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Elizabeth Larus - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Elizabeth Larus Elizabeth Larus

Professor, Political Science | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. Larus is an expert in the politics of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong




Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science, received a Ph.D. (1994) in government with a certificate in Asian studies from the University of Virginia. She earned an M.A. (1989) in public administration, also from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. (1983) in journalism from Creighton University. An expert in the politics of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Dr. Larus conducted field research while living in Asia for three years. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and is the former press secretary for former U.S. Congressman Hal Daub. She is the author of the books Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises (2005) and Politics and Society in Contemporary China (2012).

Her articles have been published in several professional journals including Issues & Studies, American Journal of Chinese Studies, Policy Studies Review, Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Asian Affairs, American Asian Review, and the Chinese-English magazine Voice of Han.

She also has written chapters in several books including Taiwan and the International Community; The China Handbook; Taiwan and Mainland China Toward the Twenty first Century; Adjusting to Capitalism: Chinese Workers and Their State; Across the Taiwan Strait: Exchanges, Conflicts, and Negotiations; and Remaking China’s Public Management.

Dr. Larus has presented the papers “Taiwan after the Global Financial Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?” at the American Association for Chinese Studies conference and “Taiwan’s Reaction to Global Financial Crisis” at the American Political Science Association conference.

Among her awards are a Dissertation Fellowship Award and two duPont Fellowships, all from the University of Virginia. She also was the recipient of a Lingnan Foundation Research Grant and a Pacific Cultural Foundation Grant. She was a 2007-08 academic fellow of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. In addition, Dr. Larus is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, the American Association for Chinese Studies, and the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies. Dr. Larus has served on the editorial board of Issues & Studies and as the president of the Virginia Consortium for Asian Studies.

Areas of Expertise (12)

Political Science

University Teaching

Public Policy

International Relations

Foreign Policy


Community Outreach

Public Speaking

Policy Analysis

Asia-Pacific Issues

Economic Research


Accomplishments (3)

Taiwan Fellowship (professional)


Awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China.

Research Grant (professional)

Awarded by the Lingnan Foundation.

Research Grant in Chinese Studies (professional)

Awarded by the Pacific Cultural Foundation.

Education (3)

University of Virginia: Ph.D., Government 1994

With a certificate in Asian studies.

University of Virginia: M.A., Public Administration 1989

Creighton University: B.A., Journalism 1983

Affiliations (5)

  • American Association for Chinese Studies
  • China Studies Group
  • American Political Science Association
  • Conference Group on Taiwan Studies
  • Virginia Consortium for Asian Studies

Media Appearances (15)

einstein Says China Is ‘Growing Into a Respectable Nation’ As it Continues Persecuting Christians, Muslims

faithwire.com  online


“Imagine you are someone living in Hong Kong, how you have to self-censor what you say in public,” said Elizabeth Larus, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington. “In the media, you have to be careful what you say. Teachers will have to be very careful in what they teach and what they say. This law has a very, very wide sweep despite Carrie Lam’s argument and calming words that this affects just a tiny, tiny number of people.”

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US-China cold war

Indus News  online


Elizabeth Freund Larus, Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on Indus News on China's sanctioning of US officials. Larus indicated that China imposed sanctions on US Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, US Rep. Chris Smith, and US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback in retaliation for their support of the newly passed Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, and for their criticism of Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong and in Muslim-majority populated Xinjiang Province. Dr. Larus's comments begin 23 minutes into the program.

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'The World is Watching': New Hong Kong Security Law Wide in Interpretation Against Any Action Deemed Anti-Government

CBN News  online


'The World is Watching': New Hong Kong Security Law Wide in Interpretation Against Any Action Deemed Anti-Government (CBN News)

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In Focus South Asia Russia-sponsored Assassins, Cold war in Pacific

Indus News  online


Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, offered comments June 29 on Indus News on disputes in the South China Sea. Professor Larus indicated that a late June statement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) affirming that international law should be the basis for determining sovereignty and entitlements in the South China Sea is a rebuke of China's claim to the vast waters on historical grounds. Dr. Larus indicated that previous statements on the South China Sea either were retracted or did not name China, and that the June 2020 statement was a rare instance of unity among Southeast Asian nations in the face of Chinese aggression. Professor Larus's commentary begins 20 minutes into the program.

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China Telecom Urges U.S. Regulators Not To Revoke Operations in U.S.

CNBC  online


She commented on CNBC Asia on June 9 on the successful recall vote against Kaohsiung, Taiwan Mayor Han Kuo-yu, and on the 2020 Presidential Election and US-China Relations. She stated that overblown promises, efforts to move Taiwan closer to China, and the HK protests all contributed to Han Kuo-yu's recall from the mayorship of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Regarding the 2020 US presidential election, she argued that a Democratic administration may not be much kinder to China than the Trump administration.

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China should not expect an easier relationship in a Biden administration: Professor

CNBC.com  online


University of Mary Washington professor Elizabeth Freund Larus talks to “Squawk Box Asia” about what to expect should Joe Biden win the White House in the 2020 election. She says that while tense rhetoric will likely simmer down, an easier U.S.-China relationship will not necessarily bloom.

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Indus Special with Ejaz Haider | Pakistan & Afghan peace | US-Taiwan arms deal | Ep 389

Indus News  online


She offered comments to Indus News on May 22 on US torpedo sales to Taiwan. She explained that the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act obligates the United States to sell arms to Taiwan. The pending sale of torpedoes to Taiwan upholds the US commitment to a democratic ally and friend.

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The Taipei Act: Well Intended But Uncertain?

Taiwan Insight  online


US President Donald Trump on March 26 signed into law the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act (TAIPEI Act), strengthening US commitment to protecting Taiwan’s international standing.

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PSIA Professor Larus comments on Indus News on US citizen protests against closures

News Wire  online


She appeared on Indus News on Monday in a story on the citizen protests in the United States. She argued that US citizens are within their constitutional rights to assembly and freedom of speech in protesting excessive lockdown measures imposed by some governors.

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Can President Trump suspend constitutional rights of Americans due to coronavirus crisis? Experts say unlikely

MEAWW  online


"There has been talk of suspending the Constitution during times of crisis, such as President Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus and Franklin D. Roosevelt's extraordinary wartime powers, such as the internment of Americans of Japanese descent," Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Department of Political Science, University of Mary Washington told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). "Americans have (sometimes grudgingly, sometimes willingly) acquiesced to enhanced executive power during times of national crisis, with the understanding that things 'get back to normal' once the crisis has passed. This, in fact, happened during WWII. However, that was when Americans had faith in our government. Americans no longer have that level of trust in the federal government," she said.

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UMW Fulbright professor evacuated from Poland

The Free Lance-Star  online


Since University of Mary Washington political science professor Elizabeth Larus got back from Poland on Monday night, she’s been quarantined in her room.

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Romney’s Impeachment Vote Unlikely to Spoil his 2024 Utah Dreams Despite Trump’s Popularity Surge: Experts

meaww.com  online


Romney’s Impeachment Vote Unlikely to Spoil his 2024 Utah Dreams Despite Trump’s Popularity Surge: Experts (MEAWW.com) Elizabeth Larus, Professor, Political Science at University of Mary Washington believes that the Utah senator will run in the upcoming polls, and although there are some voters in Utah who will come out to vote against Romney, he need not worry about his political standing in the state.

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Mueller, border policy, state politics, buying Greenland, impeachment and more: this is how we covered US politics and policy in 2019

London School of Economics US Centre  online


Scott Fischer and Elizabeth Freund Larus of the University of Mary Washington argued that when the proceedings move to a Senate trial, conviction would likely be an uphill battle given Washington DC’s current partisanship.

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Could Hong Kong protests give Tsai Ing-wen the edge in Taiwan’s presidential race?

South China Morning Post  online


Elizabeth Larus, an expert on Taiwanese politics at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, the United States, said that in most polls Tsai had a significant lead over Han, bolstered by young voters who supported the Hong Kong protesters. “The Tsai camp clearly has momentum, while Han appears to be stuck looking for the right message, which is much too late in the campaign cycle,” she said.

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U.S. May Have Snubbed a Critical Deal-Maker in China Trade Talks

trueviralnews.com  online


“The Chinese communist party has what’s called leading small groups-LSGs-for all important policy matters,” said Elizabeth Larus, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington and expert in the politics of China. “Xi Jinping is the leader of most of these leading small groups.”

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Event Appearances (1)

Taiwan after the Global Financial Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

American Association for Chinese Studies annual meeting  Winston-Salem, NC


Articles (4)

Technological Change and China's Naval Modernization: Security Implications for Taiwan Palgrave MacMillan


In "Cross-Taiwan Strait Relations in an Era of Technological Change: Security, Economic and Cultural Dimensions," edited by Paul Irwin Crookes and Jan Knoerich.

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Politics and Society in Contemporary China Lynne Rienner Publishers


This authoritative text captures the dynamism of Chinese politics and society. Elizabeth Larus begins with a broad sweep of China's modern history—from the imperial era to the present—providing essential context for understanding the current political environment. She then makes sense of the dramatic political, social, and economic changes that have occurred across some six decades. The result is a rich and detailed analysis that is both thought-provoking and accessible, appropriate for students at all levels.

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Taiwan's Quest for International Recognition Issues & Studies


To be attractive to other states, Taiwan has constructed a national identity based on universal values of democracy, freedom, and economic prosperity. This article examines Taiwan's use of soft power and national identity issues to gain international recognition of national sovereignty.

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Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises Edwin Mellen Press


This book provides a clear, yet intricate understanding of the issues, focusing on the state industrial enterprises and affirming that a policy of gradualism was politically prudent in the 1980s and 90s given the political constraints and resistance to reforms by some labor groups. It depicts the delicate balance between state owned enterprises and domestic worker dissatisfaction.

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