Andrew Mertha is 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. He is also the Director of the China and Asia Pacific Studies Program.
Mertha’s Ph.D. (2001) is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mertha has written three books, The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China (Cornell University Press, 2005), China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell University Press, 2008), and Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979 (Cornell University Press, 2014).
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 two projects. The first is an institutional mapping of the organizational structure and policy making process in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, from 1970 to 2003. The second 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.
Mertha is on the Editorial Committee for the Journal of Comparative Politics, The China Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, and Cornell University Press, and is on the Board of Directors for the Center for Khmer Studies.
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.