Introducing Dr Nicola Horsburgh

9780198706113_140The global management of nuclear weapons and the ascendancy of China in international affairs pose two of the greatest challenges for international security today. Yet we know relatively little about the nuclear dimension of China’s rise, and the extent to which China has shaped global nuclear politics.

This new book, published in February 2015 by Oxford University Press, offers insight into these issues by offering an empirically rich study of Chinese nuclear weapons behaviour and the impact of this behaviour on global nuclear politics since 1949. In particular, the book advances the argument that, in the 1960s and 1970s, Maoist China –at the time highly critical of superpower attempts to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons– had a greater hand than previously thought in indirectly creating global nuclear order. Since then, China has become a fully-fledged member of global nuclear order, playing a direct and pivotal role in regional and global nuclear politics.

The book also offers theoretical reflections upon nuclear weapons and global order. The concept of global nuclear order is relatively new, but it has become popular among academics and policymakers working in the nuclear field. It is certainly an innovative lens through which to consider China as a nuclear weapons state because it draws attention to the inner workings –institutional and normative—of nuclear politics. It is also timely: the challenges to global nuclear order today are numerous, from Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions to the growing threat of nuclear terrorism. This book considers these challenges from a Chinese perspective, exploring how far Beijing has gone to the aid of nuclear order in addressing these issues.

Dr Nicola Horsburgh

Dr Nicola Horsburgh received an ESRC BICC scholarship to fund an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies and DPhil in International Relations at Oxford University from 2006 to 2011. She is currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford. Dr Horsburgh is also a Stipendiary Lecturer in International Relations at Trinity College, Oxford, a BA Fellow in the Asian Studies Centre at St. Antony’s College and a research associate of the Oxford China Centre

The BICC played an important role in funding the research that lies at the heart of this book. From 2006 to 2011, Nicola was a BICC student (MPhil and DPhil) at the University of Oxford. Through this funding, she was able to conduct extended fieldwork in China and the United States, serving as a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, USA.



20 Years After the Aum Subway Attack

aum picture


5:30-7:00 pm , March 18 th,

2015, John Casken Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, The University of Manchester.

March 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Aum Affair, when members of the religious group Aum Shinrikyō released sarin poison gas in Tokyo. The affair had huge repercussions in legal, social, political and cultural terms in Japan and beyond as authorities sought to balance the liberal democratic freedoms with demands for heightened control of potentially “dangerous” groups.

This round-table brings together leading experts on the Aum Affair to discuss the incident and its aftermath, examining such topics as how to strike a balance between religious and political freedom and social safety; what are appropriate legal and social responses to terrorism; how best to commemorate and remember acts of violence; and what wider lessons can be learned from the Japanese experience.


This roundtable takes place as a collaboration and with funding support from the BICC and the White Rose East Asia Centre.



Tatsuya Mori (Documentary filmmaker, TV director and author),

Mark Mullins (Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Auckland),

Mark Pendleton (Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield),

Ian Reader (Professor of Religious Studies, Lancaster University)

Erica Baffelli (Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Manchester).





Manchester BICC and the Centre for Chinese Studies welcomes Martin Jacques


When China Rules the World- A talk by Martin Jacques

Manchester University Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre, School of Arts Languages and Cultures, 23rd February 2015, 12-1pm

First published in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim – and controversy – When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of a New Global Order has sold a quarter of a million copies, been translated into eleven languages, nominated for two major literary awards, and is the subject of an immensely popular TED talk. He has been invited thanks to BICC funding and will host a talk at Manchester University on the 23rd March, where he will meet current students studying Chinese Studies and History at undergraduate and postgraduate level and members of the public.

Since the first publication of When China Rules the World, the landscape of world power has shifted dramatically. In the three years since the first edition was published, When China Rules the World has proved itself to be a remarkably prescient book, and transformed the nature of the debate on China.


Now, in this greatly expanded and fully updated new edition, with nearly three-hundred pages of new material, backed up by the latest statistical data, Martin Jacques renews his assault on conventional thinking about China’s ascendancy


Martin Jacques is the author of the global best-seller When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. It was first published in 2009 and has since been translated into fourteen languages and sold over 350,000 copies. The book has been shortlisted for two major literary awards. A second edition of the book, greatly expanded and fully updated, was published in 2012. His TED talk on how to understand China has had over 1.8 million views. He is a Senior Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is also a non-resident Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy, Washington DC.

He has previously been a Visiting Professor at Renmin University, the International Centre for Chinese Studies, Aichi University, Nagoya, and Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. He was a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He was until recently a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at IDEAS, a centre for diplomacy and grand strategy, and a fellow at the Asia Research Centre, both at the London School of Economics. He was formerly the editor of the renowned London-based monthly Marxism Today until its closure in 1991 and was co-founder of the think-tank Demos. He has been a columnist for many newspapers, made many television programmes and is a former deputy editor of The Independent newspaper. He took his doctorate while at King’s College, Cambridge.

He has been invited to give lectures at many of the world’s top universities including Harvard, Cornell, UCLA, USC, Cambridge, Oxford, Peking, Tsinghua, Renmin, NUS, Tokyo, University of Hong Kong, amongst many others. He has given talks to many corporate clients including Bank of America, BlackRock, Pictet, Shell, Allianz, BNP Paribas, Financial Times, British Telecom, BBC, HR50, Amerada Hess, Investec, DSM and Khazanah.

He is chair of the Harinder Veriah Trust, which supports girls from deprived backgrounds with their education at Assunta Primary School and Assunta Secondary School, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where his wife, the late Harinder Veriah, was educated. It has also sponsored young Malaysian lawyers from under-privileged backgrounds to work for two-year stints at Hogan Lovells in London.

Tickets for the public can be obtained at



Nowhere to Call Home (无处为家)


 Nowhere to Call Home- UK Premiere of Globally Acclaimed Film, BICC Manchester                               

A film by Jocelyn Ford in Tibetan, Chinese and English, with English and Chinese subtitlesTuesday 03 February, Manchester University- BICC/Centre for Chinese Studies

Deeply moving, ethically challenging and utterly compelling.” –Jonathan Watts, The Guardian

The UK premiere of this globally acclaimed film! Hosted by Manchester University BICC


tibet film picture

Nowhere To Call Home tells the powerful story of Zanta, a Tibetan woman who moved to Beijing against the wishes of her in-laws so that her young son can get an education. The New York Times in an article titled “Inspiring Dialogue, Not Dissent, in China,” wrote: “The film breaks down the sometimes romantic Shangri-La view that Westerners have of Tibet … and  offers a shocking portrait of the outright racism Tibetans face in Chinese parts of the country.”

In August the documentary premiered in the U.S. at MoMA, and in the autumn Nowhere To Call Home premiered in China as the inaugural film at the opening of the Center for Documentary Studies in Beijing.  It has been garnering an extraordinary track record of acclaim from both Tibetans and Han Chinese in the PRC, with a leading anthropologist describing the film as “very important for inspiring our imagination on modern China’s transformation.”

SYNOPSIS Widowed at 28, Tibetan farmer Zanta defies her tyrannical father-in-law and after her husband’s death refuses to marry the family’s only surviving son. When Zanta’s in-laws won’t let her seven-year-old go to school, she flees her village and heads to Beijing where she becomes a street vendor. Destitute and embattled by discrimination, Zanta inveigles a foreign customer into helping pay her boy’s school fees. On a New Year’s trip back to her village, Zanta’s in-laws take her son hostage, drawing the unwitting American into the violent family feud. The two women forge a partnership to try to out-manoeuver the in-laws, who according to tradition get the final say on their grandson.

DIRECTOR Jocelyn Ford, former Beijing and Tokyo bureau chief for the U.S. public radio show “Marketplace,” has been based in East Asia for three decades. Her groundbreaking reporting on “comfort women” in the 1990s was a catalyst for raising awareness about World War II abuses of women by Japan’s military. During three years of filming Nowhere To Call Home, Jocelyn overcame restrictions on access to Tibetan communities to shine light on the complex choices facing Tibetan farmers living in contemporary China, and to lend new insights into the social fragility of the world’s fastest rising power.