Professor of Liberal Arts

Institutional Affiliation

Colorado School of Mines
Department of Liberal Arts


Ph.D., M.A., University of Virginia
B.A., Shimer College

Regional and Thematic Interests

Central Asia; East Asia
Government/Political Systems


Dr. Elizabeth Van Wie Davis has lived and worked in Asia for many years. Initially, her academic research focused on China. She and her family lived in China on several occasions, primarily in Nanjing and Beijing, and traveled extensively throughout the Chinese countryside. During her time at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, she met former President George H W Bush on several occasions regarding China issues. Her work on the Chinese energy policy and the environment expanded to other parts of Asia, including field work and publications on Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea.

After 17 years in academia, Dr. Davis took a hiatus to work for the US Government on issues related to Asia. Based in Hawaii, she travelled regularly to Asia to work on issues of preventive diplomacy. These USG projects included discussions on China with Pakistan, aiding Bangladesh during a difficult political time, and working with the Nepalese officials during the transition from monarchy to representative democracy as well as a citation for her work on the EP3 incident. Simultaneous to these on-the- ground projects, Dr. Davis maintained a rigorous academic agenda that including briefing US senators and congressmen, top US military officers, and foreign government officials on issues related to China and Asia. During this time as well, she wrote her third book, “Islam, Oil and Geopolitics,” examining how energy resources impact the policies of the United States, Russia and China.

Dr. Davis has come to Mines eager to work on policy issues related to energy and to share her love and knowledge of Asia.

Dr. Davis is working on her sixth book, PANDORA’S BOX: How Technology Has Changed Global Security. This book follows her books on SHADOW WARFARE: CYBERWAR POLICY IN THE US, RUSSIA, AND CHINA (2021), RULING, RESOURCES AND RELIGION IN CHINA (2012), ISLAM, OIL AND GEOPOLITICS (2007), CHINESE PERSPECTIVES ON SINO-AMERICAN RELATIONS (2000), and CHINA AND THE LAW OF THE SEA CONVENTION: FOLLOW THE SEA (1995). She has published over 70 articles and reviews in notable journals and has given over 100 expert interviews with major news sources like the Wall Street Journal and LA Times. 

Selected Publications

Forthcoming. Ethics of Non-War Warfare in Asia 

2012. Ruling, Resources and Religion in China (London: Palgrave).

2007. Islam, Oil and Geopolitics (Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield).