Verity Robins | Student | Profiles
Verity Robins

Ms Verity Robins

Degree course:

Academic Profile

Verity is a doctoral student within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and a member of St. Antonys College. Veritys current research looks at Older Peoples Associations (OPAs) in contemporary China, focusing on their role in either promoting or circumventing popular collective action amongst the elderly at the grassroots level. Her research also looks at how OPAs are used as a mobilizing structure for activism and whether elderly activists revert to protest repertoires and demands that were learnt during the Mao-era.Verity works with one of todays leading academics in the field of Chinas domestic politics,Dr. Patricia M. Thornton.Veritys DPhil research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and St. Antonys College. She has also received research grants from the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford.

Verity holds an MSc. in Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford (2012). For her MSc. dissertation shedesigned, organised and executed a month-long field research project on governance and the elderly in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, under the expert supervision ofProfessor Vivienne Shue. She was awarded a distinction for this research project. Verityalso holds a first class BA honours degree in Politics from the University of Nottingham, where she wrote a prize-winning honours thesis on Chinese border tensions.

Prior to taking up her place at Oxford, she worked for conflict prevention NGO International Crisis Group in Brussels. Verity is currently affiliated to the London-based think-tank The Foreign Policy Centre as a research associate. You can follow Veritys musings on Chinese politics on twitter: @verity_robins.

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

  • Chinese politics and society
  • State-society relations
  • Social movements and contentious politics
  • Civil society and NGOs within authoritarian contexts
  • Qualitative research methods


  • Distinction on MSc. Dissertation, Modern Chinese Studies, University of Oxford. (2012)
  • China Centre Research and Travel Award (500), School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford. (2012)
  • Economic and Social Research Council Studentship, 1+3 Area Studies and Politics Pathway, University of Oxford. (2011 - 2015)
  • St. Antonys College Scholarship, University of Oxford. (2011 - 2015)
  • Elizabeth and JD. Marsden Prize (500), University of Nottingham. (Awarded for outstanding academic and extracurricular contributions at the University of Nottingham. Awarded to 3 students per graduating year.)(2010)
  • Universitas-21Undergraduate Researcher Award,Universitas-21and University of Nottingham.(2010)
  • Dennis Kavanagh Prize for Best Dissertation in Politics, University of Nottingham. (2010)
  • First Class BA Honours in Politics, University of Nottingham. (2010)
  • Catherine Williamson Travel and Research Award (1000), University of Nottingham. (2008)

Conference Papers and Presentations

Universitas-21Undergraduate Research Conference(University of Melbourne, 1st - 7th July 2010)

  • Justice and Security in Modern China: How state/minority relations impact culture in Education

Catherine Williamson Travel and Research Award Conference(University of Nottingham, 25th September 2008)

  • Peripheries: Comparing Conceptions of Freedom in Xinjiang, China and Kyrgyzstan