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The Australian National University

Dr 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. and Ricketts, A. 2017. "Did Obama have a Grand Strategy?", Journal of Strategic Studies, 40 (1/2), 295-324.

Clarke, M. 2017 "Xinjiang and the Trans-Nationalization of Uyghur Terrorism: Cracks in the New Silk Road?", ASAN Forum, 5 (1),

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

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

Clarke, M. 2016. "China in Afghanistan: Navigating a 'Terrain of Hazards' in Search of Geopolitical Opportunity?", in Amin Saikal and Kirill Nourzhanov (eds), Afghanistan and its Neighbors after the NATO Withdrawal. Lanham: Lexington Books, 179-195.

Clarke, M. 2016. "Beijing's March West: Opportunities and Challenges for China's Eurasian Pivot", Orbis, 60 (2), 296-313.

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:  24 October 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers