Staff profile - Chengxin Pan

Staff image

Dr Chengxin Pan

Position: Senior Lecturer
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts & Education
Department: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 52272127 +61 3 52272127



I was educated in China during times of its profound change and transformation (1975-1995). After studying and working at Peking University for more than a decade, I went to the Australian National University, where I received my PhD degree in Political Science and International Relations. Over the years, I have held visiting positions at the University of Melbourne, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Peking University. I am a member of the International Studies Association (ISA), Australian Institute of International Affairs, and have been on the editorial board of Series in International Relations Classics (World Affairs Press, Beijing).

My research focuses broadly on International Relations and China. One of my longstanding research interests is in understanding Western representations of China in general and the 'rise of China' in particular. Since reality cannot meaningfully exist outside of discourses and representations, I believe it is essential that we critically engage with knowledge and representations as representations, not as realities per se, and that we understand how representations are intimately linked to knowledge, desire and power in global politics. These thoughts have been more fully developed in my book Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics: Western Representations of China's Rise (Edward Elgar, 2012).

My current research is broadly concerned with how to better understand China in global and regional political, strategic, economic, and normative contexts. My publications have appeared in Alternatives, The China Review, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Griffith Asia Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, The Pacific Review, Political Science as well as a number of edited volumes and Chinese academic journals. These publications cover a wide range of topics including Chinese politics, Chinese foreign policy, the Taiwan question, traditional Chinese thought on conflict resolution and responsible government, Chinese perspectives on the Asian Century, American representations of the China threat, Australia's debates on China and its China literacy, Australia-China relations, US-China relations, and EU-China relations.


  • Master of International Studies, Peking University, 1995
  • Bachelor of Arts, Peking University, 1995
  • Master of Arts, Peking University, 1995
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University, 2005
  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2008


International Studies Association

American Political Science Association

Australian Political Studies Association
Australian Institute of International Affairs

Professional activities

- IR Honours Coordinator, SHSS, 2013-

- School Honours Coordinator, SIPS, 2009-2011
- Member of School Research Committee, SIPS, 2010-2011
- Deputy Course Director, BA(IS), 2007-2008
- Member of Admission and Selection Committee (Undergraduate), Faculty of Arts & Education, 2007-2008
- Ad hoc peer reviewer for Asian Studies Review; Australian Journal of Political Science; Global Change, Peace and Security; Journal of East Asian Studies; Millennium: Journal of International Studies; Palgrave Macmillan; Review of International Studies; The Pacific Review; and Visual Communication.
- PhD, Masters and Honours thesis examiner (ANU, Australian Defence College and UNSW)


Teaching Interests

  • AIR108 International Relations (G, X)
  • AIR120 Australia and the World (X)
  • AIR701 China and the World (B, X)
  • Units taught:
  • Australia's Foreign Relations (B, G, X)
  • International Relations of the Asia Pacific (G, team-taught)
  • Security, Conflict and Terrorism (X)
  • Australia in the World (B, X)
  • Terrorism in International Politics (X)
  • Critical Issues in International Relations (B, X, team-taught)
  • AIP495/496 Honours Thesis A & B (B, G, X)

    Conferences and seminars

    Cross-cultural Literacy: China and Australia in the Asian Century Conference (co-convenor), Renmin University of China, Beijing, October 2012.

    Association of Chinese Political Studies (ACPS) Conference (Taipei 2009)

    Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS) (Melbourne 2006, Brisbane 2008; Sydney 2012)

    International Studies Association (ISA) Convention (San Diego 2006; San Francisco 2013)

    Biennial Conference of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia (Murdoch University 1999, Bendigo 2005)

    Australasian Association for Communist and Post-Communist Studies (AACPCS) Biennial Conference (Canberra 2005)

    Australasian Political Studies Association (APSA) Conference (ANU 2002; Murdoch University 2013)

    Keynote address: 'Rethinking Power: An Alternative "Power Shift" Perspective on Power Shift', Workshop on the Rise and Demise of Asian World Supremacy, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, 28-29 August 2013.

    Invited speaker at the Plenary Panel: Facing Janus - Australia-China Relations, International Australian Studies Association (InASA) 2012 Biennial Conference, Monash University, 5-7 December 2012.

    Invited lecture, "Watching China Watchers: Deconstructing Western Discourses on 'China Threat' and 'China Opportunity'", Kim Koo Forum, Centre for International and Strategic Studies, Peking University, 23 November 2012.

    Invited paper, "From the Indo-Pacific to a Chinese Lake (or Two)? Understanding China's Approaches to an Evolving Region", Workshop on "From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Rising Powers, Emerging Regions and Transformations in Governance", University of Adelaide, 21 September 2012.

    Invited seminar: "Fears and Fantasies: A Bifocal Lens in Western Representations of China's Rise", The Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre (and Confucius Institute), University of Adelaide, 1 June 2012.

    Invited paper, "The China Debate Down Under: Australia's Asia Anxiety Hangover," Workshop on Absent Asia: Reviewing Australia's Asian Pasts, Deakin University and Monash University, 28-29 April 2011.

    Invited paper, "Constructing a Normative Self, Converting a Rising Other: Problematising 'Constructive Engagement' in EU China Policy," Conference on Sino-European Affairs, The University of Hong Kong, 19-20 June 2009.

    Invited paper, "Alternative Perspectives on Self and Other in Chinese Tradition: Implications for Contemporary Conflict Resolution," Workshop on Mediating Across Difference: Indigeneous, Oceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution, University of Queensland, 29-31 March 2007.

    Invited paper, "Beijings Social Contract and Local Democratisation: A Two-level Approach to Responsible Governance in China," Workshop on "How Governments Become Responsible," City University of Hong Kong, China, 1-2 March 2007.

    Invited paper, "What Is Chinese about Chinese Business? Implications for American Response to Chinas Rise," The ChinaWorld International Conference on "Made in China vs. Made by Chinese: Global Identities of Chinese Business," Durham University, UK, 19-20 March 2007.

    Related Links

    Single-authored book: Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics: Western Representations of China's Rise, Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, 2012.
    Profile on


Awards and prizes

1998-2002 ANU PhD Scholarship.
1998-2001 International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), DEST, Commonwealth of Australia.
1996-1997 Peking University and the University of Melbourne Visiting Fellowship.
1993-1995 Guanghua Postgraduate Scholarship, Peking University.
1993 Award for Excellence in TV Teaching Material, Division of Audio-Visual Education, Beijing Higher Education Association.


Research interests

  • China's foreign policy and international relations
  • International Relations of Northeast Asia
  • Critical IR theory
  • Taiwan
  • Chinese Politics
  • US and Australian foreign policy

Research grants

2012 Grants Development Fund Grant (with David Walker), Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.
2012 Cluster Funding Grant (with David Walker et al.), Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.
2009 Research Development Fund (RDF) Grant, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University.
2007 Research Grant, SIPS, Deakin University.
2006 Publications Grant, Faculty of Arts, Deakin University.
2006 New Staff/Early Career Researcher Grant, Faculty of Arts, Deakin University.
2000 ANU PhD Fieldwork Grant.
1999 Conference Attendance Grant, Faculty of Arts, ANU.

Research page




(2015) (with David Walker eds) Australia and China: Challenges and Ideas in Cross-cultural Engagement. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.

(2012) Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics: Western Representations of China's Rise, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Refereed Journal Articles

(2014) "Rethinking Chinese Power: A Conceptual Corrective to the 'Power Shift' Narrative", Asian Perspective 38 (3): 387-410.

(2014) “The 'Indo-Pacific' and Geopolitical Anxieties about China’s Rise in the Asian Regional Order”, Australian Journal of International Affairs 68 (4): 453-69.

(2013) "Knowing Asia and Re-imagining the Australian Self", Curriculum Perspectives 33(3): 77-79.

(2013) "The Asian/Chinese Century from the Chinese Perspective", Griffith Asia Quarterly 1(1): 30-52.

(2012) "Western Perceptions of China's Role: Implications for China's Strategic Response", Guoji zhengzhi yanjiu, no. 4, pp. 127-131.

(2010) "Westphalia and the Taiwan Conundrum: A Case against the Exclusionist Construction of Sovereignty and Identity," Journal of Chinese Political Science 15(4): 371-389.

(2009) "What Is Chinese About Chinese Businesses? Locating the 'Rise of China' in Global Production Networks," Journal of Contemporary China 18(58): 7-25.

(2008) "Contractual Thinking and Responsible Government in China: A Constructivist Framework for Analysis," The China Review 8(2): 49-75.

(2006) "Neoconservatism, US-China Conflict, and Australia's 'Great and Powerful Friends' Dilemma," Pacific Review 19(4): 429-48.

(2006) "Neoconservatism and China-U.S. Relations in the Post-Iraq War Period", Guoji zhengzhi kexue, no. 3: 91-111.

(2004) "The 'China Threat' in American Self-Imagination: The Discursive Construction of Other as Power Politics," Alternatives 29(3): 305-31.

Book Chapters

(2015) "Australia's Self-identity and Three Modes of Representing Asia: A Critical Perspective on 'Asia Literacy'", in Christine Halse ed., Asia Literate Schooling in the Asian Century, London: Routledge, pp. 197-210.

(2015) "Cross-cultural Literacy as Social Knowledge: Implications for Australia’s Understanding of China", in Chengxin Pan and David Walker (eds.), Australia and China: Challenges and Ideas in Cross-cultural Engagement, Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2015, pp. 308-27.

(2012) "Getting Excited about China", in David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska eds, Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century, Crawley, WA: UWA Publishing, pp. 245-266.

(2012) "Normative Convergence and Cross-Strait Divergence: Westphalian Sovereignty as an Ideational Source of the Taiwan Conflict," in Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Dennis V. Hickey eds, New Thinking about the Taiwan Issue: Theoretical Insights into Its Origins, Dynamics, and Prospects, Routledge, pp. 28-47.

(2012) "Problematizing 'Constructive Engagement' in EU China Policy," in C. Roland Vogt ed., Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?, Hong Kong University Press, pp. 37-57.

(2011) "Shu and the Chinese Quest for Harmony: A Confucian Approach to Mediating across Difference," in Morgan Brigg and Roland Bleiker eds, Mediating across Difference: Oceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 221-247.

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