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Professor Astrid Nordin

Professor Astrid Nordin

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Lau Chair of Chinese International Relations

Research subject areas

  • International relations

Contact details


Professor Astrid Nordin holds the Lau Chair of Chinese International Relations in the Lau China Institute. She is also Senior Fellow of the Institute for Social Futures, and Associate Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Astrid’s research develops critical conceptual tools that draw on Chinese and other global traditions of thought, and uses these to understand global challenges as they relate to China’s growing global role - from the Belt and Road Initiative, through sustainable cities, to practices of censorship and resistance. Her favourite thing about her job is learning new things from exciting people, and she welcomes suggestions for collaboration relating to her expertise.

Before joining King’s in 2021, Astrid was Professor of World Politics and Founding Director of Lancaster University China Centre. She has significant experience developing institutional partnerships with Chinese institutions, setting up and leading academic organisations, and collaborating on interdisciplinary projects across humanities and the social and natural sciences. She also has a background in journalism, and great enthusiasm for working with non-academic stakeholders in the arts, policy, and media. She has studied at Peking University, Jilin University, City University Hong Kong, the University of Warwick, and the University of Manchester.


  • China
  • Chinese ideas of world order
  • Chinese foreign policy
  • Chinese sustainability governance
  • Chinese technologies of surveillance
  • Critical social theory
  • Ancient thought in current use
  • Ontologies of war and security
  • Relational approaches to research
  • Political Thought

Astrid’s research sits in the intersection of Chinese studies and critical international relations, and contributes to wider debates beyond these disciplines and the academe. It draws on Chinese sources, traditions, and cultural phenomena, to address broader questions about future world relations.

Her current work seeks to advance a relational approach inspired by Chinese and continental philosophies. This approach takes relations as the starting point for analysis, and understands states, identities, or firms as effects of relations, rather than as independent ‘things’ or essences. Together with practitioners and scholars from a range of disciplines, countries, and societal sectors, Astrid uses this relational approach to address a set of key global challenges with China at their core.


7YYC0009 China's International Relations (1949-present)

PhD Supervision

Astrid is especially happy to consider supervision of projects in the following areas:

  • Chinese international relations and cultural governance
  • Theories of politics and international relations, especially drawing on, developing, or critiquing Chinese theorisations
  • Relational theories of global politics
  • Decolonial and Global international relations
  • Critical approaches to war and security, especially relating to China
  • Sustainability governance, especially as it relates to the above theoretical concerns
  • Political concepts of harmony, friendship, love, family, community.