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Ph.D., 2013, History
Philip Thai is a historian of modern China with research and teaching interests that include legal history, economic history, business history, and history of capitalism. At the core of his inquiries is understanding the interplay between law, society, and economy. He is an associate in research at Harvard University Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin Hurst Institute in Legal History, and a Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) China Studies Postdoctoral Fellow during the 2015–16 academic year. His interdisciplinary work has been supported by a number of organizations, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI). He is currently completing his manuscript tentatively titled, “The War on Smuggling: Law, Illicit Markets, and State Power on the China Coast,” which uses China’s campaigns against smuggling during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to examine the transformation of state authority and the larger socioeconomic impact of state-building. Professor Thai received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2013 and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. Between his time as a graduate and undergraduate student, he spent several years as a consultant and financial analyst in the private sector.