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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems


Dr Lin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and obtained his PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Kun-Chin was a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and taught at King's College London and the National University of Singapore.

His research focuses on the politics of market reform in developing countries. His current projects include federalism and regulatory issues in transport infrastructure and energy markets in China, industrial policy and privatization of Chinese state-owned enterprises, and the economic and security nexus in maritime governance in the Indo-Pacific and the Arctic.

Dr Lin is a senior fellow of the Centre for Industrial Sustainability, and a member of Energy@Cambridge, Cambridge Centre for the Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG), and Centre for Science & Policy (CSaP) of the University of Cambridge. He is an editorial board member of Business & Politics, Maritime Policy & Management, and Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, and chair of the editorial board of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.


Key publications: 
  • “Britain’s Pivot to Asia: The Big Picture.” (with I. Park) Forthcoming chapter in Security Interests and Strategies in the South China Sea: Transnational Perspectives, S.N. Romaniuk, N. Hong, and G. Houlden, ed., In press 2020, Bristol University Press.

  • “Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on Maritime Commercial Power,” (with K. Li, M. Jin, Y. Xiao, Z. Yang, and K. F. Yuen). In press at Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

  • “Spatial spillover effects of logistics infrastructure on regional development: Evidence from China,” (with Y. Xiao, G. Qi, W. Shi, ad K.F. Yuen” in Transport Research Part A Policy and Practice, May 2020.

  • “Spatial Distribution of Job Opportunities in China: Evidence from the opening of the high-speed rail” (with M. Jin, X.Feng, G. Qi, W. Shi). Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 133 (March 2020): 138-147.

  • “The Effectiveness of the New Inspection Regime for Port State Control: Application of the Tokyo MoU” (with K. Li, G. Qi, G. Wang, Y. Xiao). Marine Policy, Vol. TBc (Feb 2020).

  • “How Can Shipowners Comply with the 2020 Global Sulphur Limit Economically?” (with K. Li, W. Shi, J. Yang, M. Zhu). Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol 79 (Feb 2020).

  • “The Competitive of Arctic Shipping over Suez Canal and China-Europe Railway” (with K. Li, T. Lu, K. F. Yuen, and Q. Zeng,). Transport Policy, Vol. 86 (Feb 2020): 34-43.

  • “Marine Piracy Prediction and Prevention: Policy Implications” (with M.Jin, W. Shi and K. Li), Marine Policy, Volume 108, October 2019.

  • “Facing the Pacific: An Eastbound Strategy for Taiwanese Maritime Commerce in the 21st Century?” (with Charles Chen) in R. Ash and D. Fell, ed., Title TBC. Forthcoming from Routledge, 2019.
  • “The Power of Siberia: A Eurasian pipeline policy that is ‘good’ for whom?” (with M. Ozawa, K. Chyong, T. Reilly, C. Humphrey, and C. Wood-Donnelly) Chapter 21 in J Chaplin, M Pollitt, D Reiner, P Warde, M Ozawa, ed., In Search of Good Energy Policy, pp. 305-335. Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • “Ports, Shipping and Grand Strategy in the Indo-Pacific” in Infrastructure, Ideas, and Strategy in the Info-Pacific, ed. John Hemmings, The Henry Jackson Society, March 2019:
  • “Beijing’s long game: Does China present a greater threat to the West than Russia?” (with Brendan Simms), The Spectator, 12 January 2019. 
  • “Transforming China’s Electricity Sector: Politics of Institutional Change and Regulation.” [With Mika Purra] Energy Policy, online version 4 October 2018.
  • “For Whom the Road Tolls Rise: The Politics of Financing the Highway Boom in China.” Asian Survey 58(3) May/June 2018.
  • “China and the Intergovernmental Organizations” in The Critical Transition: China’s Priorities for 2021, a Chatham House Research Paper, February 2017:
  •  “Governance, Domestic Change, and Social Policy in China in Historical Perspective” [with J-M Blanchard] in J-M Blanchard and KC Lin, ed., Governance, Domestic Change and Social Policy in China: 100 Years after the Xinhai Revolution, pp. 1-20. Palgrave, 2016.
  • “Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: China and the Emerging Order in the East and South China Seas.” A Chatham House Research Report, July 2015. Available at:
  • “Protecting the Petroleum Industry: Renewing government aid to fossil fuel producers.” Business & Politics 16(4): 549–578, Dec. 2014.
  •  “Multiple Institutional Templates for Corporate China: The Evolution of Industrial Networks During Marketization” [with Lowell Dittmer] in Hong Yung Lee, ed., A Comparative Study of East Asian Capitalism, pp. 205-236. University of California Press, 2014. 
  • “Policy Diffusion in Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies of Local Government Interventions” (with Shaofeng Chen) in J.C. Teets and W.J. Hurst, ed., Local Governance Innovation in China: Experimentation, Diffusion, and Defiance, pp. 84-102. Routledge, 2014.
  • “Local Government Fiscal Imperative and Debt-Financing in China” [with He Yang and Tao Ran] in P. Arestis and M. Sawyer, ed., Fiscal and Debt Policies for the Future, International Papers in Political Economy Series, pp. 195-236. Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.
  • “The Local Government in Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies of Fractured Bargaining Relations.” [with Shaofeng Chen] Journal of Current Chinese Affairs42(4): 171–198, 2013.
  • “Contemplating Chinese Foreign Policy: Approaches to the Use of Historical Analysis.” [with Jean-Marc Blanchard] Special Issue: Chinese Foreign Policy: The Quest for Power, Security, and Status.  Pacific Focus 28(2): 145–169, August 2013.
  • “Adapting to the Arab Spring: Chinese Economic Statecraft and the Quest for Stability in the Contemporary Middle East.” [With Rory Miller] ‘Lessons Learnt’ Report for the ‘History of British Intelligence and Security’ research project,” AHRC Public Policy Series No. 7, December 2012. Available at:
  • Transforming China’s Electricity Sector: Institutional Change and Regulation in the Reform Era.” [With Mika Purra] R&R at World Development. Available as Centre for Rising Powers Working Paper Series No. 8, University of Cambridge, July 2012. Available at:
  • “Social Change & Inequality.” [With Tao Ran] Chapter 15 in the Routledge Handbook of China's Governance and Domestic Politics, edited by Christopher Ogden. London: Routledge, 2012.
  • “Politics and the Market in Twenty-First-Century China: Strategies of Authoritarian Management of State-Society Relations.” Political Studies Review, Vol. 10 Iss. 1, Jan 2012, pp. 73-84.
  • “Governing Chinese National Oil Corporations: From Administrative to Corporate Hierarchy.” In Linda Yueh, ed., Enterprising China: Business, Economics and Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • “Regulating Power without a Five Year Plan: Institutional Changes in the Chinese Power Sector” [with Mika Purra and Hui Lin] in Darryl Jarvis, et al, ed., Infrastructure Regulation: What Works, Why, and How Do We Know it? Lessons from Asia and Beyond. London: Routledge, 2011.
  • “The Political Economy of Rapid Transport Infrastructure Expansion in China.” Centre for Rising Powers Working Paper Series No. 3, University of Cambridge, January 2012. Available at:
  • “Transforming the Wage Regime in Chinese Oilfields and Refineries: A Network Organizational Analysis.” In S. Kuruvilla, M. Gallagher, and C.K. Lee. ed., From Iron-Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, State and Workers in a Changing China. Cornell UniversityPress, 2011.
  • “The Development of Road Networks in China: Miscalculations and Inequalities.” Asie Visions 24. Paris: Centre Asie, Institut Francais des Relations Internationals (IFRI), February 2010. Reprinted with permission in Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, September 2011.
  • Class Formation or Fragmentation? Allegiances and Divisions among Managers and Workers in State-owned Enterprises” in T. Gold, W. Hurst, J. Won, and L. Qiang, ed.,Laid-Off Workers in a Workers' State: Unemployment With Chinese Characteristics. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
  • “Rhetoric or Vision? Chinese Responses to U.S. Unilateralism” in V.K. Aggarwal, M.G. Koo, S. Lee, C.I. Moon, ed., Northeast Asia: Ripe for Integration? Berlin: SpringerVerlag, 2008.
  • “Macroeconomic Disequilibria and Enterprise Reform: Restructuring the Chinese Oil and Petrochemical Industries in the 1990s.” The China Journal, No. 60, July 2008, pp. 49-79.
  • “Local Governmental Effect on Oil and Petrochemical Enterprise Reform in China.” Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL), Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2008. Available online at the Global Energy Law Portal
  • “With Strings Attached? Improving the Administration of Central State-Financed Investment Projects in the PRC.” Asian Journal of Political Science 15(3), December 2007, pp. 319-343.
  • “Symmetry and Asymmetry in Post Cold War Approaches to Trade and Security in thePacific Rim.” [with Paul G. Buchanan] The Association of Asia-Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Special Papers series. Winner of the 2006 APRU Fellows Program (AFP) Collaborative Research Paper Award. Published online on the APRU website:
  • “Disembedding Socialist Firms as a Statist Project: Restructuring the Chinese Oil Industry 1997-2002.” Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History 7(1), March 2006, pp. 59-97.
  • “Finding the Right Chemistry? The U.S. Chemical Industry in Asia.” Business and Politics, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2001, pp. 185-202. Also in Vinod Aggarwal ed., Winning in Asia: US Style. NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.
  • “Strategy without Vision: The U.S. and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation” [with Vinod K. Aggarwal] in Jurgen Roland, Eva Manske, and Werner Draguhn, ed., Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): The First Decade. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.
  • “APEC as an Institution” [with Vinod K. Aggarwal] in Richard E. Feinberg and Ye Zhao, ed., Assessing APEC's Progress: Trade, Ecotech, and Institutions. Singapore: ISEAS, 2001.
Deputy Director, Centre for Geopolitics
University lecturer in politics and Tun Suffian college lecturer at Gonville & Caius College
Dr Kun-Chin  Lin