Dr. William Hurst is the Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Development in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Director of the Center of Development Studies, Deputy Director of the Center for Geopolitics, and a Fellow at Wolfson College. Prof. Hurst’s work mainly focuses on labor politics, contentious politics, political economy, and the politics of law and legal institutions, with a focus on China and Indonesia. Prof. Hurst’s research makes extensive use of archival, documentary, observational, and interview sources and data from those countries that were either unavailable or simply never utilized before. Prof. Hurst is the author of Ruling Before the Law: The Politics of Legal Regimes in China and Indonesia (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and The Chinese Worker After Socialism (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He is the co-editor of Laid-Off Workers in a Workers’ State: Unemployment with Chinese Characteristics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and Local Governance Innovation in China: Experimentation, Diffusion, and Defiance (Routledge, 2015). 

Prof. Hurst is currently at work on a book that explores the politics of land and land reform, and their long-term implications for state formation and political economy in Mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia since 1949.

Prof. Hurst completed his PhD in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005, after receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in 1998.