Andrew Mertha is associate professor of government, specializing in Chinese and Cambodian politics, particularly on political institutions, the policy process, and the exercise of power.
He is a core faculty member in the Cornell East Asia Program and the Cornell Southeast Asia Program.
Mertha’s Ph.D. (2001) is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mertha has written two books, The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China (Cornell University Press, 2005) and China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell University Press, 2008).
He has articles appearing in The China Quarterly, Comparative Politics, International Organization, and Orbis. He has also contributed chapters to the following edited volumes: Engaging the Law in China: State, Society and Possibilities for Justice (edited by Neil Diamant, Stanley Lubman, and Kevin O’Brien, Stanford University Press, 2005); China’s Foreign Trade Policy: the New Constituencies (edited by Ka Zeng, Routledge, 2007); and State and Society in 21st Century China, 2nd Edition (edited by Peter Gries and Stanley Rosen, Routledge, 2010).
He is currently working on three projects. The first is an analysis of China’s relations with Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 to 1979, specifically on Chinese foreign aid, military assistance, commerce, and trade. The second is an institutional mapping of the policy making process in Democratic Kampuchea under Khmer Rouge rule. The third project is a comparison of political rectification, purges, and political indoctrination in China and Cambodia.
Mertha has provided public testimony for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, briefed the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and has accompanied a US congressional staff delegation to Beijing, Xinjiang, and Shanghai to discuss issues of terrorism and narcotics trafficking. He has appeared on National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of America. Mertha’s comments have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, BusinessWeek, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Mertha has lived in China for seven years as an English teacher (1988-1989), a representative for a toy company (1991-1994, 1995, and 1996), and as a scholar (1998-present); and has conducted archival and field research in Cambodia beginning in 2009.
Mertha grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City, and has resided in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Hong Kong. He lives in Ithaca with his wife, Isabelle, and his daughter, Sophie.