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Tom Cliff is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow in the School of Culture, History, and Language at the Australian National University.


Tom is currently investigating non-state welfare and public goods provision in rural China. The research is centrally concerned with how  lineage, local identity, and enterprise association respond to and shape China's changing policy and economic environment. (See Face Funds story.)

Tom has conducted long-term fieldwork in Xinjiang, covering over two decades. In 2018, Tom's first book Oil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang (Chicago, 2016) won the Association for Asian Studies' prestigious E Gene Smith prize for Best Book on Inner Asia. 

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