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Wan-Zi Lu

 Wan-Zi Lu

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2021

Areas of Interest

Medical Sociology, Comparative-Historical Analysis, Political Economy, Global Health, and Culture



Wan-Zi Lu’s research examines bodily donation at the nexus of the institutionalization of care, political culture, and gift-giving. To understand why shared cultural norms have produced different policies and practices of organ donation, she examines the regulatory frameworks and policy outcomes of organ donation in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Through her comparative historical analysis, she illuminates that institutional and organizational apparatuses affect policy delivery, define the boundaries of markets, and shape medical outcomes. She also explores how these institutional designs influence the legalization of gamete and embryo donation across the globe, projects where she shows that healthcare development intertwines with market frontiers, state authorities, and the provision of social welfare.

Recent Publications

  • Lu, Wan-Zi, and J. Michael Millis. 2023. “Organ Donation for Transplantation in the United States,” Chapters 5, 6, and 7 in Incentives and Disincentives for Organ Donation (Philosophy & Medicine series), edited by Ruiping Fan. New York: Springer Nature.
  • Lu, Wan-Zi, and Zong-Rong Lee. 2023. “Generic Authority Structures and the Emergence of Credit Unions: Evidence from Indigenous Communities in Taiwan.” Revue Française de Sociologie 63 (3/4): 553-583.
  • Lu, Wan-Zi. 2022. “Authority Structures and Single-Party Dominance in Indigenous Communities in Taiwan.” Sociology of Development 8 (2): 162–191.
  • Clemens, Elisabeth S., and Wan-Zi Lu. 2020. “State as Institutions,” pp. 435-57 in The New Handbook of Political Sociology, edited by Thomas Janoski, Cedric de Leon, Joya Misra, and Isaac William Martin. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.