Senior Lecturer in International History, Royal Holloway

I am a diplomatic/international historian with a focus on Britain, China, America and Hong Kong in the Cold War period. I studied at the University of Hong Kong and received my doctorate from the University of Oxford.

I am the author of Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations 1949-57 (Oxford University Press, 2004) and The Everyday Cold War: Britain and China 1950-72 (Bloomsbury, 2017). The former, written in the tradition of diplomatic history, examines how the British and American governments discussed, debated and disagreed over Hong Kong’s role in the Cold War, and reveals the dynamics of the Anglo-American alliance and the dilemmas of a vulnerable ally in the conflict with China. By embracing the ‘cultural turn’ in the study of diplomatic history and drawing upon the concept of ‘the everyday’, the second book argues that during the 1950s and 1960s Britain and China were engaged in an ‘everyday Cold War’, characterised by diplomatic ritual, propaganda rhetoric and symbolic retaliation. Whatever the approach, I see Hong Kong as an important lens through which to study a range of topics and themes. As such, the Hong Kong case helps illuminate British imperial history (defence, decolonisation, nationality law, etc), diplomatic history (Sino-British, Sino-American and Anglo-American), and global history (economic globalisation and flows of refugees and tourists, for example).

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in International History, Royal Holloway