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Rex Li Profile

Professor Rex Li

Emeritus Professor of International Relations

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Professor Rex Li is a research affiliate of the Lau China Institute and School of Global Affairs at King’s College London. He is an Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Liverpool John Moores University. He has also been the Director of the East Asian Security and Peace Project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.

For many years, he has lectured regularly at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He has been frequently invited to speak to high-level policy audiences and at international affairs think-tanks in various countries, such as Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (UK), International Institute for Strategic Studies (UK and Singapore), Ditchley Foundation (UK), European Institute for Asian Studies (Belgium), Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Sweden), Institute of International Relations of Peking University (China), Academia Sinica (Taiwan), and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (Vietnam).

Rex has been a Research Associate of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden (2011-2016). He has served as an Associate Editor and editorial board member of Security Dialogue (Peace Research Institute Oslo/Sage, London). He has acted as an advisor to the Searching for Peace Programme at the European Centre for Conflict Prevention.

In addition, he has been an invited speaker at Shanghai University (China), Communication University of Zhejiang (China), Yonsei University (South Korea), National University of Singapore (Singapore), National Chengchi University (Taiwan), and many universities in the UK, Europe and Asia.

Rex holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield and has extensive experience in supervising and examining doctoral students. He has acted as a PhD external examiner for a number of universities in the UK and Australia, such as London School of Economics, King’s College London, Lancaster University, University of Westminster and Deakin University.

As a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College, he has assessed grant applications for various funding schemes and programmes for the AHRC. He has recently been appointed as an expert member of the shortlisting and interview panel for the ESRC Policy Fellowships scheme co-funded by UK government host organisations.


Rex's research interests cover international relations, security discourse and political communication, with particular reference to China’s foreign relations, China’s perceptions and narratives of the international order, identity construction and Asia-Pacific security, and great power competition in East Asia.

His work has appeared in a range of scholarly and policy journals, including Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Strategic Studies, Security Dialogue, Contemporary Politics, Pacifica Review, Global Change, Peace & Security, Asian Perspective, The Asan Forum, Asia Pacific Business Review, The World Today, and elsewhere. He has contributed chapters to many edited books.

He is the author of A Rising China and Security in East Asia: Identity Construction and Security Discourse (London: Routledge, 2009). His current research focuses on identity discourse and Asia-Pacific security, US-China discursive power rivalry in the changing global order, and UK-China relations.