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Biao Xiang’s main research addresses various types of migration and mobility– internal and international, unskilled and highly skilled, and for reasons momentous and mundane– in China, India and other parts of Asia. Through the lens of migration, he has examined a wide range of political economy issues, including state-society relations, labour, social reproduction, and mobility governance.
Biao Xiang studied sociology at Beijing University, China, and received his PhD in social anthropology from the University of Oxford, UK. He was Professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford before he joined MPI in 2021.
Xiang is the winner of the 2008 Anthony Leeds Prize for his book Global Body Shopping and the 2012 William L. Holland Prize for his article ‘Predatory Princes’. His 2000 Chinese book 跨越边界的社区 (published in English as Transcending Boundaries, 2005) was reprinted in 2018 as a contemporary classic, and 自己作为方法 (Self as Method, co-authored with Wu Qi) was ranked the Most Impactful Book 2020 in China according to the website Douban. Through public-facing articles and interviews, his ideas regularly generate wide discussions in China and beyond. Xiang’s work has been translated into Japanese, French, Korean, Spanish, German and Italian.