor at MIIS because our faculty and students share the sense of consciousness and responsibility as citizens of global, national, and local communities.

Professor Liang specializes in international trade and development policy, global economic and environmental governance and international negotiation, international political economy of East Asia and China. Her research and teaching have concentrated on the governance of the national and world economy—why governments and international organizations do what do in international economic relations. She has conducted field research in Asia, Europe and the United states, in order to learn directly from the policy practitioners. Many institutions have invited her to lecture—in the UK, China, Korea, as well as the United States. She is a member of International Studies Association, American Political Science Association and a board director of Association of Chinese Political Studies (ACPS).

A graduate of Peking University, People’s Republic of China, she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California. Before joining our faculty at MIIS, she had teaching and research appointments at Florida International University, San Francisco State University and Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), UC Berkeley, where she did her postdoctoral research.


  • Co-author of China and East Asia’s Post-Crises Community (2012).
  • Co-editor of China in Global Trading Governance (2013).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Tough Love: US-China Economic Relations between Competition and Interdependence”, in Jean-Marc Blanchard and Simon Shen, ed. US-China Relations: Change and Continuity, Conflict and Cooperation, and Causes and Cures, Routledge, 2015.
  • “China and Japan’s FTA Negotiations” (co-authored with Junji Nakagawa), in Scott Kennedy ed., China and Global Governance: the Dragon’s Learning Curve, Global Institutions Series, Routledge, forthcoming.
  • “Asian Regionalism: A Game Theory Approach to Understand the US and China Competition”, chap. 7 in Xunda Yu and Shunji Cui (eds) Beyond History: Reconciliation, Cooperation and Social Integration in Northeast Asia, Zhejiang University Press, 2015.
  • “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Global and Regional Trade Governance”, in David A. Deese ed. International Political Economy of Trade, Edward Elgar, 2014.
  • “US, East Asian FTAs, and China”, (co-authored with Jean-Marc Blanchard) in Jiaxiang Hu and Matthias Vanhullebusch, ed. Regional Cooperation and Free Trade Agreements in Asia, Brill, 2014.
  • “China and Japan’s FTA Strategies and Regional Integration in the Asia- Pacific,” (co-authored with Junji Nakagawa) in Scott Kennedy and Shuaihua Cheng, ed., From Rule Takers to Rule Makers: the Growing Role of Chinese in Global Governance, International Centre for Trade & Sustainable Development in Geneva, September 2012.
  • “The Too “Hard” Sources of China’s Soft Power in Africa: Is Economic Power Sufficient?” Asian Perspective, No.4, 2012.
  • “U.S. Antidumping Actions against China: The Impact of China's Entry into the WTO”, (Coauthored with Ka Zeng), Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 17, Issue 3, August 2010, pp.562-588.
  • “China’s FTA Negotiation in Asia and the Prospect of Asian Integration”, in Baogang Guo, ed., China's Quiet Rise: Peace through Integration, Lexington Books, May 2011.
  • “Changing Climate? China’s New Interest in Multilateral Climate Change Negotiation,” in Joel Kassiola ed., China’s Environmental Crisis: Domestic and Global Political Impacts and Responses, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
  • “Primacy of Power: Regulatory Battles for Promoting National Standards in China”, in Ilan Alon ed., China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
  • “China: Globalization and the Emergence of a New Status Quo Power?” Asia Perspective, Spring 2008.
  • “New Africa Policy: China’s Quest for Oil and Influence”, in Sujian Guo and Jean-Marc F. Blanchard eds., Harmonious World and China's New Foreign Policy (Rowman & Littlefield-Lexington, 2008).
  • “U.S.-China Semiconductor Disputes and its impacts on U.S. Semiconductor Industry” and “Two-Level Games: How Domestic Politics Affected China’s Foreign Economic Policy”, in Ka Zeng ed., The Making of China’s Foreign Trade Policy: Implications for the World Trading System, Routledge, 2007.
  • “China’s WTO Accession Negotiation Process and Its Implications,” Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 11, Issue 32, August 2002.

Current Research Focus

  • Emerging markets in Global Economic and Environmental governance.
  • FTA and WTO negotiations.
  • U.S.-China Economic Relations and regional integration in East Asia.
  • International Trade Policy and Trade Negotiation
  • Globalization and Global Economic and Environmental Governance
  • Trade and Development in Emerging Markets
  • International Political Economy of East Asia
  • US-Asia Policy
  • Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy


  • PhD, MA, International Relations and International Political Economy, University of Southern California.
  • BA, International Politics, Peking University, China.
Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

SUMR 1006 - Trade/Diplomacy/Dev. in China      

Trade, Diplomacy and Development in China
In this off-campus course we will conduct academic research to explore the topics of trade, diplomacy, and development in China. In the spring, students will work with the professors to develop projects before the program, including designing appropriate research methodology such as interviews, statistical analysis, and other methodologies. Next, in June, we will travel to China where top scholars will workshop our research ideas, and then travel to two research sites in teams consisting of a professor and a team of MIIS and Middlebury students. At each site, the team will conduct fieldwork using the methodologies developed on campus. Our hope is that students will select an area of interest that will become the focus of a final project continued into the next year as a senior thesis, masters thesis, or independent study. All publications from this fieldwork will list student names as either coauthors or research assistants. Students will be expected to adhere to all safety and health policies, and to engage in culturally sensitive practices. Some familiarity with Chinese political economy and language would be helpful, but we will have MIIS interpreters accompanying each team to help those without the necessary language skills.
In addition to the application form, interested students should also email the following information to olewis@middlebury.edu">middlebury.edu">middlebury.edu: an unofficial transcript; a short statement that includes major, minor(s), year abroad experiences (past or planned); and a two-page single-spaced essay (500 words) explaining why you would like to take the course, your goals for the experience, and the particular strengths, interests, and experiences you would bring to the course. Please submit the application materials to Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu). For additional information, please contact Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu), or Professor Liang (wliang@miis.edu). Application Deadline: February 26th.

Dates: June 7, 2016 – July 5, 2016
June 7-14 Beijing Orientation
June 14-July 5 Field Site (Beijing or Kunming)

Program Costs: $6,000 plus travel and personal expenses

AAL Summer Study SOC

Summer Study 2016

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DPPG 8579 / ITDG 8579 / TICH 9579 - China:Trade,Diplomacy&Dvlopmnt      

China: Trade, Diplomacy & Development

The rise of China over the last two decades is one of the most significant events that shape trade and economic development, and geopolitics. Its implications on worldly issues from global and regional peace and security to the sustainability of the environment are profound. The China factor is an amalgamation of dynamic, complex and interactive forces that appear as problems, puzzles or challenges. This course aims to provide an orientation for students to understand those forces, especially those related to the major stakeholders and their evolving relationships, policies and game rules, and collective behaviors. The orientation is grounded in both Chinese historical and cultural legacies and the contexts of China’s state building, modernization and globalization.

This course provides graduates with a broad introduction to Contemporary China’s political, economic, and strategic challenges. The course covers a wide array of topics in primarily three areas: trade, foreign policy and development challenges. More specifically, the topics include Chinese imperial legacies and revolution, contemporary political institutions and policy making processes, the opening of China and its reforms and their resulting challenges, China’s role in global peace and development, its relations with U.S., Russia and the other Asian powers and the other powers of the world powers, and the mainland-Taiwan relation, China’s trade and investment policy before and during the reform era, the Chinese economic regime and policy making process, China’s industrial policy and national standard strategy, and China’s environmental and energy challenges and sustainable development.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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DPPG 8614 / IPMG 9614 - SemFrgnPolcy,Trade&SecEastAsia      

Seminar: Foreign Policy, Trade & Security East Asia

East Asia is a dynamic region of great importance by virtue of its population size, economic dynamism, and political and security challenges. The impact of the region’s international relations is felt not only by the countries geographically located in the region but also by the rest of the world. The region is characterized by diversity in terms of historical, civilizational, and ethno-cultural backgrounds, political systems, levels of economic development, and foreign relations, as well as global impact, making regional relations very complex and sometimes very difficult, for major powers and smaller powers alike. This course will examine a broad range of foreign policy, trade, and security issues that present both opportunities and challenges to the regional countries and the United States. The students will learn first-hand the perspectives of local experts on the regional issues the seminar addresses through guest-lectures, interviews, library research, and discussions with local university students. Visit the East Asia Practicum site for more information http://sites.miis.edu/eastasia/important-deadlines/

Dec 16- $100 deposit due; Mar 3 - remainder of program fee due.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

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DPPG 8620 - China Field Practicum      

Fall 2016 - MIIS

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DPPG 8648 - Sem:Glbl Econ & Env Governance      

Does a global order require global governance regimes and institutions? Can the world be effectively governed? Is justice a legitimate concern of global governance? This course identifies the critical issues of global economic and environmental governance in a highly interdependent world and formulates policy responses to them. Free trade, financial stability, development and climate Change mitigation are the paradigmatic cases for what economists term “externality”, thus raising the need for coordination of governmental actions at the global, or supra-national level. International economic and climate policy coordination is widely seen as fostering economic growth and sustainable development of its member states. Yet the benefits and burdens are often unevenly distributed within states.

This seminar will examine the politics of global economic and environmental governance, focusing on how global norms, rules and formal international institutions facilitate cooperation and mitigate conflict in the world economy. Our broader objective is to attain a sufficient level of historical and contemporary knowledge of global economic and environmental governance to be fully versant in current policy debates and to provide critical analyses of the relevance, legitimacy and effectiveness of these global institutions today.

The course is divided into four sections. The first section introduces to the various concepts, major theories and approaches to global governance. The second section analyzes the core architectural elements of the current system of global economic and environmental governance, including the WTO, IMF, World Bank and UNFCCC. In section III, we will build a nexus between trade, finance, development aid and environment as these issues have fundamental impact on global sustainable development. The concluding section examines the emerging trend of the nexus of economic and environment that will reshape current patterns in global governance.

Fall 2016 - MIIS

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ITDG 8515 / DPPG 8515 - Intro TradePolcy &Institutions      

This course serves as an introduction to the environments, processes, and main issues that compose the universe of trade policies. Because of the growing complexities of a more interdependent international environment, students need to expand their knowledge, sensitivity and skills in trade policies. Focus on the changing international environment, its trading institutions, key actors and issues; practices of analyzing, formulating and negotiating key trade policy issues.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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ITDG 8686 / DPPG 9686 - SEM:Intl Trade Negotiation Sim      

Frequent negotiations between governments, international organizations, companies, and other nongovernmental actors are central in specifying what globalization and global governance mean for people. But what happens in these negotiations? What determines their outcomes? Could the negotiators do better? This seminar concentrates on this ubiquitous process of international negotiation over economic and other issues and helps students launch original research on this subject. This course is designed to help improve your skill as a negotiator, while you learn more about bargaining theory in the context of global political economy. It offers a conceptual framework to help you diagnose most bargaining situations. It begins simply and adds complications one at a time. You will develop a feel for the process by dissecting what professionals did in historical episodes--economic, environmental, and military-political--and by watching experienced negotiators and mediators on tape. You will practice applying these ideas by negotiating with other students through in-class simulation.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

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NPTG 8517 / IEPG 9517 / ITDG 9517 / MBAG 9617 / DPPG 9517 - Intl Crisis Negotiatn Exercise      

Jammu-Kashmir Simulation: Developed and facilitated by faculty and staff of the Army War College, this weekend long simulation takes the form of a strategic-level negotiation exercise at an internationally sanctioned peace conference. The conference has been called to break the long-standing conflict in Jammu-Kashmir. Participants role-play members of a diplomatic mission on one of seven negotiation delegations invited to the conference. The teams are charged by their governments with negotiating a solution advantageous to their national interests. Each team is mentored by a member of the university faculty, an invited regional subject matter expert, or a retired U.S. Ambassador. Exercise play is open-ended, run by the participants themselves without injects or predetermined outcomes – the situations are complex enough on their own merits to drive the exercise.

The immersion allows students to experience:

• Regional Situation Analysis

• Negotiation Techniques

• Strategic Thinking

• Leadership

• Planning and Evaluation

• Decision Making

• Team Building

• Time Management

A novel aspect of the simulation is that it will include students from Stanford, the Naval Postgraduate School, and CSUMB.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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