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Wanfa Zhang

Associate Professor | School of Arts and Communication

Contact Information

wzhang@fit.edu
(321) 674-7383
Frederick C. Crawford Bldg, 520

Personal Overview

Professor Wanfa Zhang is an expert on international politics. Before he joined Florida Tech in 2008, he had taught at the University of Alabama (2003-2008) and China Foreign Affairs University (1993-1999) for more than a decade. The main courses he has taught include international relations, geopolitics, international law and politics, comparative politics, political science, American foreign policy, American politics, and Western civilization. He once worked as a research assistant collecting data for the very prestigious Correlates of War (COW) project, which is the most widely used database for quantitative study of international conflict. He has also been invited as a guest speaker to give talks on international and Chinese politics by other colleges or on TV interview in both the US and China.

Educational Background

PhD: University of Alabama, 2009

MA:  University of Mississippi

MA:  Xi'an International Studies University

BA:  Guizhou University

Professional Experience

Award Granting Committees

  • Member, Best Paper Selection Committee, the 25th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), San Francisco State Univ., CA, Sept. 22-23, 2012
  • Chair, Best Paper Selection Committee, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Boston, MA, July 31-Aug. 1, 2010

Chair and/or Discussant of Conference Panels

  • Discussant of Panel “Protests, Policing, and Corruption Control in China,” at the 78th MPSA annual meeting, Virtual, April 14-18, 2021.
  • Chair of panel TD-1A: “Belt and Road Initiative: Motives, Scope and Challenges,” at the 29th Annual Meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Middlebury College, Monterey, California, Oct. 10-11, 2016.
  • Chair of panel SU-3A “China in International Political Economy,” at the 28th Annual Meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Peking University, Beijing, China, June 5-7, 2015.
  • Chair of panel “International Politics: Global Issues, IPE, and Human Rights”; chair and discussant of panel “Comparative Politics: Developing Areas” at the 84th annual meeting of Southern Political Science Association, Orlando, Florida, Jan. 3-5, 2013.
  • Chair of Panel SN3: “Chinese Security Issues to the South and the North,” and Discussant of Panel SD3: “China’s Foreign Policy Challenges and Development,” at the 25th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), San Francisco State Univ., CA, Sept. 22-23, 2012.
  • Discussant of Panel SD6: “China, Ethnic Areas, and Borderlands,” at the 24th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), the King’s College, London, United Kingdom, June 17-19, 2011.
  • Panel chair, “Panel 9. China’s Political Economy,” at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Boston, MA, July 31-Aug. 1, 2010.
  • Panel chair and discussant, “China’s Foreign Policy,” at the 50th Annual Convention of International Studies Association (ISA), New York, February 2009.
  • Discussant, 2006 Alabama Political Science Association Annual Meeting, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, April 2006.
  • Discussant, the 18th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), University of Louisville, Kentucky, March 31—April 1, 2006.

Board Member of Academic Organization

  • Publicity Director, Board of Directors (2012-2014), The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA)
  • Editor, Newsletter of ACPS (2014-2016), The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA)

Media Report/Interview

  • Interview with Mark Harper, Political editor, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network on Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott’s attitudes toward China and prospects of US-China relations in incoming Biden era. December 16, 2020.
  • TV Interview by AACNTV on “China’s Belt and Road Initiatives,” Trump International Hotel, Washington DC, March 14, 2018.
  • Exclusive TV interview by Xu on “Traditional Chinese Culture and the Big Power Strategy of A Rising China,” July 26, broadcast on Channel 6, Guizhou TV ,China, Tue, Aug. 9, 2016.
  • WFIT radio interview by Terri Wright on “The ‘New’ Conflict in Iraq and Syria: America's Role”, broadcast at 4:13 PM, WED November 5, 2014. (Click on HERE for the radio interview)
  • Exclusive TV interview by Florida Today TV anchor Matthew Reed on “North Korea's New Brinkmanship Policies and Influences on the Security and Stability of Northeast Asia”, April 18, broadcast on WBCC-9, April 24, 2013.
  • Florida Today, Transcript of the TV interview was published in the newspaper, April 28, 2013, page 18A.
  • Florida Tech Today, subject of feature story “Wanfa Zhang—the View Finder” by journalist Andy McIlwraith, Spring 2010 issue, pp. 26-27.
  • Exclusive TV interview by anchor Matthew Reed on “China’s Rise and Relationship with U.S.”, March 25, broadcast on WBCC, Brighthouse Channel 5, April 7, 2010.
  • Florida Today, Transcript of the TV interview was published in the newspaper, March 28, 2010, page B and page 3B.

Invited Talks

  • (Scheduled) “China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ – What, Why, How and Implications for the U.S.,” John’s Island Club’s Gold Seminar, Indian River Shores, FL, February 28, 2022.
  • “Why Communist Regime in China Survives and Implications for US-China Relations?” sponsored by Life Long Scholar Society, Thursday, February 13, 2020.
  • “China and America: th­e New Geopolitical Equation,” Buena Vida Estates, Melbourne FL, April 19, 2018.
  • “China’s “One Belt One Road Initiative” – Ambitions, Realities and Implications,” Trump International Hotel, Washington DC, March 14, 2018.
  • “The Commercialization of Miao (Hmong) Art in Guizhou, China,” Denius Student Center, Hartley Room, November 14, 2017.
  • “The South China Sea Dispute, Stories Beyond Media,” Melbourne, FL, March 1, 2017.
  • “Great Power Game (Russia vs. West) through Lenses of International Politics Theories,” Viera, FL, March 2, 2016.
  • “Traditional Culture and Its Impact upon the Great Power Strategies of a Rising China,” the Confucius Academy, Guiyang, China, July 18, 2016.
  • “New Research Direction of Political Science in the US, Quantitative Method and Relevance to China’s Political Studies,” Department of Political Science, Hubei University of Economics, Wuhan, Hubei Province, June 23, 2015.
  • “ISIS/ISIL and the Middle East: Perspectives from Global Politics,” Front Street Civic Center, Downtown Melbourne, FL, November 6, 2014.
  • “How will China and the US Coexist? China’s Rise and Its Impact upon Sino-American Relations in the 21st Century,” Guizhou Provincial Library, Guiyang, China, July 6, 2013.
  • “Political Science Teaching and Research in the US: Cases of Studying International Military Conflict using Math and Statistics,” Guiyang College, Guiyang, China, July 3, 2013.

Current Courses

The Impact of Science and Technology on International Politics, International Law and Politics, Geopolitics and World Geography, Introduction to International Politics, Introduction to Political Science, Western Civilization-II

Selected Publications

BOOK:

  • Feng Sun and Wanfa Zhang, Why Communist China Isn’t Collapsing: The CCP’s Battle for Survival and State-Society Dynamics in the Post-Reform Era, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019.

JOURNAL ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTER/S

  • Shao, Guosong and Wanfa Zhang, “The Building and Application of Soft Power and China’s International Communication,” News and Writing (forthcoming 2022).
  • Zhang, W. “Is China a Revisionist Power? Creating a 10-year Time-series Dataset Using Online Political Surveys in China”, SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online, SAGE Publishing, 2022.
  • Narayanan, Sugu and W. Zhang, "Political Attitudes of China’s and the U.S.’s Future Elites toward Governance and Their Implications for Southeast Asia," in International Journal of Culture and History. Vol. 3, No. 1. 2017, pp. 6-13.
  • Zhang, W. “Has Beijing Started to Bare Its Teeth? China’s Soft Power Tapping Revisited,” in Asian Perspective, October-December 2012, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 615-639.
  • Zhang, W and Sun, F. “Resurrection through Adaptation: the Dynamics of China’s ‘Comcapitalism’ Model,” in The Journal of Comparative Asian Development, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2012, pp. 349-378.
  • Zhang, W. “Tapping Soft Power: Managing China's ‘Peaceful Rise’ and the Implications for the World,” in Sujian Guo, ed. New Dimensions of Chinese Foreign Policy, Lexington: Lexington Press, 2007, pp.109-131.
  • Zhang, W. "A Study in John Marshall's Role in Securing the Court's Judicial Review," in China Journal of American History, No. 1, 1998, pp.1-7.
  • Zhang, W. "A Comparison of the Perfect Tenses of Indicatives between English, German, French and Spanish,” in Journal of Foreign Affairs College, No. 4, 1997, pp.82-87, p.95.
  • Zhang. W. "The American Policy Towards China since the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations (1979-1993),” in China Journal of American History, No. 4, 1994, pp.26-27.

DICTIONARY ENTRIES

  • Dictionary on China’s Diplomacy (Beijing: World Affairs Press, 1998).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  • “Convert the Bad into the Good: Beijing’s Crisis Management and Soft Power Pursuit during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” presented at the 78th MPSA annual meeting, Virtual Meeting, April 2021.
  • “Problems, Issues and Solutions in Building A Time-Series Dataset about the Political Attitudes of Future Elites of Major Powers,” presented at the 11th Meeting of China’s Academic Consortium of Political Science and International Relations-the Division and Reorganization of World Politics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, July 16-17, 2018.
  • “How the Future Elites of the U.S. Perceive World Affairs and Its Implications for the U.S.-China 'Thucydides Trap'?”, presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Nankai University, Tianjian, China, June 10, 2017.
  • "The U.S.-China 'Thucydides Trap': Implications of the Attitudes of China’s Future Elites" presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Middlebury College, Monterey, California, Oct. 10-11, 2016 (co-authored with Narayanan and Sun).
  • "How China’s Future Elites Perceive World Affairs and the Country’s Growing Role in the Future?" presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Peking University, Beijing, China, June 5-7, 2015 (co-authored with Narayanan).
  • “'Comfucianism': the New Theory of the CCP’s Political Legitimacy in China," presented at the 84th annual meeting of Southern Political Science Association, Orlando, Florida, Jan. 3-5, 2013.
  • “No Two Tigers on One Mountain? The Rise of China and Its Implications for the Security and Stability of the Asia-Pacific Region in the Next Decade,” presented at the 25th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), San Francisco State Univ., CA, Sept. 22-23, 2012.
  • “Resurrection through Adaptation: the Dynamics of China’s ‘Comcapitalism’ Model,” presented at the 24th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), the King’s College, London, United Kingdom, June 17-19, 2011.
  • “Is China A Satisfied Power? A Discussion of China’s Rise from the Perspective of Power Transition Theory,” presented at the 2011 Meeting of China’s Academic Consortium of Political Science and International Relations, Tsinghua University, Beijing, July 8-10, 2011.
  • “Has Beijing Started to Bare Its Teeth? China’s Soft Power Tapping Revisited.” and “China's Democratic Governance while Maintaining Its Political Continuity and Stability—A Bicameral Congress Possible?” presented at the 23rd annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA), Boston, MA, July 31-Aug. 1, 2010.
  • “Polarity and War: A Reexamination of the Relationship Using Modelski’s Typological Criteria to Define Poles, 1885-2002”, presented at the 50th ISA annual convention, New York, February 2009.
  • “Polarity and War—Reexamination from a Comparative Approach,” presented at the 49th ISA annual convention, San Francisco, March 2008.
  • “Do ‘Balanced Multipolarity’ and ‘Unbalanced Multipolarity’ Matter to the Causes of War?” presented at the 65th MPSA annual meeting, Chicago, April 2007.
  • “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics?—An Empirical Test of Mearsheimer’s “Offensive Realism,” presented at the 48th ISA annual convention, Chicago, February 2007.
  • “Soft Power Tapping and Management by China in Its Ascent and Their Implications for Its Relations with Southeast Asian Countries,” presented at the conference “Political China in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities,” the People’s University of China, Beijing, China, June 9-11, 2006.
  • “How Domestic Factors Affect Conflict Behavior of Democratic Countries—A Path Analysis,” presented at the 64th MPSA annual meeting, Chicago, April 2006.
  • “'Soft Power' Tapping and Management by China in Its Ascent and Their Implications for the World,” presented at the 18th annual meeting of The Association of Chinese Political Studies (USA) at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, March 31—April 1, 2006.
  • “China 's 'Peaceful Rise' Policy and the Implications of Its Recent Tsunami Disaster Relief Effort in Southeast Asia,” presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Area Studies Learned Societies, Montréal QC, Canada, April 2005.
  • “Ethnic Diversity and Conflicts in China and Their Implications for Its Democratization,” presented at the Alabama Political Science Association Annual Meeting at Auburn University, April 2004.

Recognition & Awards

  • 2016, Stellar Faculty, Florida Institute of Technology
  • 2014, featured faculty, Targeting the Top Ten: Strategic Plan 2013-2023—Annual Status Report 2014, Florida Institute of Technology
  • “Excellent Service Award,” by the Association of Chinese Political Studies, USA
  • 2014, scholarship for attending the Asian Studies program from East-West Center, Hawaii
  • 2010, featured faculty, Florida Tech Today, Spring 2010
  • 2007 (Sep.), 1st place winner, Annual Student Book Collecting and Essay Writing Contest, University of Alabama
  • 2007 (May), UA GSA travel grant for paper presentation at the 73rd annual meeting of The Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 2007
  • 2006 (June), UA Capstone International Services scholarship
  • 2006 (April), UA Graduate School travel fund
  • 2005 (June), Department special tuition grant for attending 2005 ICPSR summer training program, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2005 (April) UA GSA travel grant
  • 2005 (March), Department of Political Science nominee for UA’s Spain Hickman scholarship
  • 2000-2002, research assistantships from “The Correlates of War” (COW) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for doing research on militarized interstate disputes in South Asia region at the University of Mississippi
  • 1997-1998, Department nominee for China Foreign Affairs University teaching awards, China
  • 1996, "Outstanding Young Faculty Member" awarded by the Educational Committee of Beijing Municipality, China
  • 1992, Chief debater, the Graduate School, Xi'an International Studies University in “1992 Sino-American Student Debate Contest” held in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China

Research

  1. Global Survey of College Students' Knowledge of International Affairs and Perceptions of Great Power Politics. (For details of the research project, please click on HERE)
  2. Polarity and War - A Reexmination from a Comparative Approach (For the full text of my dissertation, please click on HERE)
  3. Chinese Politics and Diplomacy under the New Leadership of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang
  4. 'Comfucianism': the New Theory of the CCP’s Political Legitimacy in China"

Research & Project Interests

Quantitative Study of International Conflict, International Relations Theory, Security Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region, Geopolitics and Comparative Politics with a Regional Focus on Asia, Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy

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