Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles

National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Office: AS1/04-35
Email: polcji@nus.edu.sg
Tel: +65-65165092
Fax: +65-67796815
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/polcji/
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Current Research | Research Interests | Publications | Other Information

Brief Introduction Top

The focus of my teaching and research is on international relations, especially IR theory, security, and international relations in the Asia-Pacific.  Of particular interest to me are issues that stand at the nexus of international and domestic politics.  I also enjoy looking at historical material in my research.  In addition to my academic background, I have experience working in think-tanks both in Singapore and in the United States.  As such, I also look at the relationship between political science theory and policy, and believe the two can inform each other.

Teaching Areas Top

- International Relations - Chinese Foreign Policy - International Relations of the Asia-Pacific - International Security - External Intervention - Sovereignty, State formation, and State-Building

Current Research Top

I am finishing a book on external intervention and state formation.  It examines how the rivalries and security concerns of outside powers can affect the development of governance institutions in weak polities.  Empirically, the book considers China, Indonesia, and Thailand between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries.  However, its theoretical implications speak to contemporary situations where outside actors are trying to build-up order and governance in fragile states.  Examples include Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia amongst others.

Concurrently, I am working on two other projects.  The first examines how non-leading power responses to potential power transition can collectively affect the severity of security dilemmas between the leading actors in relative rise and decline.  It looks at the current international system in East Asia in comparative perspective to other periods of transition.

A second field of research considers how inadequate sensitivity to historical data and debates may skew about major issues in contemporary international relations, such as the rise of China. This project looks at the narratives on the peacefulness of China-centred orders of the past and the consistency of Chinese popular nationalism as two cases.  It considers important deviations to the accounts presented by these narratives and suggests how overlooking such events may introduce misunderstandings in analysis.

Research Interests Top

- Security - External Intervention - Sovereignty - Nationalism - International and Domestic Political Institutions - Politics of Hegemony and Domination - Major Power Rivalry - International Relations and Politics of the Asia-Pacific - Chinese Foreign Policy - U.S.-China Relations - Chinese Politics

Publications Top


  • Imposing States: External Intervention and State Formation - China, Indonesia, Thailand, 1892-1952, Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.


  • “The International System and the Emergence of the Sovereign State: The Birth of the Modern Sovereign State in the Chinese World” in Heavenly Bodies, Physical Bodies, and Political Bodies: Sinology Faces the World, edited by Chu P’ing-tzu and Yang Ju-pin, Taipei: National Taiwan University Publishing Centre, 2005 [in Chinese] 〈主權國的興起與世界政治架構:現代主權在華夏的誕生〉祝平次 楊儒賓 編《天體、生體與國體:迴向世界的漢學》台北 國立台灣大學出版中心 2005 [94], 407-457


  • “How External Intervention Made the Sovereign State: Foreign Rivalries, Local Complicity, and State Formation in Weak Polities”, Security Studies, Volume 20, Number 1 (January – March 2011): 623-655

  • “Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Foreign Intervention and the Limiting of Fragmentation in the Late Qing and Early Republic, 1893 – 1922”, Twentieth Century China, Volume 35, Number 1 (November 2009): 75-98

  • “Japan-Taiwan Relations: Between Affinity and Reality”, (with LAM Peng Er) Asian Affairs: An American Review, Vol. 30 No. 4 (Winter 2004): 249-267 (Note errata on authorship listed in next issue)


  • “Lost in Transition, or Why Non-Leading States should Concern Washington and Beijing”, East Asia Forum Quarterly 2, No. 2 (July-September 2010)


  • Book Review, “Yong Deng.  China’s Struggle for Status: The Realignment of International Relations.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.  Pamela Kyle Crossley, Helen F. Siu, and Donald S. Sutton.  Eds.  Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006”, Journal of East Asian Studies, Volume 11, Number 1 (Spring 2011): 155-161

  • Book Review, “Michael Green and Bates Gill.   Asia’s New Multilateralism: Cooperation, Competition, and the Search for Community.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2009”, Journal of East Asian Studies, Volume 10, Number 2 (Summer 2010): 345-358

  • Book Review, “Allen Carlson.  Unifying China, Integrating the World: Securing Chinese Sovereignty in the Reform Era.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005”, China Review International, Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2006): 93-99


  • Imposing States: External Intervention and the Politics of State Formation


  • “Testing Alternative Responses to Power Preponderance: A Look at the Asia-Pacific”, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Working Paper Series, No. 60 (January 2004)

  • “Revisiting Responses to Power Preponderance: Beyond the Balancing-Bandwagoning Dichotomy”, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Working Paper Series, No. 54 (November 2003)

  • “Chinese Interests in Post-Reunification Korea”, in A Blueprint for U.S. Policy toward a Unified Korea (Washington, DC: Centre for Strategic and International Studies Press, 2002), 33-36

Other Information Top

Office Hours: By appointment.

Ja Ian Chong CV (2011).pdf |
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