Dr. Shelley Rigger is the vice president for academic affairs, dean of faculty, and Brown Professor of East Asian Politics at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University (2006) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (2013 & 2015). She is a non-resident fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). She is also a director of The Taiwan Fund, a closed-end investment fund specializing in Taiwan-listed companies.
Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). In 2011 she published Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, a book for general readers. Her most recent book, The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise (2021) explains how Taiwanese businesses made it possible for the PRC–a country without private property or business as recently as 1978–to become the “factory to the world.” She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her monograph, “Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism’” was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006. In 2019-20 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar based in Taipei, where she worked on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off and a study of Taiwanese youth.