Professor Xian Huang Publishes New Book on Social Protection and Health Policy in China

June 28, 2020

Dr. Xian Huang, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Faculty Associate of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy, has published an important book on social protection and health policy in China. The book, titled “Social Protection under Authoritarianism: Health Politics and Policy in China”, will be released by Oxford University Press on August 14, 2020.


In the book, Xian Huang provides a comprehensive description of the political motivation, policy design, and distributive outcome of social health insurance expansion in China. Her deeply researched analysis builds on interviews, archive study, and quantitative analysis using statistics and survey data. 

“Xian Huang has written a brilliant book on the policy and politics of health care in China,” said Dr. Qin Gao, Professor and Director of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy. “Her analysis powerfully combines quantitative and qualitative evidence and reveals the deep-rooted inequalities in access to and quality of health care enjoyed by different groups of Chinese citizens. The lessons are profound and sobering.”

In China’s multilevel governance, both centralized and decentralized structures are involved in the distribution of social health insurance. When local leaders implement the stratified expansion of social health insurance, they respond to varied local conditions. In the book, Xian Huang provides rich evidence on how China’s health insurance policies differ dramatically across sub-national regions as well as socioeconomic groups. 

Melani Cammett, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University, had high praises for this new book. “Huang’s book contributes richly to the growing literature of welfare regimes under authoritarian rule. Providing a wealth of information on the expansion of social welfare in China, she traces how variation in fiscal constraints and social risks shape how local officials strategically implement national programs.”

The book can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press and Amazon

Congratulations to Professor Xian Huang!

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy