Professor Ting Xu

Essex Law School
Professor Ting Xu



Ting Xu joined the School of Law at the University of Essex in July 2020. She holds an LLB from Sun Yat-sen University and an LLM (with Distinction) and PhD from the London School of Economics. She was a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Sheffield (2015-2020), a Lecturer at the School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast (2012–2015) and a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (2009–2012) on an interdisciplinary and collaborative European Research Council funded project. Ting has convened modules including Land Law and Contemporary Issues in Property Law (Queen’s University Belfast) and Property Law (Land Law, Equity and Trusts) and Commercial Property in a Global Context (University of Sheffield). At Essex Law School, she is currently teaching Land Law, Legal Research Skills (module convenor), and Comparative Law (including comparative property law). Ting's research is interdisciplinary, focusing on socio-legal and comparative aspects of property law; law, development and governance; Chinese law; and political economy. Ting would welcome research proposals in these areas. Ting is the author and editor of three books: The Revival of Private Property and Its Limits in Post-Mao China (Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing, 2014), Property and Human Rights in a Global Context (edited with Jean Allain, Hart Publishing, 2015) and Legal Strategies for the Development and Protection of Communal Property, Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 216 (edited with Alison Clarke, Oxford University Press, 2018). In 2012, Ting was awarded a British Academy Conference Grant (with Patrick O’Brien) for organising an international conference on knowledge formation and the history of books. In 2015 she completed a project on declining diversity and the global economy funded by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre. In 2017 She completed a project 'Diversifying Ownership of Land?: Communal Property in the UK and China' funded by the British Academy International Mobility and Partnership Scheme 2014-17. She founded and led a 'communal property research network' including 41 scholars from 13 countries . In 2017 she also completed a project on the Land Rights Reform in Rural China funded by China's National Social Science Foundation (2015-2017) (as Co Investigator; PI, Professor Fengzhang Li, School of Law, Shanghai University). She was a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow (2019-2020) working on a project on 'Harold Laski and His Chinese Disciples: Using Biographical Methods to Study the Evolution of Rights in Republican China (1911-1949)'. She will be a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow from January 2025. Ting has been appointed as a visiting senior fellow at LSE Law School; a visiting fellow at the Centre for Law and Society, School of Law & Politics, Cardiff University; a visiting professor at the School of Law, Jilin University; and a visiting professor at the Graduate School, University of International Business and Economics in China. She is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. Ting has provided consultancy to the Scottish Land Commission, Global Witness, Friends of the Earth Europe, and the European Commission.


  • PhD London School of Economics, (2009)

  • LLM London School of Economics, (2005)

  • LLB Sun Yat-sen University, (2004)


University of Essex

  • Professor, Law, University of Essex (7/7/2020 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Property Law

Key words: property theory
Open to supervise

Law and Development

Key words: property and development
Open to supervise

Law and Social Theory

Open to supervise

Political Economy

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Comparative Law (LW205)

  • Legal Research Skills (LW254)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)


Xu, T., (2018). Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Property? A Longitudinal Analysis of Property Regime Transformation in China. Journal of Comparative Law. 12 (2), 496-517

Book chapters (3)

Xu, T., Escaping the poverty trap in China: the co-evolution of diversity in property and economic development. In: A Modern Guide to Uneven Economic Development. Editors: Reinert, ES. and Kvangraven, I., . Edward Elgar. 278- 304

Xu, T., (2023). Mathematical modelling, rule-making, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In: The Politics of Modelling. Oxford University PressOxford. 153- 166. 0198872410

Xu, T. and Gong, W., (2016). Communal Property Rights in International Human Rights Instruments: Implications for De Facto Expropriation. In: Property and Human Rights in a Global Context. Editors: Xu, T. and Allain, J., . Bloomsbury Publishing. 225- 246. 9781509901739

Reports and Papers (1)

Antoniou, A., Karapapa, S., Sarid, E., Woods, L. and Xu, T., (2020). Consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

Grants and funding


Diversity in Property and Legality in Uneven Development: The Case of Post-Mao China

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 876477


5NW.8.12, Colchester Campus

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