Alison Sile Chen is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science department at the University of California, San Diego, studying authoritarian surveillance. Before coming to the U.S. to pursue an academic career, Chen was a journalist and columnist focusing on social movements and political repression in China. Most of her work is published under the pen name Zhao Sile (赵思乐). She is the winner of two Society of Asian Publishers Awards, the highest honor for covering Asia. Chen also received the Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award six times between 2011 and 2017.

Chen’s first book, Her Battles, was selected as one of the Ten Best Chinese Books in 2017 by Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly). She was a Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy from 2017 to 2018, where she conducted research on the effect of China’s political restriction on Taiwanese civil society. She has served as an advisor for many organizations within the community of Chinese youth activists. Chen now studies comparative politics and social movements concerning China.

Last Updated: June 15, 2022

Nevertheless, Chinese Civil Society Persisted

Alison Sile Chen
In an autocracy, atomized individuals, without power or influence, seem to have only two options: willingly serve as “social livestock,” or accept their fate and lie flat. But in a society as large as China’s, with 1.4 billion people, can that...



China’s Record Urban Youth Unemployment

Qin Chen, Alison Sile Chen & more
China has recorded its highest level of unemployment among urban youth since the country began tracking it in 2018. In March, 16 percent of Chinese city-dwellers aged 16 to 24 were unemployed, compared to 13.6 percent a year earlier. In May, that...

Is Hong Kong about to Get Its Own Foreign NGO Law in the Name of ‘National Security’?

Thomas Kellogg & Alison Sile Chen
On May 28, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) issued a much-anticipated Decision on preservation of national security in Hong Kong. The key paragraph in the short document authorized the NPC’s Standing Committee to “draft laws related to...