May Farid, University of Hong Kong

November 14th, 2022 - 10:00 am to 11:30 am


Co-Sponsored with the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR)

Dr. May Farid is a political scientist studying civil society, policy and development in contemporary China and beyond. She is currently conducting research on education policy in China as a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong and holds a doctorate (DPhil) from the University of Oxford, where she explored reciprocal engagement between grassroots groups and governmental authorities and during which she carried out extensive fieldwork in rural China. Her academic research and teaching are supplemented by seven years of experience with an international foundation running an institutional capacity building program for grassroots NGOs in China. Before joining HKU, she concluded a four-year research project on behalf of China’s leading government policy think-tank.

Dr. Farid’s research centers on the interplay between citizen initiatives and state policy and practice, and the implications of this dynamic for development and governance. Ordinary citizens are increasingly taking individual and collective initiative to address development challenges. Citizens of authoritarian regimes—and many democracies—struggle to have a voice in development and policy. How do citizen initiatives impact state policy and practice? What social and political dynamics foster citizen engagement? She has explored these questions by studying how Chinese grassroots NGOs influence policy, how cross-sector knowledge communities generate knowledge that intersects with the policy process, education and development policy in China’s ethnic minority regions, and how International NGOs intermediate China’s overseas aid and investment and in its Belt and Road Initiative. Her work has been published in International AffairsWorld DevelopmentStudies in Comparative DevelopmentVoluntas, and the Journal of Chinese Political Science.