Dr Jean Christopher (Chris) Mittelstaedt


Departmental Lecturer in Modern Chinese Studies


Faculty / College Address:

China Centre
Dickson Poon Building
Canterbury Road
Oxford OX2 6LU


Research Interests:

Modern Chinese history, in particular the Cultural Revolution and the reform era.

Ideological and organizational developments in the Chinese Communist Party and their impact on other fields such as law, Party-state, and Party-society relations.


Current Projects:

Xi Jinping and Time (Book project)

Developing the Chinese Communist Party's intra-Party rules system

The use of digital technologies within the Chinese Communist Party

Institutional responses to the perceived threat of hostile forces in China

Rebuilding the Party-state during the Cultural Revolution


Courses Taught:

Chinese Law and Society (undergraduate and graduate, 2018-20)

Chinese Communist Party (undergraduate, 2019-20)

Chinese Law and Governance (undergraduate and graduate, 2020-23)

Chinese Contemporary Politics and Government (undergraduate 2021-22) 

Humanities Research Methods ("Anthropology in China" and "Ideology") (graduate 2020-23) 

Lectures: Campaigns in governance in China, the Cultural Revolution, ideology in China, the Chinese Communist Party's organization and resilience, the political-legal system, China's Constitution, Xi Jinping Thought, China's economy in the reform and opening period, China's international relations in the reform and opening period, economic inequality and others.


Peer-reviewed publications:

"Culture for the Masses: Building Grassroots Cultural Infrastructure in China." Modern China (2023): 00977004231206177.

"Party-Building through Ideological Campaigns under Xi Jinping. Asian Survey 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2023.1983457

"From Social Management to Mobilisation: The Evolving Grid Management System in Shenzhen”, China Perspectives [Online], 133 | 2023, Online since 01 June 2024, connection on 03 July 2023. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/15109; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/chinaperspectives.15109

"The grid management system in contemporary China: Grass-roots governance in social surveillance and service provision." China Information 36.1 (2022): 3-22.

"Rebuilding Authority: The Party's Relationship with Its Grassroots Organizations." The China Quarterly 248.S1 (2021): 244-264.


Book chapters

with Patricia M. Thornton, “How to Think Xi Jinping Thought” in State and Society in 21st Century China, Edited by Stanley Rosen and Daniel Lynch. Routledge (forthcoming 2024)


Book reviews:

The Party Leads All: The Evolving Role of the Chinese Communist Party Edited by Jacques DeLisle and Guobin Yang. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. viii 427 pp. $49.79; £45.15 (pbk). ISBN 9780815739517. The China Quarterly, 1-2. doi:10.1017/S0305741023000449

"Puppets or Agents? "Thugs-for-Hire" and Brokers between State and Society." Asia Policy 30, no. 1 (2023): 175-178. doi:10.1353/asp.2023.0014.



"China’s “New Era” with Xi Jinping characteristics." China Analysis. European Council on Foreign Relations (2017).




Jean Christopher Mittelstaedt