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Professor Kerry  Brown

Professor Kerry Brown

  • Academics

Director, Lau China Institute

Professor of Chinese Studies.

Research subject areas

  • History
  • International relations
  • International development

Contact details


Kerry Brown is a Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute. He is currently working on a study of the Communist Party of China as a cultural movement. 

From 2012 to 2015, he was Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Prior to this, he worked at Chatham House (2006 to 2012) as Senior Fellow and then Head of the Asia Programme. Meanwhile, from 2011 to 2014, he directed the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN), giving policy advice to the European External Action Service.

From 1998 to 2005, he worked at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Beijing, and then as Head of the Indonesia, Philippine and East Timor Section. From 1994 to 1996, he lived in the Inner Mongolia region of China.

He has a MA from Cambridge University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Mandarin Chinese (Distinction) from Thames Valley University, London, and a PhD in Chinese politics and language from Leeds University. 

He is the author of over ten books on modern Chinese politics, history and language, including: The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China (2014); What's Wrong with Diplomacy: The Case of the UK and China (2015); Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography (in Four Volumes, 2014-2015); China's CEO: Xi Jinping (2016); China's World: What Does China Want (2017).


  • Chinese history post-1949
  • Chinese political economy
  • Chinese elite politics, particularly the function and development of the Communist part of China
  • Chinese international relations, particularly UK-China and EU-China relations
  • Taiwanese history and politics
  • Hong Kong history and politics


PhD supervision

Kerry welcomes students specialising in Chinese politics, contemporary Chinese history, and Chinese or Taiwanese international relations. 

Further details

See Kerry's research profile