As a BICC student fellow I conducted my doctoral research at the University of Manchester, with difficult language training at Peking University. The thesis, titled ‘Time, Space and Multiplicity in China’s Harmonious World’, passed without corrections in November 2012 and has been nominated to the BISA Michael Nicholson thesis prize for best thesis in International Studies. It traces the foreign policy concept ‘harmonious world’ (hexie shijie) in Chinese policy and academic discourse, at the 2010 Shanghai Expo and in humorous online resistance, arguing that the concept has come to embody an irresolvable contradiction between sameness and difference. The access to expertise, the network and the training provided through BICC have been invaluable in making this project happen.
Beyond this thesis, my research interests fall in the intersection of contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, broadly conceived, and critical theories of global politics. I am particularly interested in the contemporary deployment of concepts drawn from Chinese history, such as harmony (hexie), civilisation (wenming), hegemony (baquan), or All-under-heaven (Tianxia), and their relation to contemporary continental philosophy, particularly the thought of Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida. Within this scope I have written on alternative conceptions of time, space and world order; the politics of mega events (particularly Expo 2010 Shanghai China); Chinese censorship and resistance throughout history; Chinese discourses of online resistance and wordplay (egao); the ‘Chinese school’ of IR; the policy concepts of ‘harmonious world’ (hexie shijie) and ‘harmonious society’ (hexie shehui); soft power; East Asian regionalism and regionalisation; and spatial and temporal aspects of difference in the work of Derrida and Baudrillard.
Since September 2012 I work as Lecturer in China in the Modern World at Lancaster University.