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Sara Newland

Assistant Professor of Government

Sara Newland


Wright Hall 202


Sara Newland is a scholar of local politics in China and Taiwan, and seeks to understand the behavior of local officials as domestic public servants and as actors in international relations. Her research on local governance and public service provision has been published in China Quarterly and Governance. Her new work focuses on subnational diplomacy, and in particular on the role that state and local officials play in the complicated relationships between the U.S., China and Taiwan. Her work on U.S.-Taiwan subnational engagement has been published in Pacific Review, and she is currently working on a book project (with Kyle Jaros) on U.S.-China subnational diplomacy in an era of rising great power competition.  

At Smith, Newland teaches courses on East Asian politics, comparative politics and research design. She also runs the East Asian Politics Lab, where Smith undergraduates conduct paid research on the politics of China and Taiwan.

Newland is a member of the U.S.-Taiwan Next Generation Working Group and a fellow in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Previously, she was an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University and a China public policy postdoctoral fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School.

Selected Publications

Sara A. Newland. "Teaching Chinese Politics in the 'New Cold War': A Survey of Faculty." Forthcoming, PS: Political Science and Politics.

Sara A. Newland. 2023. "Direct Election, Bureaucratic Appointment and Local Government Responsiveness in Taiwan." The China Quarterly 254: 494-504.

Sara A. Newland. 2023. "Paradiplomacy as a Response to International Isolation: The Case of Taiwan." Pacific Review 36(4): 784-812.

Sara A. Newland and John Chung-en Liu. 2021. “Ethnic Identity and Local Government Responsiveness in Taiwan.” Governance 34(3): 875–892.

Sara A. Newland and Bridget Black. 2020. “More than Multiple Choice: A Toolbox for Incorporating Clickers Into Political Science Courses.Journal of Political Science Education 16(2): 158–175.

Innovators and Implementers: The Multilevel Politics of Civil Society Governance in Rural China.” 2018. China Quarterly 233: 22–42.

Which Public? Whose Goods? What We Know (and What We Don’t) About Public Goods in Rural China.” 2016. China Quarterly 228: 881–904.

Responding to China’s Rise: US and EU Strategies, edited by Vinod K. Aggarwal and Sara A. Newland. 2014. Springer.

“Introduction," (with Vinod K. Aggarwal), pp. 3–26, in Responding to China’s Rise: US and EU Strategies, edited by Vinod K. Aggarwal and Sara A. Newland. 2014. Springer.

Office Hours

Spring 2024

Monday 10 a.m.–noon 
and by appointment.


Ph.D., M.A., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Wellesley College

Personal website

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks