Dr Evelyn Goh

Educational background

DPhil Oxford

MPhil Oxford

MPhil Cambridge

MA Oxford

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway on 1 September 2008. From January 2006 to August 2008, I was University Lecturer in International Relations and Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Before that, I was Assistant Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (now the Rajaratnam School of International Studies) in Singapore from 2002 to 2005.

I have held various visiting positions: Public Policy Scholar in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC September-October 2008; Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University September 2007; and Southeast Asian Fellow at the East-West Center Washington September-December 2004.

I was trained initially as a geographer at the undergraduate level in Oxford, going on to complete an M.Phil. in Environment & Development at Cambridge in 1997. After that, I studied International Relations at Nuffield College, Oxford, earning an M.Phil. before completing my D.Phil. in 2001.

Research interests

I am a scholar of International Relations with diverse research interests across international relations, security studies, diplomatic history and area studies.  My research activities centre on three core areas. 

First is the diplomatic history of U.S.-China relations, informed by International Relations theory.  My first book,Constructing the US Rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: From Red Menace to Tacit Ally, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2004.  A diplomatic history account of the most important strategic turning point during the Cold War, which mines primary documents, the book also applies constructivist methodology in examining the discursive evolution of conciliatory U.S. policy towards China under the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The second area of my research is East Asian security and international relations.  The most important factor in East Asian security since 1979 has been the re-emergence of China, and the most critical variables that will determine regional order reside in U.S. and regional reactions to China’s growing influence.  I have worked on conceptually innovative analyses of interactions between China and the U.S. as well as Southeast Asia.  I have published extensively on how small and medium sized states such as those in Southeast Asia interact with and harness major powers in order to enhance their own security and manage regional order, and have also studied issues ranging from security alliances to human and environmental security in the region.

My third research focus flows from the second.  It aims to situate a study of the implications of the rise of China for the Asia-Pacific using important re-conceptualisations of the core International Relations concepts of power and order.  It focuses specifically on ideational and normative power to investigate the apparent power transition in the region.



  • PR2570: Cold War International Relations (course leader)
  • PR3590: Great Powers & Great Debates in International Politics (course leader)


  • PR5913: China in the World

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