Dr James Johnson

Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Politics & International Relations


Personal details

  • BA (Bristol)
  • MA (Leeds)
  • PhD (Leicester)

I joined the Department as an Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Politics & International Relations in July 2017. Prior to joining the School, I worked in the financial sector for two decades, the majority of which was spent in East Asia. I recently completed my PhD at Leicester, which applied the ‘Security Dilemma’ IR theoretical lens to examine Sino-American security relations during the Obama Presidency. My research and teaching interests relate closely to the themes I explored in my thesis; integrating IR and security studies fields, with a broader multi-disciplinary focus.   




  • ‘The U.S.-China Military & Defense Relationship during the Obama Presidency’ (Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming 2017).

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • ‘China’s Nuclear Modernisation: The Evolution of Chinese Nuclear Doctrine, Strategic Ambiguities and Implications for Sino-U.S. Relations’, in M Kouhi-Esfahani (eds), Nuclear politics in Asia (Routledge, 2017) co-authored with Dr. Andrew Futter.

Latest research projects

  • ‘Cyber-nuclear and cross-domain security threats: Implications for nuclear policy, strategic stability and arms control’ - with Dr. Andrew Futter.
  • ‘Sino-US technology-driven security dilemma dynamics in the Asia-Pacific: Implications for regional crisis stability and steps to mitigate these risks’.
  • ‘Future conflict and the militarization of the cyber domain (and related technologies): New security risks, concepts, and norms of conduct and laws’.

Selected professional publications


My research is primarily concerned with contemporary Sino-American security and defence issues, and in particular, the application of structural-realist IR theories to understand the intersection of emerging weapons technologies with: strategic stability, military escalation management, and arms control in the Asia-Pacific. My latest projects look at the implications of Chinese precision strike missiles for U.S. power projection; cross-domain security challenges posed by technological developments in cyberspace, and related technologies (A.I., robotics, autonomous systems, and quantum computing); and China’s military modernization and implications for U.S. grand strategy, and the military balance in the Western Pacific. 


I am interested in supervising projects in the broad areas of Security & Strategic Studies, U.S.-China Relations; Rising Powers; Nuclear Strategy; Chinese Foreign Policy; and East Asian Security.

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Contact Details

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702
Email: HyPIR@le.ac.uk


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