Professor. John P. BURNS 卜約翰

Emeritus Professor and Honorary Professor of the University of Hong Kong where he was the former Chair Professor of Politics and Public Administration (1996-2017) and former Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences (2011-2017). He obtained undergraduate degrees from St. Olaf College and Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He specializes in the politics and public administration of China including Hong Kong. He is the author or editor of eight books and his academic articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as China Quarterly (UK), Journal of Contemporary China (USA), Pacific Affairs (Canada), and Public Administration and Development (CAPAM).

His op-eds have appeared in The Diplomat, Global Asia,  Ming Pao (明報) and the Hong Kong Free Press where he has his own page (
). He has appeared on Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, Channel News Asia, Sky News, and has been quoted in the New York Times, CNN, the Guardian, LA Times, Nikkei Asia, and local media in Hong Kong.

Selected Publications

  • "The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, Postscript" KFCRIS Masarat, August 2023.
  • "The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong" KFCRIS Special Report, June 2022.
  • 'Carrie Lam's Legacy: Lam leaves behind a new Hong Kong, less free, less capable, and more dependent on the mainland,' The Diplomat (June 1, 2022)
  • “Human Resource Management in Public Administration: Key Challenges” in B. G. Peters and I. Thynne (eds.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Public Administration Oxford: 2022, 1-35.
  • “Public Policy and Learning from SARS: Explaining COVID-19 in Hong Kong” in Scott L. Greer, Elizabeth J. King, Andre Peralta-Santos, Elize Massard da Fonseca (eds.) Coronavirus Politics: The Comparative Politics and Policy of COVID-19 Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2021, 86-104.
  • "The State and Higher Education in Hong Kong," The China Quarterly 244 (December 2020), 1031-1055.
  • "'If we burn, you burn with us': China's 2019 political crisis in Hong Kong," Occasional Paper No. 6, Asian Research Center for International Development, School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand 2019 pp. 21.
  • Protest Policing in Hong Kong: Maintaining Professionalism and Solidarity in the Face of Renewed Political Challenges,” (with Lin Tingjin) Public Administration and Development 36 (2016) 93-107.
  • “The Impact of External Change on Civil Service Values in Post-Colonial Hong Kong,” (with Li Wei) The China Quarterly 222 (June 2015) 522-46.
  • "Changing Governance Structures and the Evolution of Public Service Bargains in Hong Kong" (with Li Wei and B. Guy Peters) International Review of Administrative Sciences 79:1 (March, 2013) 131-48.
  • 政府管治能力與香港公務員 Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 2010, xviii + 538pp.
  • 'Civil Service Reform in China: Impacts on Civil Servants' Behavior ' (with Wang Xiaoqi) The China Quarterly No. 201 (March 2010), 58-78.
  • 'Administrative Reform in Hong Kong: An Institutional Analysis of Food Safety ' Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management 17 (2008), 21-38.
  • "Explaining Civil Service Reform in Asia," in Jos C.N. Raadschelders, Theo A.J. Toonen, Fritz M. Van der Meer (eds.) Comparing Civil Service Systems in the 21st Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2007), 65-81.
  • “The Chinese Communist Party’s Nomenklatura System as a Leadership Selection Mechanism: an Eva luation,” in Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard and Zheng Yongnian (eds.) The Chinese Communist Party in Reform London : Routledge, 2006, 33-59.
  • “Civil Service Reform in China ” in OECD (ed.) Governance in China Paris : OECD, 2005, 49-75.
  • Government Capacity and the Hong Kong Civil Service ( Hong Kong : Oxford University Press, 2004) xii + 468 pp.
  • "Downsizing the Chinese State : Government Retrenchment in the 1990s," The China Quarterly175 (Sept. 2003), 775-802.
  • "Governance and Civil Service Reform," in Jude Howell (ed.) Governance in China (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), 37-57.
  • Governance – Progress and Challenges in Mongolia (Lead Consultant) Manila : Asian Development Bank, 2003.
  • "Governance and Public Sector Reform in the People's Republic of China ," in A.B.L. Cheung and I. Scott (eds.) Governance and Public Sector Reform in the Asia Pacific: Paradigm Shifts or Business as Usual? ( London : RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), 67-89.
  • "Rewarding Comrades at the Top in China," in Christopher Hood and B. Guy Peters with G. Lee (eds.) Reward for High Public Office: Asian and Pacific Rim States (London: Routledge, 2003), 49-69.
  • Development Management: Progress and Challenges in the PRC (Lead Consultant) Manila : Asian Development Bank, 2002, 128pp.
  • Civil Service Systems in Asia (co-edited, with Bidhya Bowornwathana ) ( Cheltenham : Edward Elgar, 2001), xvii + 321 pp.
  • "The People's Republic of China at Fifty: National Political Reform," The China Quarterly 159 (Sept. 1999), 580-594.
  • "Strengthening Central Party Control of Leadership Selection, The 1990 Nomenklatura," The China Quarterly 138 (June 1994), 458-491.
  • "The Structure of Communist Party Control in Hong Kong ," Asian Survey 30:8 (Aug. 1990), 748-765.
  • The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984 (edited, with introduction) Armonk , N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, 1989, xlviii + 166 pp.
  • "Chinese Civil Service Reform: The 13th Party Congress Proposals," The China Quarterly 120 (Dec. 1989), 739-770.
  • "China's Governance: Political Reform in a Turbulent Environment," The China Quarterly 119 (Sept. 1989), 481-518.
  • "China's Nomenklatura System," Problems of Communism 36:5 (Sept.-Oct. 1987), 36-51.
  • The Hong Kong Civil Service and Its Future (co-edited with Ian Scott ) Hong Kong : Oxford University Press, 1988, x + 287 pp
  • Political Participation in Rural China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), xii + 276 pp
  • The Hong Kong Civil Service: Personnel Policies and Practices (co-edited with Ian Scott ) Hong Kong : Oxford University Press, 1984, x + 330pp