Research

Department of International Relations

The Department encourages and supports research on China’s international relations. Together with staff from other XJTLU departments they organise and participate in international research projects: Beyond the China Threat (with Tokyo University) soon to appear in the pages of The Pacific Review and China and Central Europe, designed for the Journal of Contemporary China.

The Department of International Relations was established in 2018. Our common purpose is to ask important questions about the world for their own worth and, where appropriate to extend inquiry into applied social science and policy. During the five-year establishment phase the department will develop as a centre of internationally recognized and impactful research. It will give emphasis to China’s relations with the world, including the place of the Jiangnan region in the national, transnational and international context, but its research will also reflect the interdisciplinary interests possessed by its faculty and motivated by free enquiry. The department embraces an interdisciplinary approach to International Relations, and we will proactively seek to push beyond the narrow theoretical schools that defined the discipline in the 20th Century.

The changing world order and our department’s geographic location in Asia compels us to revise understandings of the past, interpret the present and grapple with the future. Both theoretically and empirically driven, our departmental research explores the changing practices of global and transnational governance and international organization across the domains of international trade, investment and finance; democracy, human security, humanitarian intervention and public health; the environment and environmental politics; and the politics of diplomacy and war. Within several of these domains, we focus on China’s socio-economic interactions with the rest of the world, and how China is both impacted by and impacting recent developments in the global political economy.

Regarding China’s internationalization, our research also explores the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its effects on China’s economic and foreign relations with Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Our regional expertise spans the European Union, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Undertake your PhD with us

Since 2015, faculty of the department collectively have published:

  1. 5 books (with top publishers such as Oxford University Press, Routledge, and Palgrave Macmillan);
  2. 18 book chapters;
  3. 15 peer reviewed journal articles (in major journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Global Society, Peace Review, and European Security);
  4. 3 single-authored research monographs (with publishers such as Routledge);
  5. 2 research reports (published by the XIPU Institution, XJTLU);
  6. 1 guest-edited journal.


Research Highlights Among the notable recent achievements or ongoing projects of the Department are:

  1. Professor Adam Cross was awarded the prestigious 2017 Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) Decade Award for his co-authored paper “The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment”. The award is given to an article considered one of the most influential in its field in the last decade.
  2. Dr Debora Malito’s co-edited monograph, The Palgrave Handbook of Indicators in Global Governance, was published in 2018.
  3. Dr Robert Pauls has published research in a Routledge-edited collection that analyzes the reform of China’s financial system against the background of international developments in finance.
  4. Dr Stephen Long’s research on Anglo-American subversion of Communist Albania was featured in 2016 on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.
  5. Dr Michael Connors is a co-director of a panel on Divine/Transcendent Rulers of Imagined Communities: The Rise and Fall of Royal Nationhood in Asia at the InterAsian Connections VI Conference, funded by the Social Science Research Council’s InterAsia Program.
  6. Dr Evans Fanoulis’ monograph, The Democratic Quality of European Security and Defence Policy, was published by Routledge in 2018.
  7. Dr Alessandra Cappelletti’s article “Chinese cultural diplomacy in the European context: between sophistication and lack of self-confidence – notes on the impact and effectiveness of Chinese BRI-related cultural diplomacy actions among the European public”, was published in the EU-China Observer of the Baillet Latour Chair of European Union–China Relations and the EU-China Research Centre in 2017.
  8. Dr. Nicole Talmacs’ monograph China’s Cinema of Class: Audiences and Narratives was published in 2017 by Routledge 2017.

Research partners and collaborators

Global outreach is a core activity of the department, and our staff have partnered with a range of organizations and researchers around the world. The former include the German Institute for Japanese Studies: Ludwig-Maximilian’s-University Munich, Tokyo, Japan; the Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong; the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; the Centre for International Business, University of Leeds, UK; the Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies, University of Nottingham, UK; the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium; and the School of Business, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea. The latter includes research collaborations with faculty from the University of South Wales and the University of Leicester in the UK, Ewha Woman’s University, and the University of Duisberg-Essen and Ruhr University, Bochum, in Germany.