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Ivan Lidarev

Mr Ivan Lidarev

PhD Student

Contact details


Ivan Lidarev is a doctoral candidate at the Defence Studies Department (DSD), King’s College London. Between 2014 and 2017, Ivan served as advisor at Bulgaria’s National Assembly. He has also been Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom (2018-2019); Associate Editor of E-International Relations (2015-2016); Young Leader at the GLOBSEC Forum, Bratislava (2016 and 2017); TATRA Young Professional (2018); and MERICS Young European China Talent 2018.

Ivan received his MA in International Affairs, with a concentration in Asia, from the Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA), George Washington University and BA in History, Asian Studies and Global and International Studies from Bard College.

He boasts a rich think tank experience. In 2017 Ivan was a Visiting Fellow at New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and had previously interned and done research at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA),among other institutions.

Ivan’s writings have been featured in The Diplomat, The National Interest, East Asia Forum, India Review, China Brief, and Global Times.

Languages: Bulgarian, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian.


Research Interests

  • Asian Security
  • China-India relations
  • Chinese foreign policy
  • Indian foreign policy
  • Territorial Disputes
  • US policy in Asia
  • EU-Asia relations



  • India’s Maritime Rise: Grand strategy, constraints, and the future of Indian seapower, Oxford University Press, India (forthcoming), with Harsh V. Pant.
  • India and Maritime Governance in the Indian Ocean: The Impact of Geopolitics on India’s Involvement in Maritime Governance, Contemporary South Asia, (under review), with Harsh V. Pant.
  • Insecurity in the Himalayas: The territorial dispute between China and India and their security dilemma, Mapping China Journal (forthcoming).
  • The Tibet Factor in the China-India Territorial Dispute, in India and China in Asia: Between Equilibrium and Equations (ed. Jagannath Panda, Routledge, 2019).
  • Indian counterterrorism policy and the influence of the Global War on Terror, in Beyond Human Rights and the War on Terror (ed. Satvinder S. Juss, Routledge, 2018), with Harsh V. Pant.
  • Indian counterterrorism policy and the influence of the Global War on Terror, India Review 17:2 (2018), with Harsh V. Pant.
  • The dangers of bringing North Korea to its knees, East Asia Forum (Oct.2017).



Playing the Border Card: The China-India territorial dispute as a game of bargaining leverage

Ivan Lidarev’s dissertation examines the China-India territorial dispute and seeks to explain what drives escalation and cooperation in the dispute in the post-Cold War period. The thesis is based on the theory of territorial disputes as bargaining leverage developed by Krista Wiegand. According to this theory a state uses its territorial claims to force concessions from another state on a separate issue by, first, linking the territorial claims to the other issue and, second, employing coercive diplomacy on the territorial dispute to pressure the other state on the linked issue. On this basis, Ivan’s dissertation develops the ILBC framework for escalation and cooperation in territorial disputes. The essential insight of this framework is that the target’s policy on the issues linked to the territorial dispute affects escalation and cooperation on the dispute. In the China-India territorial dispute China has linked its claims to two issues, India's policy on the so-called ‘Tibet issue’ and India's alignment with US against China. Beijing uses coercive diplomacy to pressure India on these issues, making it the coercer and India the target. When Delhi makes concessions on the linked issues, Beijing responds with cooperation on the territorial dispute. When India hardens its policy on the linked issues, China escalates on the territorial dispute.


Dr. Harsh V. Pant

Dr. Kerry Brown