Alice L. Miller

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Alice Lyman Miller is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and lecturer in East Asian studies at Stanford.

Miller first joined the Hoover Institution in 1999 as a visiting fellow. She also served as a senior lecturer in the Department of National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, 1999-2014. Before coming to Stanford, Miller taught at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. From 1980 to 1990, she was a professorial lecturer in Chinese history and politics at SAIS. From 1990 to 2000, she was an associate professor of China studies and, for most of that period, director of the China Studies Program at SAIS. She also held a joint appointment as adjunct associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins from 1996 to 1999 and as adjunct lecturer in the Department of Government, Georgetown University, from 1996 to 1998. From 1974 to 1990, Miller worked in the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior analyst in Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics and as a branch and division chief, supervising analysis on China, North Korea, Indochina, and Soviet policy in East Asia. Miller has lived and worked in Taiwan, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China; she speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Miller's research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics and on the international relations of Asia. Since 2001, she has served as general editor and regular contributor to the Hoover Institution’s China Leadership Monitor, which offers authoritative assessments of trends in Chinese leadership politics and policy to US policymakers and the general public. She is also working on a new book, tentatively entitled The Evolution of Chinese Grand Strategy, 1550–Present, which brings a historical perspective to bear on China's rising power in the contemporary international order.

Miller has published extensively on policy issues dealing with China, including several in the Hoover Digest. Others include "The Foreign Policy Outlook of China's Third-Generation Elite,” with Liu Xiaohong, in The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Era of Reform (David M. Lampton, ed., University of California Press, 2001); "The Late Imperial State," in festschrift for Franz Michael, The Modern Chinese State (David Shambaugh, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2000); and "Is China Unstable?" in Is China Unstable? (David Shambaugh, ed., M.E. Sharpe, 2000). She is the author of Science and Dissent in Post-Mao China: The Politics of Knowledge (University of Washington Press, 1996) and, with SAIS professor Richard Wich, Becoming Asia: Change and Continuity in Asian International Relations since World War II (Stanford University Press, 2011).

Miller won the Distinguished Teaching Award at Johns Hopkins University in 1994–95 and the Schieffelin Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2012. Miller has been interviewed on Voice of America, National Public Radio, CNN, and in Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, as well as press from Japan, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China.

Miller graduated from Princeton University in 1966, receiving a BA in Oriental studies. She earned an MA and a PhD in history from George Washington University in 1969 and 1974. Formerly H. Lyman Miller, she transitioned in 2006.

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Recent Commentary

How’s Hu Doing?

by Alice L. Millervia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 2004

President Hu Jintao continues China’s long march toward political reform. By Hoover fellow H. Lyman Miller.

Party Affairs

Hu Jintao and the Party Politburo

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, January 30, 2004

Publicity attending the recent party Central Committee plenum and other media attention over the past year have shed light on the operations of the party's top decision-making body, the Politburo, under party General Secretary Hu Jintao's leadership. Much of the picture of Chinese leadership decision making remains dim, but the recent publicity has illuminated the formal aspects of Politburo routines and procedures in small but still significant ways. This publicity also permits tentative inferences about the dynamic of power in the Politburo and its Standing Committee and perhaps about Hu Jintao's personal aims in pressing institutional reform in the Politburo and beyond.

Party Affairs

The Hu-Wen Leadership at Six Months

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and People's Republic of China (PRC) Premier Wen Jiabao have governed China for nearly six months since their installation at the 16th Party Congress in November 2002 and the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) in March 2003. Since taking power, they have faced unexpected crises and new dilemmas. They have also had an opportunity to put in place policy departures that give concrete expression to the abstruse ideological prescriptions of the party congress. And, they have imparted their own style of governance. Judged from the record so far, Hu and Wen have built on themes of the Jiang Zemin era to pursue an activist agenda of liberalizing economic and political reform and have projected a liberal approach to leadership.

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Showdown

by Alice L. Millervia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

North Korea’s determination to develop nuclear weapons is the greatest threat the United States now faces. Hoover fellow Alice Lyman Miller explains how—and why—the Bush administration must respond.

Party Affairs

The 10th National People's Congress and China's Leadership Transition

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The 10th National People's Congress (NPC) completed the succession of China's top leaders that began with the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress in fall 2002 and has preoccupied China's politics for more than a year. The NPC's appointment of new leaders to most top state posts has ended the suspense regarding the leadership transition, but it has not done much to clarify ambiguities about their power relative to each other. Nevertheless, initiatives by the new leadership under party General Secretary and now People's Republic of China (PRC) President Hu Jintao have made it clear that China's leaders do not intend a conservative, status quo approach to the country's political issues and policy problems, but rather have already embarked on a clearly activist agenda.

Party Affairs

Hu Leadership Focuses on Compassionate Conservative Governance

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The four-month period between the 16th Party Congress held in November 2002 and the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) scheduled to open in March 2003 is transitional. The senior party leaders around Jiang Zemin who retired from their party positions are serving out the waning months of their terms in top posts of the People's Republic of China (PRC) state hierarchy, awaiting full retirement at the NPC. Meanwhile, the younger leaders around new party General Secretary Hu Jintao who succeeded them on the party Politburo await accession to the top state posts at the NPC. Despite the transitional nature of the pre-NPC period, the new party leaders have already begun work in roles that suggest the overall priorities of the new leadership. In particular, Hu Jintao has been at the center of efforts to present the new leadership as focused on the plight of those left behind in China's prosperity, on clean government and the rooting out of corruption, on the rule of law, and on greater transparency in leadership workings.

Party Affairs

China's Leadership Transition: The First Stage

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress delivered a turnover of top leaders that marks the first stage in a process of managed leadership transition unprecedented in People's Republic of China (PRC) politics. The congress brought to the party's top ranks a new generation of younger leaders and saw the retirement of the cohort of party leaders who had dominated China's politics since the early 1990s. The changes in the party's top leadership foreshadow comparable turnover in top PRC state posts at the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) in March 2003. The congress also ratified amendments to the party constitution that promise a watershed transformation of the party makeup in coming years.

What Will Hu Do?

by Alice L. Millervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

At a spry 60 years old, Hu Jintao is—by the standards of Chinese leaders—a very young man. Does his rise signal a break with the past? Not likely. Hoover fellow Alice Lyman Miller explains.

Party Affairs

Beijing Sets the Stage to Convene the 16th Party Congress

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

After a summer of last-minute wrangling, Beijing moved swiftly to complete preparations for the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress. Since the leadership's annual summer retreat at the north China seaside resort at Beidaihe, leadership statements and authoritative press commentary have implied that the congress, scheduled to open on November 8, 2002, will see the long-anticipated retirement of "third generation" leaders around party General Secretary Jiang Zemin and the installation of a new "fourth generation" leadership led by Hu Jintao. Chinese press commentary has also indicated that the party constitution will be amended to incorporate the "three represents"—the controversial political reform enunciated by Jiang Zemin nearly three years ago which aims to broaden the party's base by admitting the entrepreneurial, technical, and professional elite that has emerged in Chinese society under two decades of economic reform.

An Uneasy Alliance

by Alice L. Millervia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Relations between the United States and China have improved since September 11, but the two sides still view each other with a great deal of unease. Hoover fellow H. Lyman Miller on the most powerful nation on earth—and the most populous.

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