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 had focused on China’s domestic political economy, domestic bureaucratic and regulatory behavior, and Chinese foreign economic policy.  She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University and was an Associate Professor 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, and Review of International Political Economy

Pearson’s ongoing research topics include state control of the economy, central-local bureaucratic relations, and innovation in green energy firms.  On Chinese foreign policy, Pearson’s ongoing projects include determinants of Beijing’s behavior in global institutions, 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

Former Students

  • Ciqi Mei
    Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, Tsinghua University
  • Jessica Teets (UMCP BA)
    Associate Professor, Middlebury College
  • Yukyung Yeo
    Assistant Professor, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
  • Fengshi Wu (committee member)
    Associate Professor of Politics and IR, University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Sungmoon Kim (committee member)
    Professor, City University of Hong Kong
  • Allison Berland
    Lecturer, Mt. Saint Mary's University
  • Jean Yuan (committee member)
    Research Division, USITC
  • Kimberly Wilson
    Assistant Professor, Eastern Tennessee State University
  • Michael Davidson (MIT)
    Assistant Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego
  • Naoko Aoki
    Stanton Fellow, RAND

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Evan Jones
  • Jiun-Da Lin
  • Xiaonan Wang
3115 Chincoteague Hall
Department of Government and Politics
mpearson [at]