Lineage–the Yangs

In 2019 August, we finished our fieldwork in two rural villages in southeast China. The graph below shows the self-governance organizations weave together through local elites (xiangxian). I wrote a non-academic article introducing our work, which was featured in the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council’s monthly newsletter and IC2’s website. You can read the full article here.



  • 日程:待定
  • 地点:待定


[11/2] UT Civic Data Hackathon


We will solve real-world civic issues by analyzing open government data and building computer programs or models. You can assemble a team with students from or outside of the class. Your team can choose from the following problems:

Eligibility and requirements:

  • Course students are required.
  • All current UT Austin full time graduate (9 credit hours) or undergraduate (12 credit hours) students are eligible, but need to apply. The selection process is competitive.
  • Need to work as a team with 2-4 people.


  • First Prize Group: $500
  • Second Prize Group: $300
  • Third Prize Group: $100

Depending on the University’s operating procedures, final rewards may be distributed as cash or credits for student loan or course.

Timeline (tentative)

  • October 1st – 14th: Outreach, receiving applications.
  • October 15th – 31st: Team preparation and working with domain experts.
  • November 2nd: Hackathon day.
    • 10am-12pm: Team work and feedback from domain experts.
    • 12pm-1:30pm: Break.
    • 1:30pm-4pm: Finalize work and presentation.
    • 4pm-5:30pm: Team presentations.
    • 5:30pm-6pm: Announcing awards.

Evaluation criteria

  • Outstanding deliverables.
  • Efficient team work.
  • Well-organized presentation.
  • Evidence of learning while completing the task.

Assessment team

  • Bixler, Patrick, PhD, Assistant Professor of Practice at the RGK Center and LBJ School of Public Affairs.
  • Ma, Ji, PhD, Assistant Professor at the RGK Center and LBJ School of Public Affairs.
  • Rudow, Josh, PhD, Senior Planner, City of Austin.
  • Taylor, Reyda, PhD, Senior Consultant, Data & Evaluation, Mission Capital.

The final project is supported by UT Austin Graduate School’s Academic Enrichment Fund and RGK Center Special Funds for Data Science Speaker Series at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Co-sponsors also include UT Library Research Data Services and Mission Capital.

[4/26] Data Management in Intelligence Community

Dr. Thomas C. is a Lead Scientist in the CIA’s Directorate of Analysis and holds a Ph.D. in Economics. The talk will focus on how the Intelligence Community (IC) manages data, including some of the unique aspects in the IC. How the IC generates insights: typical timelines, customers, and general descriptions of modeling techniques, as well as how the IC integrates social science research.

Date: Friday, April 26, 2019
Time: 12:15 – 1:30pm (lunch provided)
Location: LBJ School of Public Affairs, 1st floor, Room SRH 3.122

Please RSVP closed. Presentation slides here




Continue reading “学术会议参会基本礼仪”

[3/21 Washington DC] Political elites in a networked society: How Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime


Political elites in a networked society: How Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime
Thursday, March 21
6:00pm – 8:00pm

LBJ Washington Center
1100 New York Ave NW
Washington DC

Light refreshments served


This paper studies how the Chinese civil society is integrated with the authoritarian regime through a highly educated group of political elites holding critical roles in both polity and civil society. Analysis of individuals presents that, the political elites are meshed in a social structure of two-layer networks: the civil society network and the political network. The leaders of Communist Youth League are widely embedded in civil society network but marginalized in political network. Over half of these political elites are provincial leaders connecting local and central governments. Analysis of formal institutions reveals that, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forms a dyad with the State Council, resembling the politics–administration tension studied in western democracies. Unlike conventional thoughts about authoritarian regimes, the Chinese civil society and political networks are highly pluralistic, but CCP builds itself as a necessary broker between political groups. In President Hu’s term, intellectuals are a significant power for integrating civil society. In Xi’s term, CCP is over-politicized, widely embedded, and institutionalized, serving as the only and direct channel that connects civil society and polity.

Please enter the building through the New York Ave NW entrance. The Center is located one level up via the stairs or elevator immediately to your right upon entrance.

Metro Access – The LBJ Washington Center is located two blocks from Metro Center (Red, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) and a 10-minute walk from Gallery Place/Chinatown (Green and Yellow lines)

[Voluntas] A Century of Nonprofit Studies: Scaling the Knowledge of the Field

I started to work on this project since early 2015, and the first paper is finally accepted in Voluntas today, which is my civil calendar birthday. Although our family tradition is to use the Chinese lunar calendar, still a nice gift.

Sara and I started to work on the first draft at Mo’Joe Coffeehouse, which was permanently closed in June this year. Another coffeehouse, Thirsty Scholar, was also closed around the same time. Lots of memories with friends in both places.

There are at least three versions of this paper. The first draft almost entirely relied on a citation analysis software package named CiteSpace. It was a very simple paper but it helped me get familiar with relevant concepts and methodology and cleaned a part of the dataset used in the final analysis. In the second draft, I started to write Python scripts for processing and analyzing data. In early 2017, while I was waiting for my wife, parents, and parents-in-law at Kuala Lumpur airport to start a wonderful journey in Malaysia, I received the rejection from a journal. Then I tried to rewrite the whole paper to analyze the literature published in the last century. I still remember the classroom in which I crawled the first hundreds of records – it was a classroom on the first floor of Teaching Building 2 in Beijing Normal University, where I also spent many nights for preparing my Ph.D. application. I then had a lunch with a good friend who just returned from UPenn about a year ago. She said she felt her heart was in peace, and she was sure about the direction of her career. That was a day in March, Beijing was snowing heavily.

In late June of this year, I submitted the third draft to Voluntas in the office at IQSS, where Prof. Peter Bol treated me so well. We got “minor revision” in early August, and I had a phone call with Sara on the third day after moving to Austin. Life was pretty hectic.

A paper for me has two meanings: the words and numbers for reviewers and readers, and the memories for myself. All things grow, I’m waiting and watching 万物并作,吾以观复.


This empirical study examines knowledge production between 1925 and 2015 in nonprofit and philanthropic studies from quantitative and thematic perspectives. Quantitative results suggest that scholars in this field have been actively generating a considerable amount of literature and a solid intellectual base for developing this field towards a new discipline. Thematic analyses suggest that knowledge production in this field is also growing in cohesion – several main themes have been formed and actively advanced since the 1980s, and the study of volunteering can be identified as a unique core theme of this field. The lack of geographic and cultural diversity is a critical challenge for advancing nonprofit studies. New paradigms are needed for developing this research field and mitigating the tension between academia and practice. Methodological and pedagogical implications, limitations, and future studies are discussed.

Keywords: nonprofit and philanthropic studies; network analysis; knowledge production; paradigm shift; science mapping