Image of Dr Xin Liu

Dr Xin Liu

Humanities and Social Science

Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies

Dr. Xin Liu (Calvin) is an international historian and international theorist whose research draws upon the nexus between historical knowledge and international theories to reveal how the former disseminates critical values for the latter. In particular, Calvin is interested in understanding how non-western experiences of state-formation and social development may critically engage the extant frameworks of IR which are usually rigid and profane by providing alternative, historically grounded interpretations of modern concepts and cannons such as sovereignty, nation-state, territoriality and justice. Calvin has published journal articles which excavate from world history the variegated patterns and assumptions of international order in premodern Asia, and he's also producing a monograph on how the global overseas Chinese communities have helped shaping the modern Chinese revolution.

Calvin joined Liverpool John Moores University in July 2017, before which he taught in various British and overseas higher education institutions including the University of Sussex, Birkbeck College of London and the University of Sharjah in the UAE. Calvin's areas of teaching have ranged from international history, Chinese studies to international relations theories and social research methods. Calvin's academic life is mostly spent in the UK, where he has received a PhD in International Relations and Historical Sociology (Sussex) and a MSc in International Relations Research (LSE).

Calvin has been a member of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), British International Studies Association (BISA), International Studies Association (ISA) and the Sussex Uneven and Combined Development Working Group. Beyond the academia, Calvin has been acting as a regular contributor for the BBC World Service, in which role he has commented widely on a vast range of issues such as global and regional conflicts, Chinese politics, and other social and public affairs of concern. Calvin has also occasionally appeared on other Chinese media platforms such as Sina and Southern People's Weekly.

Calvin is interested in supervising doctoral research projects in the fields of international relations theories, international history and non-western issues, Chinese studies and East Asian politics and society.

Since September 2017, Calvin has already taught the following modules at the LJMU:
Making History
Lion Rampant, Lion Tamed: History of the British Empire

Debates in History
Bitter Resurgence: China and the Modern World (1894-2012)

Understanding International Relations
Research Methods for International Relations
International Politics and Development in Asia-Pacific


Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin)


2014, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, Dphil in International Relations
2009, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom, MSc in International Relations (Research)
2008, People's University of China, China, BA in International Politics and International Political Economy

Academic appointments

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in International Relations and History, Liverpool John Moores University, 2017 - present


Liu X, Darius A. 2021. The public-private distinction in the shadow of China: Uneven and combined development’s critique of liberal IR theory? New Directions in Uneven and Combined Development Routledge 9781032152691

Liu X. 2018. ‘Too Simple and Sometimes Naïve’: Hong Kong, between China and the West Shilliam R, Rutazibwa O. Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics Routledge 9781138944596 Publisher Url

Liu X. Reimagining Global Order: China in History and Theory Cooke S. Non-Western Global Theories of International Relations Palgrave Macmillan

Journal article

Liu X. 2021. Towards a Confucian Geopolitics: A Critical Remark Dialogues in Human Geography, 11 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Liu X. 2016. Anarchy in the East: Eurocentrism, China-centred geopolitics and uneven and combined development International Politics, 53 :574-595 DOI Publisher Url

Liu X, A'Zami D. The public-private distinction in the shadow of China: Uneven and Combined Development’s critique of liberal IR theory Cambridge Review of International Affairs, DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Liu X. What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Covid-19: Biopolitics, The Current Pandemic and A Sociological Approach to Global Disorder(當我們談論新冠疫情的時候,我們在談論什麼?) Review of Global Politics(全球政治評論),

Internet publication

Liu X. 2020. Backyard for Sleepwalkers Author Url

Other invited event:

Guest Lecture at China-Arab Association, Dubai, UAE, ‘Horror in the Profound Night: Donald Trump and the Strange Death of Liberal International Order’. 2016

guest-lecture at the Aberystwyth Business School, University of Aberystwyth, Wales, ‘China’s economic slow-down and its impact on global politics’. 2016

Research Seminar on ‘Transitional Economies’, The Centre for Organizational Research, Roehampton University, London, ‘China’s industrial transfer and the nascent mode of labour movement’. 2013

Media Coverage:

BBC ‘The World Tonight’ on China’s political stance towards Hong Kong (October 2014)

BBC Newshour on the restriction of foreign players in the Chinese Super League (January 2017)

BBC World Service Weekend on Fidel Castro’s legacies, Radio Essay (November, 2016)

Nanfang People (Southern Weekly) on China’s ‘young left generation’ (2013)


Associate Fellowship, Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Membership of professional bodies:

Member, British International Studies Association (BISA).

Member, European Association for Chinese Studies (EAC).

Member, International Studies Association (ISA).

Member, Sussex Uneven and Combined Development Working Group.