Professor Yongjin Zhang

Professor Yongjin Zhang

Professor Yongjin Zhang
Professor of International Politics

Room 1.5, 10 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)

Telephone Number (0117) 928 8518

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies


Personal profile

Lecturer, Institute of International Politics, Beijing, 1981-84; Stipendiary Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford, 1989-93; Lecturer, 1993-95, Senior Lecturer, 1995-98, University of Auckland; Fellow, Australian National University, 1999-2001; Associate Professor, 2002-5, Professor (Personal Chair) of China and International Studies, 2006-8, University of Auckland; Professor of East Asian Studies, 2008-9, Professor of International Politics, 2009 - , University of Bristol.

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 1996 - ;Senior Associate Member, St. Antony's College, Oxford University, 1996-97; Visiting Scholar, Hong Kong University, 1997; Resident Visiting Scholar, Peking University, 2000; Visiting Lecturer, Australian Defence College, 2000-5; Visiting Professor, Renmin University, 2001; Visiting Scholar, Lund University, 2004; Visiting Scholar, University of British Columbia; 2004, Visiting Research Professor, National University of Singapore, 2010; Visiting Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2012-2016; Visiting Professor, Zhejiang University 2013; Visiting Scholar, University of Hong Kong, 2016; Corresponding Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University, 2016, 2017.

BISA Prize for best article published in Review of International Studies, 1991; Universitas 21 Fellow, University of Auckland, 2003-4; Martin Wight Memorial Lecturer, 2013; Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 2015-2017.


My principal research interest and publications cut across the disciplinary boundaries of International Relations theory and Chinese history, politics, economic transformation and international relations. My core research informs and is informed by the ‘English School’ tradition in International Relations theory, but the broad theoretical approach I adopt is more appropriately regarded as eclectic. I have also published in the area of the political economy of Chinese global businesses and that of East Asian regionalism and regional security in the Asia-Pacific. One of my current research projects is on International Relations in Ancient China: Ideas, Institutions and Law, an interdisciplinary enquiry drawing upon Chinese political philosophy, history of ideas, ancient history and theories of international relations. This project is supported by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship awarded for the 2015-2017 period.


I am currently teaching

  • POLI29008 Power Politics and International Relations of East Asia
  • POLI30023 Contemporary Chinese Foreign Policy
  • M3033 Sino-American Relations in Global Politics

I have taught previously at Bristol

  • China, Japan and the Rise of East Asia
  • East Asia and global Development
  • M3014 Theories of International Relations

Key publications

  1. Zhang, Y, 2014, ‘The Standard of 'Civilization' Redux: Towards the Expansion of International Society 3.0?’. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, vol 42., pp. 674-696
  2. Zhang, Y, 2014, ‘The Idea of Order in Ancient Chinese Political Thought: A Wightian Exploration’. International Affairs, vol 90., pp. 167-183
  3. Zhang, Y, 2003, ‘The 'English School' in China: A Travelogue of Ideas and Their Diffusion’. European Journal of International Relations, vol 9., pp. 87-114
  4. Zhang, Y, 2001, ‘System, Empire and State in Chinese International Relations’. Review of International Studies, vol 27., pp. 43-63
  5. Zhang, Y & BUZAN, B, 2012, ‘The Tributary System as International Society in Theory and Practice’. Chinese Journal of International Politics, vol 5., pp. 3-36

Latest publications

  1. Zhang, Y, 2018, ‘Why Is There No Critical Chinese IR?’. Third World Quarterly.
  2. Zhang, Y & Kristensen, PM, 2017, ‘The Curious Case of 'Schools' of IR: From the Sociology to the Geopolitics of Knowledge’. Chinese Journal of International Politics, vol 10., pp. 429-454
  3. Zhang, Y, 2017, ‘Subverting the International: Imagining Future as Past’. in: Synne L Dyvik, Jan Selby, Rorden Wilkinson (eds) What's the Point of International Relations?. London and New York: Routledge, London and New York, pp. 253-265
  4. Zhang, Y, 2017, ‘Worlding China, 1500-1800’. in: Tim Dunne, Chris Reus-Smit (eds) The Globalisation of International Society. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 204-225
  5. Zhang, Y, 2016, ‘Constructing a Chinese School of IR as Sociological Reality: Intellectual Engagement and Knowledge Production’. in: Yongjin Zhang, Teng-Chi Chang (eds) Constructing a Chinese School of IR: Ongoing Debates and Sociological Realities. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 192-209

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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