Department of International Relations

The Department of International Relations is presently the youngest department at XJTLU, located within the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) cluster. It was established in April 2018 with the appointment of its inaugural head, Professor Adam Cross. By September 2018, the department expanded to a total of 8 faculty, with one full professor, three Associate Professors and four Lecturers.

The aims of the Department of International Relations are to:

  • Develop and deliver the most attractive degrees in International Relations taught in the English language within China for Chinese and international students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
  • Establish a portfolio of programmes that will be attractive to both Chinese and international students, including a BA International Relations, an MA in International Relations and an MA in International Business and Global Affairs. It will also expand its PhD programme over the next five years.
  • Develop a centre of research excellence in International Relations that is recognised within China and internationally, and that is well regarded in particular for its focus on: (i) China’s relations with the rest of the world (such as China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative) and (ii) social and economic interactions between the Jiangnan region of China and the rest of the world.
  • Proactively engage with the wider academic, business and policy-making communities in SIP, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, the Jiangnan region, nationally in China and further afield, especially to offer advice on interactions between the Jiangnan area and other regions of the world.

The department currently delivers one programme, the BA International Relations. The broad aims of the BA International Relations programme are to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of China’s growing socio-economic interactions with the rest of the world, and to produce the entrepreneurial and managerial leaders of the future who will bring China to the world and the world to China.


Professor Adam Cross (Head of Department)

Adam is an expert on the internationalization of Asian multinational firms, entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asia, and the cross-border licensing and management of intellectual property.

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Alessandra is an expert in Chinese society, agricultural development in North-Western China and Central Asia, China's foreign policy and international relations.

Dr Michael Connors

Michael is an expert in Thai and Southeast Asian politics, democratic thought and the international politics of the Asia Pacific.

Dr Evans Fanoulis

Evans is an expert in democracy in the European Union, populism, citizen participation in governance, and critical perspectives of security.

Dr Steve Long

Steve is an expert in the history of modern US foreign policy, with a particular focus on American intelligence operations, policy and strategy against the Soviet bloc in the early Cold War era.

Dr Debora Malito

Debora is an expert in critical IR theory, peace and state formation, African security governance, humanitarianism and state-building.

Dr Robert Pauls

Robert is an expert in comparative and international political economy, with a focus on China and East Asia.

Dr Nicole Talmacs

Nicole is an expert in cultural diplomacy and exchange, propaganda, and soft power studies, with a focus on China.

The staff of the department have wide ranging teaching experience and contrasting but complimentary research interests. When viewed collectively, this diversity offers our students a rich and varied learning opportunity in the classroom. All of our faculty are experienced international scholars and come from several different countries: the UK, Australia, Italy, Germany and Greece. This means that our students benefit by being taught different interpretations of, and perspectives on, international relations in general, and China’s engagement with other countries and regions in particular.