PhD Candidate

Kobe University


I’m a PhD candidate at Graduate School of Law, Kobe University. I specialize in international relations and political communication, focusing on China. I also work in quantitative research methods, especially quantitative text analysis.

I received a BA in literature from Shanghai Maritime University in 2009. Motivated by the interest to understand China’s rapid rise and its global implications, I decided to pursue an academic career. I studied in Xinjiang Normal University from 2014 to 2017 and obtained an M.A. in International Relations. I came to Kobe University in October 2017 as a research student, and started my PhD in Political Science from April 2018.

My recent work with Kohei Watanabe has been published online in Social Science Computer Review.


  • International Relations
  • Political Communication
  • Text Analysis
  • Network Analysis
  • Bayesian Modeling
  • Machine Learning


  • PhD in Political Science

    Kobe University

  • M.A. in Political Science, 2020

    Kobe University

  • M.A. in International Relations, 2017

    Xinjiang Normal University

  • B.A. in Literature, 2009

    Shanghai Maritime University









Journal Articles

Kohei Watanabe and Yuan Zhou. Forthcoming. “Theory-Driven Analysis of Large Corpora: Semi- Supervised Topic Classification of the UN Speeches.” Social Science Computer Review. Link

Naoko Matsumura and Yuan Zhou. 2020. “Googling the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 Crisis.” Kobe University Law Review, 53: 51-71. Link

Yuan Zhou and Jing Shi. 2016. “Japan’s Official Development Assistance towards Central Asian States” (in Chinese). Journal of International Economic Cooperation, 371(11): 86-91. Link

Yuan Zhou and Jing Shi. 2015. “The Evaluation System of Japan’s Official Development Assistance and Its Implications” (in Chinese). Journal of International Economic Cooperation, 358(10): 86-91. Link

Book Chapters

Sandrine Boudana, Yuan Zhou, and Elad Segev. Forthcoming. “Provocation Narratives in American and Chinese News.” In The Meaning of Words: Semantic Network Analysis in Social Sciences, ed. Elad Segev (Routledge).

Current Research

Under Review

Yuan Zhou. “China’s Mediated Public Diplomacy towards Japan: A Text-as-Data Approach.”

Working Paper

Yuan Zhou and Kaoru Kurusu. “How Major Powers Diverge on Global Governance? Evidence from the UN General Debate.”

Xiaoyu Pu, Chengli Wang, and Yuan Zhou. “Signaling and Censorship: U.S. Embassy in China’s Social Media.”

Duancheng Yang, Yuan Zhou, and Quanling He. “What Kind of Democracy do Chinese People Want? Chinese Perceptions of Democracy Reconsidered.”

Yuan Zhou, Ghashia Kiyani, and Charles Crabtree. “Does Naming and Shaming Influence State Human Rights Practices?”

Yuan Zhou. “A Formal Theory of Authoritarian Foreign Propaganda.”


  • Lab Instructor and TA: Introduction to Quantitative Text Analysis (Dr. Stefan Müller), Method Workshop, Kobe University, Summer 2019

  • TA: Introduction to Social Research (Dr. Naoko Matsumura), Undergraduate Course, Kobe University, Spring 2019