He has been described by the publication as: ‘the most acute commentator... on the world’s new superpower’ (China). It also described his work on how the 1937-1945 war with Japan fits into Chinese national memory—and how it is used by the regime—as a ‘revelation’.
Over more than 25 years, Rana Mitter’s research has linked China’s long-term political history and the evolution of the Chinese state’s sense of nationalism to its current geopolitical relations, and to the way China interacts with other states, including the US, Japan, and the UK.
Rana has regularly given input on future strategy on China for UK and international policy think tanks, and contributed to thinking on China in various British government departments. He has also been active in shaping public understanding of China’s significance to the world through broadcast and print media in Britain and worldwide.
The top 50 thinkers list features those chosen by the magazine as ‘outstanding minds who are shaping the future’.
Among others on the list are novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, political scientist Helen Thompson, political theorist Achille Mbembe, entrepreneur Elon Musk and developer and politician Audrey Tang.
“I’ve been a regular reader of Prospect for over 25 years, and so it’s a real honour to be named as one of their Global Thinkers for this year,” said Rana. “The rise of China is one of the most important geopolitical changes in the last half-century, and it’s a real pleasure to feel that my writing has contributed to an understanding of why that change matters for all of us.”
Rana’s recent work includes his 20-part BBC Radio 4 series Chinese Characters, pieces in Prospect, Foreign Affairs and the Harvard Business Review (with Elsbeth Johnson), as well as regular op-ed pieces in the South China Morning Post. He appears on podcasts around the world, including most recently The Pacific Century, The Good Fight, and the Spectator Chinese Whispers podcast.