Melanie Frances Manion

Position title: Professor Emeritus


Personal Website

Affiliated with La Follette School of Public Affairs

Research Interests:

China, Corruption, Democratization, Political Institutions


Melanie Manion is Vilas-Jordan Distinguished Achievement Professor, with a joint appointment in political science and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to her current appointment, she was an associate professor of political science at the University of Rochester. She studied philosophy and political economy at Peking University in the late 1970s, was trained in Far Eastern studies at McGill University and the University of London, and earned her doctorate in political science at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on institutions, including informal institutions, and institutionalization in Chinese politics. Her publications include work on the Chinese bureaucracy, grassroots democratization, and the political economy of corruption and good governance. Her current research examines the ongoing transformation from descriptive to substantive representation in Chinese local congresses.

She is the recipient of numerous research awards, most recently from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, and University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School. Publications include Retirement of Revolutionaries in China (Princeton University Press, 1993), Corruption by Design (Harvard University Press, 2004), Contemporary Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (co-edited, Cambridge University Press, 2010), and articles in the American Political Science ReviewComparative Political StudiesJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and China Quarterly. She is an award-winning teacher.



Best in Class instructor by the College of Letters and Science, based on student nominations