Margaret M. Pearson is Dr. Horace E. and Wilma V. Harrison Distinguished Professor, and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park. She also is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution. 

Pearson’s research on China's domestic politics focuses on state control of firms and the economy, central-local bureaucratic relations, and environmental policy. On Chinese foreign policy, Pearson’s ongoing projects examine reactions to China's overseas economic activities, determinants of Beijing’s behavior in global institutions, and climate change governance. She teaches courses on Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy, and on comparative politics. She has held a Fulbright Research Fellowship at Beijing University.

Pearson received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University and was an Associate Professor with tenure at Dartmouth College before moving to UMCP in 1996. Her books include China's Strategic Multilateralism: Investing in Global Governance (with Scott Kastner and Chad Rector, Cambridge University Press, 2019), China's New Business Elite: The Political Results of Economic Reform (University of California Press, 1997), and Joint Ventures in the People's Republic of China (Princeton University Press, 1991). Her articles appear in Journal of Politics, World Politics, International Security, Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, World Development, Public Administration Review, Governance, Studies in Comparative International Development, Review of International Political Economy, China Journal, China Quarterly, and Journal of Contemporary China.

Areas of Interest

  • Chinese Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy, Comparative Politics, International Political Economy


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Yale University, Political Science
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Smith College
Pearson 9.2022
3115 Chincoteague Hall
Department of Government and Politics
mpearson [at]