Before joining UT, I completed my doctoral studies at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Zurich (UZH) in 2020. During my doctoral studies, I have acquired extensive research expertise and fieldwork experience focusing on local citizen participation (Participatory Budgeting), urban governance and democratic innovations. I did my BA in Political Science at the National University of Singapore, and my MA in International Studies at the Comparative and International Studies program (ETH Zurich and University of Zurich). In between my BA and MA, as well as MA & PhD studies, I have worked in the private sector (Financial information, government agency, and e-commerce start up).

Going forward, I am pursuing a new research agenda of the intersection of technology and governance, still focusing on China, but also in a broader context.Beyond my academic activities, I am also supporting Social Equity and Participation Center, a NGO based in Chengdu, with their research needs, as well as providing ad-hoc advisory support for Pax Tecum, a diplomatic consultancy based in London.


I am interested in citizen participation, democratic innovations, digital governance, with an area focus on China.

Other contributions

Woo, S. Y., Dong, L., & Kübler, D. (2023). Now a systemic rival? Inklings of complex representations of the EU in public survey data of Chinese urban residents. Comparative European Politics, 1-19.

Woo, S.Y. (2023) Deliberation with Chinese Characteristics: A Tale of Two Chinese Cities’ Participatory Budgeting Experiences. Taylor & Francis.

Dong, L., Woo, S. Y., & Kübler, D. (2022). The Chinese Public’s Perceptions of the European Union: Changes and Stability Revealed by 2010 and 2020 Surveys. Journal of Contemporary China, 1-19.

Wang, Z., & Woo, S. Y. (2021). Deliberative representation: how Chinese authorities enhance political representation by public deliberation. Journal of Chinese Governance, 1-33.

Woo, S. Y., & Kübler, D. (2020). Taking Stock of Democratic Innovations and Their Emergence in (unlikely) Authoritarian Contexts. Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 61(2), 335-355.

Kübler, D., Rochat, P. E., Woo, S. Y., & Van der Heiden, N. (2020). Strengthen governability rather than deepen democracy: why local governments introduce participatory governance. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 86(3), 409-426.

I will be teaching

  • Organisational Theory (BA premasters)
  • Comparative research methods (BA)
  • Academic research (MA)
  • Supervising the project for shaping digital Europe (under M7a: EU Governance and Policy: Shaping Europe) 

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

In the press

• How democracy features in local Chinese politics, Swissinfo, November 23, 2022.
• With Ukraine War, Europe’s Democratic Project Takes on New Urgency, New York Times, October 6, 2022
• Interview: Citizen Participation in China. Mission Publiques., September 19, 2022
• Demokrati, der virker, Weekendavisen (in Danish), February 6, 2022
• Podcast on ‘Understanding China’ on Pax Tecum (Diplomatic Consultancy) website, October 11, 2021

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