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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Steven W. Lewis
Professor of the Practice; Research Fellow; Director of Asian Studies
Professor of the Practice in Humanities
 
e-mail:swlewis@rice.edu
 
  • B.S.J. (1985) Ohio University
  • Ph.D. (1996) Washington University, St. Louis
 
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Department Affiliations
 
  • Asian Studies
  • James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
  •  
    Websites
     Baker Institute Biographical Website
     Rice University Asian Studies Program
     Transnational China Project of the Baker Institute for Public Policy
     
    Research Areas
     Asia policy; political economy; privatization; energy policy; media studies
     
    Research interests of Steven W. Lewis, 2009
     My research is in two main areas. One looks at the role of new media in collective identity formation, and in particular the role of such visual ephemera as advertising, as appeals by governments and global actors (corporations, and political, social and cultural organizations) to people to think of themselves as members of transnational groups. These appeals are central to many theories of civil society formation, cosmopolitanism, citizenship, transnational organization and collective action in general, and yet little comparative empirical research has been done examining the role of such new media. Most of my unique empirical work here is collecting and categorizing changes over time in visual ephemera from public spaces in cities in China and Asia , including subway advertisements in Beijing , Shanghai , Taipei , Kaohsiung , Hong Kong , and Singapore since 1997. With the help of collaborators at Rice and elsewhere I plan to collect more of such images from similar public spaces in other cities around the world: Washington DC , Mexico City, etc. We can then do comparative research that answers questions about the role of visual ephemera in social change in general. In a related area of research, I am working with sociologists and political scientists at Rice and elsewhere to conduct surveys of people in global cities in Asia and the West in order to assess the potential for transnational collective identity formation in order to solve shared global problems, including climate change, conservation of natural resources, etc. In sum, these will help me look at changes in the nature of appeals to think transnationally to solve shared problems, and then also to see if there are indeed any changes in the popular views about the value of collective action across countries and localities. Most of our energy and environmental policies assume that people in far away localities are capable of identifying with each other such that they can working together to solve shared problems, but is this true, and especially for such problems as conservation and natural resource use? Do economic nationalism and “local first” views trump transnationalism, or do they work together? These are some of the policy questions I hope my research can help answer.



    Another area of research looks at the role of informal institutions – norms, social networks – in constraining and facilitating business and government relations in marketizing economies. This research is useful for assessing the usefulness of theories of privatization, economic development, the “resource curse”, “rent-seeking”, and sectoral and industrial policy formation in planned economies. Here, I have ongoing research looking at the evolution of informal institutions that affect energy policy and industrial policy in China and other marketizing economies. I compare the long-term institutional and organizational growth of national oil companies in China with those elsewhere, including Brazil and Indonesia . Much of my empirical work is simply doing unique archival and interview work that details the nature of ties between the Communist Party and China ’s national oil companies, and also the ties between these companies, their subsidiary oilfield and refineries, and the local governments and international governments they work with. I am concluding a study of the nature of ties between top CCP leaders and the three national oil companies in China, and beginning a study comparing central government initiated and local government initiated industrial enterprise energy efficiency and conservation programs. The goal is to attempt to predict the ability of the Chinese central government to change the energy consumption behavior of central owned and local government owned enterprises. There are currently no comprehensive studies comparing local and central industrial energy conservation projects in China .
     
    Steven W. Lewis Statement of Research Interests and Research Projects
     My areas of research interest generally look at the role of media in new public spaces in collective identity formation, the role of informal norms and forms of organization in the privatization of state owned enterprises and government agencies, the influence of subway public spaces in the urbanization of Chinese cities, the privatization and corporatization of Chinese national oil companies, and the development of demand-reduction and environmental conservation policies and regulations in Chinese and global coastal cities.

    Current research projects include:

    * The interaction of commercial and public sector advertisements to create new forms of collective identity, using case studies of subway advertisements and outdoor advertisements in Chinese cities and Houston;
    * The role of corporatization and privatization in the ability of Chinese National Oil Companies (NOCs) to provide secure oil supplies for China's development;
    * Decentralization of propaganda campaigns in China, using recent surveys of outdoor political advertisements in urban districts of Beijing and Shanghai (updating 1998 study);
    * Examining the interaction of local forms of environmental governance and public awareness of environmental issues, an interdisciplinary, comparative research project offering policy prescriptions on sustainability for Chinese and American coastal cities.





     
    Teaching Areas
     Asian studies
     
    Selected Publications
     Articles
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Deepen Sino-US Cooperation on Energy." Asia Policy, 7 (2009)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "China Views the Middle East." Qadaya 'Alamiyya [Global Issues, in Arabic], Vol. 2, No. 3 (September-October 2005)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "The Media of New Public Spaces in Global Cities: subway advertising in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 17, No. 3 (September 2003)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis and Amy Myers Jaffe "China’s Oil Diplomacy." Survival, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Spring 2002)

     
     Book chapters
     

    Steven W. Lewis and Fred von der Mehden "Liquefied Natural Gas from Indonesia: The Arun Case Study." Natural Gas and Geopolitics: from 1970 to 2040 (2006)

     
     

    "Political and Economic Implications of New Public Spaces in China's Global Cities." Globalization of the Chinese City (2006)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "Economic Thought, The WTO Debate, People’s Mediation, and Ding Guangen." Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture (2005)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "What Can I Do For Shanghai? Selling Spiritual Civilization in Chinese Cities." Media in China: Consumption, Content and Crisis (2002)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Marketization and Government Credibility in Shanghai: Federalist and Local Corporatist Explanations." The Political Economy of Property Rights (1997)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, Daniel Diermeier, Joel Ericson, Timothy Frye "Credible Commitment and Property Rights: The Role of Strategic Interaction Between Political and Economic Actors." The Political Economy of Property Rights (1997)

     
     Book reviews
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "Popular Political Support in Urban China." Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 3, No. 4, (December 2005)

     
     Conference papers
     

    Steven W. Lewis "China and Energy Security in Asia." Korea Economic Institute Policy Forum, May (2008)

     
     Other
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Cosco." Berkshire Encyclopedia of China (2009)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Forgetting the Olympics." What We Are Thinking essay of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, August (2008)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "The ‘First Colonization’ of China: Energy Challenges Must Move Higher on the U.S.-China Bilateral Dialogue." Houston Chronicle, February 25 (2008)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "Privatization Best Practices and Comparisons: Case Study Petrobras." Brazilian Energy Sector Reform Series (February 2004)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, "The Future of Energy Cooperation Among China, Japan and the United States." Northeast Asia Energy Cooperation Workshop Program (September 2004)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis and Amy Myers Jaffe, et al "Cultural Security Perceptions in Northeast Asia and Their Impact on Energy Cooperation." Japanese Energy Security and Changing Global Energy Markets: An Analysis of Northeast Asian Energy Cooperation and Japan’s Evolving Leadership Role in the Region, (May 2000)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Defining and Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights in a Decentralizing China: Market Federalism and the Strategic Role of Local Government in Comparative Perspective." National Bureau of Asian Research (May 1999)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis "Privatizing China's State-Owned Oil and Gas Companies." China and Long-Range Asian Energy Security: An Analysis of the Political, Economic, and Technological Factors Shaping Asian Energy Markets (April 1999)

     
     

    Steven W. Lewis, with George Marcus, et al, "Social, Cultural and Religious Factors Influencing China's Energy Supply." China and Long-Range Asian Energy Security: An Analysis of the Political, Economic and Technological Factors Shaping Asian Energy Markets (April 1999)

     
    Presentations
     Invited Papers
     

    "China and Energy Security in Asia." 2008 Northeast Asia Energy Outlook/ Korean Economic Policy Institute,, Washington DC. (May 6, 2008)

     
     Invited Talks
     

    "China’s Economic Jump and its effect on North Korea: Economic Structure Reform, Local to Local Competition and Energy Cooperation in Northeast Asia." National Unification Advisory Council annual conference, Houston. (August 23, 2008)

     
     

    "Sino-American Cooperation on Energy Policy and Energy Security." Youth Club/PRC Consulate in Houston, Houston. (June 4, 2008)

     
     Keynote Speaker
     

    "OSAC Energy Sector Seminar." OSAC Energy Sector Seminar/Overseas Security Council Houston Seminar, Houston. (May 29, 2008)

     
     Lectures
     

    "China’s Energy Policy Formation." Foreign and Civil Service Officer Energy Industry Training Session/ Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association and the Baker Institute, Baker Institute, Rice University, Houston. (July 23, 2008)

     
     

    "Globalization and Popular Chinese Culture." Rice University Alumni College, Rice University. (February 22, 2008)

     
     Panelist
     

    "China Town Hall: The US Elections and China." National Committee on US-China Relations, Baker Institute and Houston Forum, Baker Institute, Rice University, Houston. (April 17, 2008)

     
     

    "International Energy Research." The Development Strategy of Energy Economy in the Era of High Oil Prices/Symposium inaugurating the Center for Energy Economics and Strategy Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC. (February 27, 2008)

     
     

    "The King’s Cinema: My Village at Sunset." Panel on Showing of Films by Norodom Sihanouk/Asia Society, Rice University. (January 26, 2008)

     
     

    ""China’s Global Search for Energy Security: Chinese NOCs Entering the Global Economy"." The Energy Future: China and the U.S., the William Davidson Institute, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and the National Bureau of Asian Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan. (February 8, 2006)

     
     

    ""Sino-Japanese Cooperation on Energy Supply and Demand"." Japan-China Study Group, Institute for National Strategies Studies, National Defense University, Washington DC. (April 18, 2006)

     
     

    ""US-China Cooperation on Energy: Supply Versus Demand"." International Energy Security and Cooperation, co-sponsored by the Shanghai Institute for International Studies and the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou, Hainan, PRC. (June 1-2, 2006)

     
     

    "“Chinese National Oil Companies and the Quest for Energy Security: Popular Perceptions,”." Foreign and Civil Service Officer Energy Industry Training Session, co-hosted by the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association, Baker Institute, Rice University. (July 28, 2006)

     
     

    "China’s Reform Experiences as a Model for the Marketization of Planned Economies." Korea’s Development: Perspectives on North and South, a joint conference by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and the ACDPU, Korea Society, Rice University. (November 6, 2005)

     
     

    "Energy Security in Northeast Asia: The Potential for Cooperation Among the Major Consuming Economies of China, Japan and the United States." Energy Security: Implications for US-China-Middle East Relations, a joint conference by the Baker Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, Shanghai. (July 18, 2005)

     
     

    "Public Spaces and Collective Identity: Advertising and the Transnational Public in Asia." Changing Perceptions of the Public Sphere, co-sponsored by Focus Europe of Rice University and Cambridge University, (December 15-16, 2005)

     
     

    Panel Discussant.  "The Third Space of the Commons: The Debate on the Public and Private." International Forum on Rural Development, People's University, Beijing. (August 29-31, 2005)

     
     

    ""Political and Economic Implications of Visual Culture in China’s New Public Spaces." Contemporary Chinese Visual Culture, a symposium organized by Asian Studies at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London, London. (February 6, 2004) With Richard J. Smith

     
     

    ""Political and Economic Implications of Visual Culture in China’s New Public Spaces." Media Technology, Creative Industries, and Culture Significance: An International Joint Research Project on Contemporary Chinese Media, Culture and Society, Taipei. (September 24, 2004)

     
     

    "Chinese Economic Growth and Energy Concerns." Northeast Asia 3E Cooperation: A Mini-Workshop, Institute for Geopolitics and Economics of Energy, East China Normal University, Shanghai. (June 21, 2004)

     
     

    "Consumer Culture in China's New Public Spaces." World China Forum, Shanghai. (August 20-21, 2004)

     
     

    "Privatization and Decentralization in China's Oil Industry." International Workshop on Energy and Energy Security Policy in Northeast Asia, UFJ Institute of Japan and Institute for Energy Economics of Japan, Tokyo. (March 9, 2004)

     
     

    "Visual Culture and Consumerism in China's New Public Spaces." 20th Annual Mansfield Conference, "Plunging Into the Sea: The Complex Face of Globalization In China," Mansfield Center, University of Montana,, Missoula, Montana. (April 19-20, 2004)

     
     

    "Consumerism and Citizenship in New Public Spaces: China’s Global Cities." “Cities in Transitional Economies and Urban China,” panel at the Royal Geographic Society annual conference, London. (September 4, 2003)

     
     

    "Consumer Citizens in New Public Spaces: Subway Advertising in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei." Media in China: Content, Consumption and Crisis, Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages and Societies, University of Melbourne, Melbourne. (October 2, 2002)

     
     

    "Consumer Citizenship, Spiritual Consumerism: Privatizing Propaganda and Commercial Advertising in the People’s Republic of China." “Ceci n’est pas UNE CHINE: The treachery of images in Chinese civic political communication,” Association for Asian Studies annual meeting, Washington DC. (April 4, 2002)

     
     

    "Consumer Citizenship, Spiritual Consumerism: Privatizing Propaganda and Commercial Advertising in the People’s Republic of China." “Media in Transition: globalization and convergence, an international conference,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. (May 10-12, 2002)

     
     

    "Heralding Consumer Citizenship in Global Cities: Political and Commercial Subway Advertising in Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai." the sixth annual conference on the History and Culture of Taiwan: Mapping a New Cultural Geography: Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai as Global Cities, Washington University, St. Louis. (May 3-4, 2002)

     
     

    "Institutional Change and Path Dependency: Energy Privatization in China and Brazil." Markets and Democracy, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. (November 9, 2002)

     
     

    "Formalizing the Informal: Communal Property Forms and Privatization in China?s Economic Development." annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco. (September 2, 2001)

     
     

    "Chinese Political Literature as Comparative Social Science Teaching Materials: Issues and Obstacles." Workshop on Teaching Chinese Language, Literature and Culture, Program in Asian Studies and Center for the Study of Culture, Rice University. (May 20, 2000)

     
     

    "Economic and Political Reforms in the PRC." MSC Wiley Lecture Series, Texas A&M University. (February 2000)

     
     

    "Entrepreneurial Networks as State Builders in China's Transition," paper prepared for presentation at the Comparative Politics Division panel, "Creating the Ties That Bind: Networks as State Builders in China's Transition Economy." Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington DC. (September 2, 2000)

     
     

    "Long-Term Institutional Constraints on Privatization Experimentation: Evaluating Path Dependency in China and Other Formerly Central Planned Economies," paper prepared for presentation at the Politics of Communist and Former Communist Countries Division p." Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington DC. (September 2, 2000)

     
     

    "Political Symbols and Chinese Propaganda Visual Arts." Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. (February 2000) With With Dr. Chiu-Mi Lai

     
     

    "Building Market Federalism: Corporations as Strategic Actors in Central-Local Governmental Relations." Public Choice Association, New Orleans, Louisiana. (March 1999)

     
     

    "Defining and Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights in a Decentralizing China: Market Federalism and the Strategic Role of Local Government in Comparative Perspective." Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development in Shanghai and the Lower Yangzi Region Conference, sponsored by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai. (May 1999)

     
     

    "Emerging Federalism in Former Central Planned Economies: China's Oil Companies as Strategic Actors in Inter-Governmental Restructuring." American Political Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia. (September 1999)

     
     

    "Privatizing the Central Planned Economies: General Theories, Local Evidence and the Systematic Empirical Study of Informal Property Rights." Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington DC. (August 31, 1997)

     
     

    "Localizing Property Rights: Changing Property Rights and Economic Development Zones in Shanghai." Annual Meeting of the Chinese Political Scientists Association, SUNY-Buffalo,, Buffalo. (August 31, 1996)

     
     

    "Localizing Property Rights: Changing Property Rights and Economic Development Zones in Shanghai." annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco. (September 1, 1996)

     
     

    "Testing Theories of Change in Property Rights Institutions: Privatization 'Experiments' in Shanghai, PRC." Southeastern Region Conference of the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting, Knoxville. (January 13, 1996)

     
     

    "Credible Commitment and Property Rights: The Role of Strategic Interaction Between Political and Economic Actors." Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago. (August 31, 1994) With Daniel Diermeier, Timothy Frye, Joel Ericson

     
     

    "Marketization and Government Credibility in Shanghai: Federalist and Local Corporatist Explanations." Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago. (August 31, 1994)

     
     

    "Testing Theories of Change in Property Rights Institutions: Privatization 'Experiments' in Shanghai, PRC." Midwest Asian Studies Association annual meeting, St. Louis. (October 10, 1995)

     
     

    "Marketization and Government Credibility in Shanghai: Federalist and Local Corporatist Explanations." Association for Public Policy and Analysis Management Conference, Chicago. (October 27, 1994)

     
     

    "Market Reforms and Social Movements in Socialist Countries: A Game-Theoretic Approach." Global Trends in Democratization Conference, Skidmore College, NY. (November 3-4, 1990)

     
     Workshops
     

    ""US-China Cooperation on Energy Policy: Supply Versus Demand"." Energy Security: Implications for US-China-Middle East Relations, the Baker Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, Houston, Texas. (April 3, 2006)

     
     

    "CNPC and CNOOC as Case Studies for the Study of NOCs." The Role of National Oil Companies on World Energy Markets, by the Energy Forum of the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Petroleum Economy Center of Japan, Baker Institute, Rice University. (December 15-16, 2005)

     
     

    "Unique Institutions of China’s Local Economic Development and Investment in China’s Local Energy Infrastructure." Investment in China’s Local Energy Infrastructure, part of the Northeast Asia Energy Cooperation Workshop Program, Baker Institute, Rice University. (April 11, 2005)

     
     

    "LNG Exports from Arun to Japan." The Geopolitics of Natural Gas, An International Conference sponsored by the Program and Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University and the Energy Forum of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Stanford University. (May 26-27, 2004)

     
     

    "Privatization and Deregulation in China's Oil and Gas Industry." Energy and Environmental Awareness in China; Northeast Asia Energy Cooperation Workshop Program, sponsored by the Energy Forum of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, Horizon Survey Research and the UFJ Research Institute of Japan, Rice University. (June 30, 2004)

     
     

    "Representations of Mobility and Religion in the Visual Culture of New Public Spaces in East Asia." Religious Pilgrimage, Consumerism and Popular Culture in East Asia, an international workshop sponsored by the Transnational China Project, Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice Universit, Rice University. (February 14, 2004)

     
     

    ""A Look at Advertisements in New Public Spaces in Globalizing Citie." East Asian Cities: New Cultural & Ideological Formations: An International Workshop, sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Chinese Culture Studies at Shanghai University, the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and the C, Shanghai. (December 6-7, 2003)

     
     

    "China’s Oil and Gas Industry: Decentralization and Privatization." China’s Energy Reforms, UFJ Research Institute, Tokyo. (March 11, 2003)

     
     

    "Some Bumps on the Road between tizhi and zhidu." Critical Policy Studies of China International Workshop, sponsored by the Harvard Policy Culture Project and the MIT International Committee of Critical Policy Studies of China, Boston. (November 15-16, 2003)

     
     

    "“China’s Oil Diplomacy and Relations with the Middle East." U.S. – Japan Joint Meeting, Energy Security in the Eastern Hemisphere: Impact of September 11 Terrorism on the Middle East Countries and its Implications to the Energy Security in Asia, Petroleum Economy Center, Tokyo. (March 27, 2002)

     
     

    "China's Foreign Relations and Energy Policy: Japan, the United States and China's Energy Infrastructure Development." Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo. (October 2001)

     
     

    "Consumer Culture and Transnational Identities in Chinese Societies: An Analysis of Subway Advertisements from Beijing, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei." Advertising Culture and the Formation of Transnational and Local Identities in Asia,? conference sponsored by the Transnational China Project, Baker Institute for Public Policy, and the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, Univ. Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (March 5-6, 2001)

     
     

    "Privatizing Oil and Gas SOEs: Comparative Analysis and Policy Recommendations." Brazilian Energy Sector Reform,? a conference sponsored by the Energy Program of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University. (December 2001)

     
     

    "Selling Spiritual Civilization to Consumer Citizens: The State and Political Advertising in Chinese Cities." Advertising Culture and the Formation of Transnational and Local Identities in Asia,? conference sponsored by the Transnational China Project, Baker Institute for Public Policy, and the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, University of Ho, Hong Kong. (March 5-6, 2001)

     
     

    "Chinese Energy Policy." Report and presentation prepared for Japan's MITI, Houston. (July 2000)

     
     

    "Making History as We Please: Evaluating Path-Dependency in Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Privatization Programs." Non-Socialist Economic Planning in Republican China and Europe, 1935-1950: Ideas and Institutions, hosted by the Center for the Study of Cultures at Rice University, Houston, Texas. (January 1999)

     
    Editorial Positions
     Member of the Editorial Board, Asian Policy. (2005 - 2005)

    Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
     Manuscript Reviewer, Issues and Studies (2006-)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Governance (2006-)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Asia Policy (2005)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Perspectives on Politics (2005-)

     Proposal Reviewer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2005-)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Cultural Anthropology (2005-)

     Manuscript Reviewer, american ethnologist (2005-)

     Proposal Reviewer, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (2003)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Longman-Addison Press (2003)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (2003)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Problems of Post-Communism (1999)

     Manuscript Reviewer, American Political Science Review (1999)

     Manuscript Reviewer, American Journal of Political Science (1999)

     Manuscript Reviewer, Comparative Politics (1999)

     Proposal Reviewer, National Science Foundation of US (1999)