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John W. Lewis

John W. Lewis, PhD

William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics, Emeritus
CISAC Faculty Member
FSI Senior Fellow, by courtesy

Stanford University
Encina Hall, C247
Stanford CA 94305-6165

(650) 725-2701 (voice)
(650) 723-0089 (fax)

Research Interests

Health security issues in northeast Asia; Chinese politics; U.S.-China relations; China's nuclear weapons program; North Korea's nuclear weapons program; nuclear nonproliferation


John Lewis is the William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics, emeritus, and an FSI senior fellow by courtesy. He is an expert on Chinese politics, U.S.-China relations, China's nuclear weapons program, U.S. policy toward Korea and health security issues in northeast Asia. He founded and directed the Center for East Asian Studies, in 1969-1970; the Center for International Security and Arms Control (now the Center for International Security and Cooperation, or CISAC) from 1983 to 1991; and the Northeast Asia-United States Forum on International Policy (now APARC), from 1983 to 1990. He currently directs CISAC's Project on Peace and Cooperation in the Asian-Pacific Region.

Lewis joined the Stanford faculty in 1968, after teaching for seven years at Cornell University. He has served on the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences; the Joint Committee on Contemporary China of the Social Science Research Council; and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He has been a consultant to Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; the U.S. Department of Defense; the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress. He has made numerous visits to the People's Republic of China, Japan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. He arranged for the first scholars from China to come to the United States, and he led two Congressional delegations to Asia. He has assisted business executives, academics, U.S. government officials and U.S. military officers in establishing contacts and working effectively in China since 1971. In 2002-2003, he served as a participant in the Task Force on U.S. Korea Policy.

Lewis is the author of Leadership in Communist China, Major Doctrines of Communist China, and, with George Kahin, The United States in Vietnam. He has edited The City in Communist China, Party Leadership and Revolutionary Power in China, and Peasant Rebellion and Communist Revolution in Asia, in addition to contributing numerous articles for journals and books. His history of the Chinese nuclear weapons program, China Builds the Bomb, written with Xue Litai, was published by Stanford University Press in 1988 and, in Chinese, by the Atomic Energy Press (Beijing) in 1991. He has also co-authored Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (1993) and China's Strategic Seapower: The Politics of Force Modernization in the Nuclear Age (1994). A fourth volume in this military series, Imagined Enemies: China Prepares for Uncertain War, was published by Stanford Press in July 2006 (paperback edition in 2008). Also, in 2008, CISAC published Negotiating with North Korea: 1992-2007, which Lewis coauthored with Robert Carlin. Lewis received a PhD from UCLA in 1962.

Stanford Affiliations

Political Science