Sinan Chu

Political Science / Ph.D. Candidate

Sinan Chu

Contact Information


Comparative Politics, International Relations


Authoritarian Politics, Chinese Politics, State-Intellectual Relations, Theories of International Relations,  Constructivism


Sinan is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science at Maxwell School, Syracuse University and a Visiting Fellow at German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, Germany from 2016 to 2017 (under a scholarship from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung). Original from Beijing, China, he left his hometown in 2003 to pursue a BA in International Politics at Nanjing University (Jiangsu, China). In 2008 he began his graduate study in the United States. He has received a MA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Maxwell School, and has been a doctoral student since 2011.


Sinan’s interests cover a wide range of topics in comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Among them, one thing that attracts him particularly is the role of idea in politics. Consequently, he likes to look at the operation of authoritarian regimes – another research interest of his – from a historical and sociological perspective. In Sinan’s on-going dissertation project, he examines the interplay between knowledge and governance in post-Mao China. In particular, this project asks: what is the role of the Chinese social scientific community on ethnic minority policymaking of the authoritarian Chinese state? Using evidence from a variety of Chinese language sources including academic books and journals, government documents, and news reports, as well as an 18-month fieldwork during which he extensively engaged academics across the country, Sinan wants to argue that the failure of academic community to foster critical voices against Han-centric nationalism ought to be responsible for the current deadlock in China’s ethnic policy reform as well as the regressive policy practices.


Sinan also collaborates with his colleagues at Syracuse on a number of other projects, including representational politics in US foreign policy discourse, public consultation and policymaking in authoritarian regimes, and knowledge production behind China’s One-Belt-One-Road Imitative (OBOR). In addition to research, Sinan also likes being a teacher. He enjoys designing lecture, leading discussion, creating in-class activities, and taking students for site-visits. At Syracuse University, Sinan has served as teaching assistant for International Relations (PSC 124), International Law (PSC 352), and Media and Politics (PSC 315). From 2014 to 2015, he also taught an independent seminar on Minority Policy and National Identity in China (PSC 300) at the SU-Beijing Center at Tsinghua University, Beijing.


In his spare time, Sinan loves watching sci-fi movies, listening to pop-music from the ‘90s, running with his FiveFingers, and chatting about Žižek, Gramsci, and John Searle.