In July 2014, Sarah Eaton took up a Professorship in the Society and Economy of Modern China, a position held jointly at the Institute for Sociology and the Centre for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS). She has a doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto (2011). Prior to arriving at Göttingen, she was an Associate Professor of Contemporary Chinese Political Economy (2013-2014) at the University of Oxford's School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo (2012-2013) and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford (2011-2012). Her research interests and teaching expertise centre on Chinese political economy, inclusive of its regional and global dimensions.
Her current major research project examines the ideational- and interest-based drivers of state capitalism in reform era China (1978-). Building on the findings of her doctoral work and publications in The China Journal (2013) and the Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies (2014), she is currently completing a book manuscript on the topic. Provisionally titled The Advance of the State in China, the book illuminates the complex politics behind the 'advance' of large, state-owned enterprises in the domestic political economy as well as their expansion into global markets. Eaton argues that the advance of the state has developed incrementally from an eclectic set of ideas regarding the political and economic significance of developing state-controlled large enterprise groups.
Another ongoing research project of hers concerns the central government?s current efforts to steer China in the direction of greener growth. Together with Genia Kostka, she has examined Chinese localities' efforts to forge new growth models in connection with the central government's recent "green" economic plans, the results of which were recently published in The China Quarterly. Her future work in this area will focus in on the role played by state-owned enterprises in China's nascent green planning system.