Jennifer Pan

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Communication
Stanford University

Jennifer Pan Profile Photo






My research focuses on the politics of authoritarian (non-democratic) countries in the digital age. How autocrats constrain collective action through online censorship, propaganda, and responsiveness. How information proliferation influences the ability of authoritarian regimes to collect reliable information. How public preferences are arranged and formed. I combine experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity in China and other authoritarian regimes to examine these questions.

Book Project

My book manuscript, When Autocrats Can’t Buy Stability, shows how welfare provision is aimed at preventing collective action in China, but instead intensifies contention and catalyzes collective action. Combining theoretical and empirical evidence, my book reveals the failure of formal institutions and the symbiotic nature of redistributive and repressive strategies for social control.


Pan, Jennifer and Yiqing Xu. Forthcoming. “China’s Ideological Spectrum.” The Journal of Politics. 2017. (PDF, Replication)

Pan, Jennifer. Forthcoming. “How Chinese Officials Use the Internet to Construct their Public Image.” Political Science Research and Methods. 2017. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Jaros, Kyle and Jennifer Pan. Forthcoming. “China’s Newsmakers: How Media Power is Shifting in the Xi Jinping Era.” The China Quarterly. 2016. (PDF, Appendix)

King, Gary, Pan, Jennifer and Margaret E. Roberts. 2017. “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument.” American Political Science Review 111(3): 484-501. 2017. (PDF, Replication)

Pan, Jennifer. 2017. “How Market Dynamics of Domestic and Foreign Social Media Firms Shape Strategies of Internet Censorship.” Problems of Post-Communism 64(3-4): 167-188. (PDF)

Meng, Tianguang; Pan, Jennifer; and Ping Yang. 2017. “Conditional Receptivity to Citizen Participation: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in China.” Comparative Political Studies 50(4): 399–433. (PDF, Replication)

Chen, Jidong; Pan, Jennifer; and Yiqing Xu. 2016. “Sources of Authoritarian Responsiveness: A Field Experiment in China.” American Journal of Political Science 60(2): 383-400. (PDF, Replication)

Monroe, Burt L.; Pan, Jennifer; Roberts, Margaret E.; Sen, Maya, and Betsy Sinclair. 2015. “No! Formal Theory, Causal Inference, and Big Data Are Not Contradictory Trends in Political Science.” PS: Political Science and Politics. (PDF)

King, Gary, Pan, Jennifer, and Margaret Roberts. 2014. “Reverse-engineering Censorship in China: Randomized Experimentation and Participant Observation.” Science 345, no. 6199: 1-10. (PDF, Supplement, Summary, Replication)

King, Gary, Pan, Jennifer, and Margaret Roberts. 2013. “How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression.” American Political Science Review 107(2): 1-18. (PDF, Replication)

Zhang, Fujie, Hsu, Michael, Yu, Lan, Wen, Yi, Tuo, Jia, Zhang, Ruijuan, and Jennifer Pan. 2006. “Initiation of the National Free ART Program in Rural China,” in Joan Kaufman, Arthur Kleinman, and Tony Saich, eds. Social Policies and HIV/AIDS in China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 96-124. (PDF)

Zhang, Fujie, Pan, Jennifer, Yu, Lan, Wen, Yi, Ma Ye, Zhao, Yan. 2005. “Current Progress of China’s Free ART Program.” Cell Research. 15(11-12): 877-882. (Link)

Zhang, Fujie, Wen, Yi, Yu, Lan, Ma, Ye, Pan, Jie and Yan Zhao. 2005. “Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS and Current Situation of China Free ARV Program.” Science and Technology Review 7(23): 24-29. (Link)