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Associate Professor of Communication

Jennifer Pan

Faculty Affiliate
King Center on Global Development

Associate Professor of Communication
Department of Communication

Jennifer Pan is an associate professor of communication, and an assistant professor, by courtesy, of political science and sociology at Stanford University. Her research resides at the intersection of political communication and authoritarian politics, showing how authoritarian governments try to control society, how the public responds, and when and why each is successful. Her book, Welfare for Autocrats: How Social Assistance in China Cares for its Rulers (Oxford, 2020) shows how China’s pursuit of political order transformed the country’s main social assistance program, Dibao, for repressive purposes. Her work has appeared in peer reviewed publications such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, and Science. Pan received her PhD from Harvard University’s Department of Government and her AB in from Princeton University.

Government and Institutions
Innovations in Methods and Data



King Center Supported Research

2018 - 2019 Academic Year | Junior Faculty Research Grants

Digital Technology and Ethnic Violence in Myanmar

More than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state since a security crackdown began in August 2017. According to U.N. human rights investigators, Facebook played a role in spreading hate speech targeted at Rohingya Muslims and in inciting violence against the Muslim minority. This research examines how individuals in Myanmar use digital technologies and explores the relationship between social media and ethnic violence. Using over half a million smartphone screenshots gathered from participants in Myanmar immediately prior to the outbreak of violence in Rakhine, this project systematically analyzes these data and examines the causal relationships between online behavior and ethnic conflict.