Dr May Chu

Dr May Chu

Department of Public Administration and Policy
Assistant Professor
School Head of Global Engagement

Contact details

School of Government
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

May Chu is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), the School of Government. Her main research interests centre on public governance and risk regulation.


  • PhD in Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2014
  • MRes in Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2008
  • MSc in Public Policy and Administration, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2006
  • BSSc in Government and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005


May’s main research interests centre on public governance and risk regulation. Her current research focuses on the politics of regulation, regulatory regimes, and the globalisation of regulation, especially in the contexts of less developed countries and the East Asia and Pacific region.

With a passion for ensuring global food safety and promoting public health, May has further devoted herself to the cross-disciplinary research of food safety and security regulation.  Her research outputs are published in top-tier venues, including Regulation & Governance, Policy & Politics, and Food Control. She has also secured competitive grants in the capacity of PI, Co-PI, and Co-I.

May’s research contributions have been recognised as significant by external bodies and have generated policy impacts – her work has resulted in recommendations regarding improving food safety regulation in different contexts, which are adopted by policymakers and practitioners. Outside of academia, she has contributed to the betterment of society with her knowledge, organising and teaching training courses to local officials and community members around the world.

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, she worked as an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


May's teaching has included:

  • Public policy and evidence
  • Comparative public management
  • Public Policy Research Methods

Postgraduate supervision

May Chu is interested in supervising projects related to collaborative governance and changes in public policy, especially in the area of risk regulation. Please contact her to discuss your proposal ideas.

Current PhD student:

Pak Wan Major PAU, 08/2019–07/2023 (expected); Policy learning and institutional variations: from UN’s disaster risk governance to Asia-Pacific states.


Research interests

May Chu’s main research interests centre on public governance and risk regulation. She produces cross disciplinary research on food safety and security regulation.

Current projects

  • Food safety  regulation: a collaborative governance perspective
    Access to secure and safe food is a human right, but business communities sometimes compromise food safety to maximise their profits. To reduce such risks, regulations are enacted to maintain food standards. With a passion for ensuring global food safety and promoting public health, May Chu has devoted herself to the research of regulation. She has developed the concept of ‘collaborative governance’ in relation to regulatory space in the food sector. And May has formulated a structured research plan and produced research outputs that consider managing food risks by means of collaboration among the three occupants—the public sector, the private sector, and the communities.
  • Agricultural intensification and sustainable food development
    Ending hunger and achieving food security is one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Agricultural intensification, however, has had adverse effects on sustainable farming. Solving this conundrum between security and sustainability requires scientific knowledge from multiple fields. May collaborates with a research team with colleagues in the disciplines of science, engineering, law, medicine, and business. Their research evaluates the environmental and health impacts of agricultural intensification and the motivations of consumers to modify their behaviours to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Other activities

Editorial Board Member, Policy Studies, from 01/2021


Chu, M. (2021), The limits to the internationalisation of regulation: Divergent enforcement strategies in China’s food safety regulation. Policy & Politics, 49(3): 433–453.

Chu, M. (2020), Horses for courses: China’s accommodative approach to food standard-setting in response to the internationalization of regulation. Regulation & Governance, 14(3): 514–530.

Wang, J. H., Tao, J. Y., Chu, M. (2020), Behind the label: Chinese consumers’ trust in food certification and the effect of perceived quality on purchase intention. Food Control, 108 (February), 106825.

Chu, M., Chang, Y. C., Lee, C. Y., Cheng, K. T. (2019), Perceptions of communications sector regulatory performance in the East Asia and Pacific region. Utilities Policy, 58 (June): 128–135.

Wang, J. H., Chu, M., Deng, Y. Y., Lam, H. M., Tang, J. J. (2018), Determinants of pesticide application: An empirical analysis with theory of planned behavior. China Agricultural Economic Review, 10(4): 608–625.

Chu, M., Wang, J. H. (2018), Central-local collaboration in regulating food safety in China. Public Money and Management, 38(6): 437–444.

Wang, J. H., Chu, M., Ma, Y. (2018), Measuring rice farmer’s pesticide overuse practice and the determinants: A statistical analysis based on data collected in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces of China. Sustainability, 10(3): 677–694.

Wang, J. H., Tao, J. Y., Yang C. C., Chu, M., Lam, H. M. (2017), A general framework incorporating knowledge, risk perception and practices to eliminate pesticide residues: A structural equation modelling analysis based on survey data of 986 Chinese farmers. Food Control, 80 (October): 143–150.

View all publications in research portal