Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Prof. Dr. Sarah Eaton

Prof. Dr. Sarah Eaton
Sarah Eaton
Visiting Address
Johannisstr. 10, 4. EG, Raum 403


(030) 2093-66123
(030) 2093-66131
Consultation hours

Please contact via E-Mail


Sarah Eaton is Professor of Transregional China Studies at Humboldt University Berlin and co-founder of the Berlin Contemporary China Network. She is interested in the study of contemporary Chinese politics and political economy from comparative and transregional perspectives. Her current projects examine China’s role in high-tech standardization, the state of play in SOE policy in the Xi Jinping era and a multi-year Deutsche Forschung Gemeinschaft-funded study of changing interjurisdictional relations between local governments in China. In 2020, she and co-author Daniel Fuchs received an “Albie Award” recognizing the year’s best work on global political economy for their analysis of a Sino-German technical standardization partnership. 

Before joining HU Berlin in October 2019, she held professorships at the University of Göttingen, the University of Oxford and the University of Waterloo. She holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto (2011). Her book, Advance of the State in Contemporary China (Cambridge, 2016) analyzed the ideational roots of Chinese state capitalism and the results of her other research have appeared in political science and area studies journals, including New Political Economy, Review of International Political Economy, Environmental Politics, The China Quarterly and the The China Journal.



  • Not at the table but stuck paying the bill: Perceptions of injustice in China’s Xin’anjiang Eco-compensation program Jiang Xinhui, Sarah Eaton & Genia Kostka Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 2021.
  • “Deepening Not Departure: Xi Jinping's Governance of China's State-owned Economy” The China Quarterly, published online, September 23rd 2021.
  • "Diffusion of Practice: The Curious Case of the Sino-German Technical Standardisation Partnership" with Daniel Fuchs New Political Economy, published online, July 28th 2021.
  • "Economic Legitimation in a New Era: Public Attitudes to State Ownership and Market Regulation in China” with Reza Hasmath The China Quarterly DOI.
  • “What makes for good and bad neighbours? An emerging research agenda in the study of Chinese environmental politics” with Genia Kostka Environmental Politics Vol. 27 Iss. 5, April 2018.
  • “Central Protectionism in China: The ‘Central SOE Problem’ in Environmental Governance” with Genia Kostka The China Quarterly Vol. 231, September 2016.
  • The Advance of the State in Contemporary China: State-Market Relations in the Reform Era, (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • “Authoritarian Environmentalism Undermined? Leaders’ Time Horizons and Consequences for Environmental Policy Implementation” with Genia Kostka The China Quarterly Vol. 218, June 2014.
  • “The Gradual Encroachment of an Idea: Large Enterprise Groups in China” Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 31 No. 2, December 2013.
  • “Political Economy of the Advancing State: The Case of China’s Airlines Reform” The China Journal Issue 69, January 2013.
  • “A Principal-Agent Analysis of China’s Sovereign Wealth System: Byzantine by Design” with Zhang Ming in Review of International Political Economy Vol. 17 No. 3, August 2010.
  • “Is ASEAN Powerful? Neorealist versus Constructivist Approaches to Power in Southeast Asia” with Richard Stubbs The Pacific Review Vol. 19 No. 2, June 2006.
  • “Crisis and the Consolidation of Accounting Standards: Enron, the IASB and America” Business and Politics Vol. 7 No. 3, December 2005.


Third-Party Funding