John Nilsson-Wright (formerly Swenson-Wright) is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES) at the University of Cambridge and an Official Fellow at Darwin College. He is a graduate of Christ Church and St. Antony’s Colleges, Oxford, and SAIS Johns Hopkins University. He was Head of the Chatham House Asia Programme from March 2014 to October 2016 and has also been the Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia and Korea Foundation Fellow with Chatham House’s Asia-Pacific Programme. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, ROK; Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Korea Centre, East Asia Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS);  and a non-resident fellow at the Centre for North Korean Studies at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on Cold War history including US-Japan alliance ties, and the contemporary international relations and politics of Northeast Asia, with reference to Japan and the Koreas. In his policy work, he focuses on regional security and the changing nature of alliance relations in East Asia. He is currently writing a monograph on populism and identity politics as a contemporary and historical phenomenon in both Europe and Northeast Asia.

Key publications:

John Swenson-Wright, Unequal Allies?  United States Security and Alliance Policy Towards Japan, 1945-1960 (Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, March 2005. 

John Nilsson-Wright, ed. The Politics and International Relations of Modern Korea (London, UK: Routledge, 2016). Four volumes 

John Swenson-Wright, ed., The Best Course Available (Honolulu:  University of Hawaii Press, 2002) 

John Nilsson-Wright, “UK Policy on the Indo-Pacific: Balancing Global Ambition in an Era of Resource Scarcity and Rising Insecurity,” Asia Policy, 18, 3, July 2023  

John Nilsson-Wright, “Yoon’s vision for South Korea as a Global Pivotal State: Is there anything to it?” Global Asia, 18, 1, March 2023.  

Related

In the press

Security dynamics on Korean Peninsula: Expert analysis

Wednesday 1st May, 2024

Security dynamics on Korean Peninsula: Expert analysis

The head of our Japan and Koreas Programme, Dr. John Nilsson-Wright, in on English Language South Korean television in a wide ranging discussion about North Korea.

Expert Analysis

A public vote of no-confidence for South Korea’s President Yoon

Event Review

Event review: Japanese diplomacy – the power of influence

Economics, Environment, Security

The future of the Pacific regional order

Tuesday 27th February, 2024

The future of the Pacific regional order

Diplomacy

Japanese diplomacy – the power of influence

Thursday 22nd February, 2024

Japanese diplomacy – the power of influence

In the press

The arms supplied by North Korea to Russia as UK sends satellite images to UN

Sunday 21st January, 2024

The arms supplied by North Korea to Russia as UK sends satellite images to UN

John Nilsson-Wright is interviewed for this i News article.

Peace building

Peace initiatives of the Moon Jae-in administration in Korea: their legacy

Peace building

Korea Global Forum 2023

Friday 29th September, 2023

Korea Global Forum 2023

Journal

Essay appears in an Asia Policy paper

Thursday 20th July, 2023

Essay appears in an Asia Policy paper

John Nilsson-Wright essay appears in an Asia Policy paper on how countries are adopting different strategies in approaching the Indo-Pacific.

In the press

Article in Korea JoongAng Daily

Saturday 8th July, 2023

Article in Korea JoongAng Daily

John Nilsson-Wright contributes to an article in Korea JoongAng Daily on Japan/Korea relationships post.

In the press

BBC World Service programme “Weekend”

Sunday 25th June, 2023

BBC World Service programme “Weekend”

John Nilsson-Wright is a studio guest on the BBC World Service programme “Weekend” speaking on many subjects over three 50 minute segments.

Podcast

On Geopolitics Episode 31: Japan, South Korea and the US

Monday 22nd May, 2023

On Geopolitics Episode 31: Japan, South Korea and the US

Ali and Suzanne are joined by Centre Affiliate Dr John Nilsson-Wright to consider this trilateral relationship in the run-up to the G7.