Jonas Nahm


Jonas Nahm is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Economy in the Department of Political Science at MIT. His research focuses on the political economy of development and industrial upgrading, the politics of innovation, and the political economy of the energy sector. In addition to China – his primary regional focus for the exploration of these themes – Jonas' research draws on cases in Germany and the United States. His dissertation project examines processes of industrial development and technological innovation in the context of wind and solar power industries in China, Germany, and the United States.

In addition to dissertation research, Jonas has contributed to two large, interdisciplinary research projects at MIT. For the Energy Innovation Project at the Industrial Performance Center, he led the research effort on innovation in energy efficient building practices in the United States and Germany. More recently, as a researcher on the MIT study on Production in the Innovation Economy, he has been investigating the relationship between manufacturing capabilities and innovation in a wide range of industrial sectors in China, Germany and the United States. 

Jonas has been an MIT Energy Fellow and a Fellow of the German National Academic Foundation. His research has been funded by Banco Santander, the Horowitz Foundation of Social Policy Research, the Harvard Center for European Studies, the MIT Center for International Studies, and the Caroll Wilson Foundation.  

Prior to coming to MIT, Jonas completed a B.A. in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and an M.A. in Political Science and Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto. He speak German and Mandarin Chinese.


“Scale-Up Nation: China’s Specialization in Innovative Manufacturing.” World Development (forthcoming, with Edward Steinfeld).

“The Role of Innovative Manufacturing in High-Tech Product Development: Evidence from China’s Renewable Energy Sector” in "Production in the Innovation Economy," edited by Richard Locke and Rachel Wellhausen. MIT Press (January 2014, with Edward Steinfeld).

“Reinventing Mass Production: China's Specialization in Innovative Manufacturing,” in "New Research on Industrial Policy," edited by Richard Locke. Korean Development Institute (forthcoming 2014, with Edward Steinfeld).

“Reinventing Mass Production: China's Specialization in Innovative Manufacturing.” MIT Political Science Department Research Paper Working Paper 2012-25. Available at SSRN (2012, with Edward Steinfeld)

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: The Case of Germany. MIT Industrial Performance Center Working Paper 11-0005 (2011).