Dr Yan Zhang currently works as British Academy Research Fellow at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, where she also serves as the Research Associate at the China Centre of Jesus College and Bye-Fellow of Newnham College. Dr Zhang also affiliates to the School of Development Studies at Yunnan University, China as Senior Research Fellow.
As a highly motivated economist with a strong background in economics, politics and public policy, Yan has also obtained six years’ first-hand working experience of public policy and practice in the Chinese government. Yan currently acts as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the British Academy research project of “Accelerating Sustainability among the People, Nature and Culture: the Political Economy of China’s Transformative Governance in the Lost Shangri-La”. In 2012, Yan was invited by the Global Heritage Fund and Rockefeller Foundation to work with the world’s leading economists, including Nobel prize winners Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Amartya Sen on the project of “Global Heritage and Economic Development” in New York City. Her Research Monograph “Governing the Commons in China” by the Routledge Studies on the Chinese Economy series was published in 2017. Yan received her MPhil and PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
Yan’s research interests include China urban development, smart cities/villages, sustainable development, development economics, political economics, welfare economics, public goods, common-pool resources (CPRs), energy, power industrial policy, hydropower, China, Southeast Asia, water governance, cultural heritage, cultural economics, public policy and practice, political philosophy and social anthropology