David Shambaugh

Headshot of David Shambaugh

David Shambaugh

Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs and Director of the China Policy Program

Full-time Faculty

Department: China Policy Program


Office Phone: 202-994-5887
Fax: 202-994-6096
1957 E St. NW, Office #503G Washington, D.C. 20052

David Shambaugh is an internationally recognized authority and award-winning author on contemporary China and the international relations of Asia. He is the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs, and the founding Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. 

Professor Shambaugh previously served in the Department of State and on the National Security Council staff during the Carter administration (1977- 1979), was also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at The Brookings Institution from 1996-2016. Prior to joining the Elliott School and GWU faculty he was a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Reader in Chinese Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) from 1987-1996, where he also served as Editor of the prestigious journal The China Quarterly. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Advisory Board of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), East-West Center Fellowship Board, is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of its Board of Studies, has been a participant in the Aspen Strategy Group, the Asia Society Task Force on U.S. China Policy, and other public policy and scholarly organizations. An active public intellectual and frequent commentator in the international media, he also serves on numerous editorial boards, and has been a consultant to governments, research institutions, foundations, universities, corporations, banks, and investment funds.

Professor Shambaugh has been selected for numerous awards and grants, including as a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Senior Fulbright Scholar (in residence at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). He has received research grants from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Hinrich Foundation, the British Academy, and U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He has also been a visiting scholar or professor at universities in Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and he has lectured all over the world.

As an author, Professor Shambaugh has published 35 books, including China’s Leaders: From Mao to Now (second edition, 2023); International Relations of Asia (third edition, 2022); Where Great Powers Meet: America & China in Southeast Asia (2021); and China & the World (2020). Other books include The China Reader: Rising Power (2016); Tangled Titans: The United States and China (2012); China’s Communist Party: Atrophy & Adaptation (2008); Power Shift: China & Asia’s New Dynamics (2005); and Modernizing China’s Military (2002); Making China Policy (2001); The Modern Chinese State (2000); Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory & Practice (1994); American Studies of Contemporary China (1993); and Beautiful Imperialist (1991). He has also authored numerous reports, scholarly articles and chapters, newspaper op-eds, and book reviews. He is fluent in Chinese.

Modern and contemporary Chinese history; China's domestic politics; China's foreign relations; China's military and security; and international relations of Asia.

B.A., East Asian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU, 1977

M.A, International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 1980

PhD, Political Science, University of Michigan, 1989.

PSC 2371 China's Politics and Foreign Policy

IAFF 3186 China & the World

PSC 6370 Politics of People's Republic of China I

PSC 6371 Politics of People's Republic of China 2

PSC 6372 Foreign Policy of the People's Republic of China

PSC 6475 International Politics of East Asia

PSC 6489 Selected Topics in International Politics: U.S.-China Relations