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Chi-Kwan Mark


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a diplomatic/international historian with a focus on Hong Kong, Britain and China in the Cold War period. When I did my D.Phil. at Oxford many years ago, my approach was more of traditional Diplomatic History than what is now called ‘International History’. By consulting the tens of thousands of documents in the U.K. and U.S. archives, I examined how the British and American governments discussed, debated and disagreed over Hong Kong’s role in the Cold War, and revealed the dynamics of the Anglo-American alliance and the dilemmas of vulnerable allies in a global conflict. In recent years, I have been moving closer towards International History by embracing the ‘cultural turn’ in the study of diplomatic relations. In exploring Anglo-Chinese relations between 1950 and 1972, I drew on the concept of ‘the everyday’ to argue that Britain and China were engaged in an ‘everyday Cold War’, characterised by diplomatic ritual, propaganda rhetoric and symbolic retaliation.

Whatever the approach, Hong Kong is an important lens through which I can illuminate a range of broader themes. I use Hong Kong to explore not only the city's history, but also British imperial history (defence, decolonisation, and development), diplomatic history (Sino-British, Sino-American, and Anglo-American relations), and global history (refugees, tourism, and economic globalisation).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions