Associate Professor Michael Clarke

Doctor of Philosophy (Griffith University 2005)
Associate Professor, National Security College
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Political Science 1606
  • International Relations 160607
  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • Defence Studies 160604

Research interests

  • The history and politics of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomnous Region, PRC
  • Ethnic separatism (particularly in China)
  • Chinese history from Qing era to the present
  • The geopolitics of Central Eurasia
  • Terrorism and political violence
  • Australian defence and foreign policy
  • Nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation
  • American defence and foreign policy


Dr Michael Clarke is an internationally recognised expert on the history and politics of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China (PRC), Chinese foreign policy in Central Asia, Central Asian geopolitics, and nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation. He also regularly provides expert media commentary on Uyghur/Xinjiang and Chinese foreign policy-related issues to national and international media including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times, Voice of America, BBC News, the New York Times, the Guardian, CNN and Reuters among others.

Recent Publications

Clarke, M. E. (ed) (2018) Terrorism and Counterterrorism in China: Domestic and Foreign Policy Dimensions, (London: Hurst & Co/NY: Oxford University Press).

Clarke, M. E and Ricketts, A. (2017) “Donald Trump and the Traditions of American Foreign Policy: The Return of the Jacksonian Tradition”, Comparative Strategy 36 (4), 366-379.

Clarke, M. E and Ricketts, A. (2017) “Shielding the Republic: Barack Obama and the Jeffersonian Tradition of American Foreign Policy”, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 28 (3), 394-417.

Clarke, M. E and Ricketts, A. (2017) “US Grand Strategy and National Security: The Dilemmas of Primacy, Decline and Denial”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 71 (5), 479-498.

Clarke, M. E. (2017) “The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s New Grand Strategy?”, Asia Policy, 24 (July), 7-15.

Clarke, M. E. (2017) “The Impact of Ethnic Minorities on China’s Foreign Policy: The Case of Xinjiang and the Uyghur”, China Report, 53 (1), 1-25.

Clarke, M. E. (2017) “The US-Australia Alliance in an Era of Change: Living Complacently?”, Asia Policy, 23 (1), 63-70.

Clarke, M. E and Ricketts, A. (2017) “Did Obama Have a Grand Strategy?”, Journal of Strategic Studies, 40 (1), 295-324.

Clarke, M. E and Ricketts, A. (2017) “Understanding the Return of the Jacksonian Tradition”, Orbis, 61 (1), 13-25.

Researcher's projects

  • Australian nuclear policy
  • State-building in China's frontier regions and its effect on China's foreign relations with neighbouring states
  • The evolution of Uyghur nationalist ideologies and advocacy
  • Uyghur separatism and terrorism
  • China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
  • China-Pakistan relations
  • China-Afghanistan relations
  • US foreign and strategic policy in Central Asia


Available student projects

I am willing to supervise MA and PhD students in the following areas:

  • Chinese foreign policy
  • Ethnic nationalism in China
  • Terrorism/political violence
  • US grand strategy and foreign policy
  • Nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation


Current student projects

I am currently supervising two doctoral students focusing on US grand strategy in the Middle East and the geopolitics of Islamic States' propaganda respectively.


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Updated:  05 April 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers