AREAS OF RESEARCH
Min Zhou’s research interests fall under the rubric of globalization and transnational sociology. Specifically, he is interested in Global and Transnational Sociology, Economic Sociology, Political Sociology, East Asian Societies, Quantitative Methods, and Social Network Analysis.
Currently Min is working on three projects that cover distinct aspects of global change. First, he recently completed a pilot project (funded by SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2013-2015) on the 2012 Anti-Japanese Demonstrations in China. This research investigates how the protests were mobilized swiftly and what mobilization strategies were employed. This project will not only contribute to our understanding of the multilayered quality of Sino-Japanese relations and China’s changing social fabric, but will also offer insights into new forms of social movements in the context of globalization. He and his research team conducted large-scale social surveys in China, and the sampling design, questionnaires (in Chinese), and data (in Stata format) are available. So far the project has resulted in three forthcoming articles in Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, and Tsinghua Sociological Review.
Second, he examines sociocultural influences on international trade networks. For instance, his recent study proposes the construction of the international trade network based on top trade relations (i.e., country i is linked to country j if j is i’s top trade partner). The constructed network captures most important relations in international trade. This study visualizes and models the structure of this network. In another study, he investigates the efficacy of regional trade agreements (RTAs) in promoting global market expansion. Most RTAs are driven by economic neoliberalism (“negative integration”), and not all RTAs deliberately establish institutions that support new markets (“positive integration”). This research empirically tests the sociological insight that creating necessary institutions is essential for market expansion.
Third, his research digs into why governments support global institutions that fight for global norms, such as human rights and environmental protection, despite obvious conflict between these norms and state sovereignty.