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Jason Kelly

Wilson China Fellow


    August 1, 2023 — July 31, 2024

    Professional affiliation

    Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Cardiff University


    • China
    • Chinese military
    • Reform and Opening Up

    Wilson Center Projects

    Logics of War in the Age of Reform and Opening Up

    Full Biography

    Jason M. Kelly is a historian of modern China with interests in Chinese foreign relations during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, U.S.-China relations, commerce and diplomacy, and East Asian international history. He is currently a senior lecturer (equivalent to associate professor) in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University. Before joining Cardiff University in 2022, Dr. Kelly was an assistant professor in the Strategy & Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College. He was also previously an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to becoming a historian, he was a foreign service officer and worked in Washington and at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His first book, Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China’s Capitalist Ascent, was published by Harvard University Press in 2021. 

    Dr. Kelly has earned a Ph.D. in History from Cornell University, an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University, and a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College. He has studied Chinese (Mandarin) at Beijing Normal University (through Princeton in Beijing), Yale University, and the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University.