Conversations: Max Grömping and Jessica Teets on Lobbying the Autocrat
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Conversations: Max Grömping and Jessica Teets on Lobbying the Autocrat



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In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Project Director and Research Fellow Dr Jennifer Hsu talks with Dr Max Grömping and Professor Jessica Teets to explore how lobbying by civil society organisations works in an authoritarian context. Using case studies from China, Russia, Belarus, Cambodia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Turkey and Zimbabwe, Lobbying the Autocrat explores how citizen advocacy organisations carve out niches in the authoritarian policy process, even influencing policy outcomes.

Dr Max Grömping is senior lecturer at the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University (Australia). His research interests include lobbying and advocacy in different political regime contexts, disinformation, and electoral integrity. He previously worked as lecturer at Heidelberg University (Germany), research associate at the University of Sydney (Australia), and instructor in international relations at Thammasat University (Thailand). Max is an affiliate of the International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE), and associate editor for the journal Democratization. His work has been published in academic journals such as Political CommunicationGovernanceParty Politics, and Policy Sciences, among others.

Professor Jessica C. Teets is Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College and Templeton Fellow for the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Her research focuses on governance in authoritarian regimes, especially the role of civic participation. She is the author of Civil Society Under Authoritarianism: The China Model(Cambridge University Press, 2014), editor (with William Hurst) of Local Governance Innovation in China: Experimentation, Diffusion, and Defiance (Routledge Contemporary China Series, 2014), and editor (with Max Grömping) of Lobbying the Autocrat: The Dynamics of Policy Advocacy in Nondemocracies (University of Michigan Press, 2023).



Areas of expertise: China’s state-society relations, Chinese civil society, NGOs, development, social policy, philanthropy, Overseas Chinese communities, Australia-China relations