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.  Her research focuses on China’s domestic political economy, domestic bureaucratic and regulatory behavior, and Chinese foreign economic policy.  She 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 publications include the books 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 Press, 1991).  Her articles have appeared in World Politics, Security Studies, The China Journal, Public Administration Review, Governance, Journal of Contemporary China, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Review of International Political Economy

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

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
3115 Chincoteague Hall
Department of Government and Politics
mpearson [at]