Sheena Greitens

Sheena Greitens
Assistant Professor
Comparative Politics
205 Prof. Bldg.

Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, and co-director of the university’s Institute for Korean Studies.  She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.  Dr. Greitens holds a Ph.D from Harvard University; an M.Phil from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar; and a B.A. from Stanford University.


Dr. Greitens’ research focuses on East Asia, security studies, and the politics of democracy and dictatorship.  Her work on China and North Korea has appeared in academic journals and edited volumes in English, Chinese, and Korean, and in major media outlets.  Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press; it received the 2017 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Comparative Democratization, and an honorable mention for the J. David Greenstone Award from APSA’s Politics and History section for the best book published in the previous two years.

Dr. Greitens is on research leave at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies in academic year 2017-18 to work on a book on the global resettlement of North Korean refugees and defectors.

  • Democracy and Dictatorship (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Chinese Politics & Foreign Policy (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • America’s Wars in Asia (Undergraduate)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Graduate)
Selected Publications: 
  • Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
  • “Rethinking China’s Domestic Security Spending,” (China Quarterly, 2017) 
  • “The U.S.-Philippine Alliance: Opportunities and Challenges,” Strategic Asia 2014-15 (National Bureau of Asian Research, 2014).
  • “Authoritarianism Online: What Can We Learn from the Internet in Non-Democracies?” PS: Political Science & Politics (2013).
    • Reprinted in Review of the North Korean Economy (Korea Development Institute, Aug. 2013). In Korean.
  • “Is China Rising?” in Eva Paus, Penelope Prime, and Jon Western, eds., Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). With Alastair Iain Johnston.  Revised editions reprinted as:
    • “The People’s Republic of China at 60: Is it Rising?” in William Kirby, ed., The People’s Republic of China at 60: An International Assessment (Harvard University Press, 2011).
    • 中国崛起’: 对概念运用的探讨” [“‘China’s Rise’: Investigating the Operationalization of a Concept”],中国国际战略评论 [China International Strategy Review], (Beijing: Center for International and Strategic Studies, Peking University, 2011). In Chinese.
  • “Illicit Activity & Proliferation: North Korean Smuggling Networks,” International Security, vol. 32, no. 1 (Summer 2007), pp. 80-111.