Alastair Iain Johnston (江忆恩) is the Gov. James Albert Noe and Linda Noe Laine Professor of China in World Affairs in the Government Department at Harvard University. He has written on socialization theory, identity and political behavior, and strategic culture, mostly with application to the study of East Asian international relations and Chinese foreign policy. Johnston is the author of Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton 1995) and Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980-2000 (Princeton University Press, 2008), and is co-editor of Engaging China: The Management of an Emerging Power (Routledge 1999), New Directions in the Study of China’s Foreign Policy (Stanford 2006), Crafting Cooperation: Regional Institutions in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge 2007), Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists (Cambridge 2009), and Perception and Misperception in American and Chinese Views of the Other (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 2015).
Research interests: socialization in international institutions; the analysis of identity in the social sciences; ideational sources of strategic choice, mostly with reference to China and East Asia.
- China and Arms Control: Emerging Issues and Interests in the 1980s. (Ottawa, Center for Arms Control and Disarmament, Aurora Papers No. 3, 1986)
- Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995) (Third edition, paperback, published in 1998; Chinese edition ⽂化现实主义：中国历史上的战略⽂化与⼤战略 published in 2015 by People’s Publishing House)
- Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980-2000 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008)
Recent Edited Books, Articles, Monographs, and Chapters
- “What (If Anything) Does East Asia Tell Us About International Relations Theory?” Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 15 (2012) pp.53-78
- “How New and Assertive is China’s New Assertiveness” International Security 37:4 (Spring 2013) pp. 7-48
- “Chinese Signaling in the East China Sea?” (with M. Taylor Fravel) The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage blog), April 12, 2014.
- “Anti-Foreigner Propaganda is not Spiking in China” The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage blog) December 2, 2014.
- “The Tea Party and China Policy” in Alastair Iain Johnston and Shen Mingming eds., Perception and Misperception in American and Chinese Views of the Other (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2015)
- “The Evolution of Interstate Security Crisis-Management Theory and Practice in China” Naval War College Review 69:1 (Winter 2016).
- “Is Chinese Nationalism Rising? Evidence from Beijing” International Security 41(3) (Winter 2016)
- “Does Chinese Exceptionalism Undermine China’s Foreign Policy Interests?” in Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi, eds., The China Questions (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 2017) 6
- “Can China Back Down? Crisis De-Escalation in the Shadow of Popular Opposition” (with Kai Quek) International Security Vol. 42, No. 3 (Winter 2017/18), pp. 7–36.
- 美麗島2018兩岸關係⺠調（⼀）: ⼤多數台灣⺠眾是否只認同台灣，不認同中國？ [Formosa Magazine, “2018 Survey of Cross-Strait Relations 1: Do The Vast Majority of Taiwanese People only Identify With Taiwan, and not with China?”] (with George Yin) (April 17, 2018).
- “Beijing wants Taiwanese to identify as Chinese. But how do Taiwanese really feel?” (with George Yin) The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage blog), June 4, 2018.
- 美麗島2018兩岸關係⺠調（⼆）：此綠⾮彼綠？台灣年輕世代對中國的觀感 (with George Yin) [Formosa Magazine, “2018 Survey of Cross-Strait Relations 2: This Green Is Not That Green? Perception of Taiwanese Youth Toward China”] (July 24, 2018)
- “Shaky Foundations: The ‘Intellectual Architecture’ of Trump’s China Policy” Survival 61(2) (April/May 2019) pp.189-202.
- 網⺠看兩岸（1）：社群媒體，政黨傾向，和對兩岸關係的看法 (with George Yin) [Formosa Magazine, Netizens View Cross-Strait Relations 1: Views on Social Media, Political Party Orientation, and CrossStrait Relations] (April 1, 2019)
- “The Failures of the ‘Failure of Engagement’ with China” The Washington Quarterly 42:2 (Summer 2019) pp. 99–114
- Memes, Narratives, and the Emergent US–China Security Dilemma (with Adam Breuer) Cambridge Review of International Affair (August 2019) 32:4, pp. 429-455.
- “China In a World of Orders: Rethinking Compliance and Challenge in Beijing’s International Relations” International Security (Fall 2019) 44:2 pp.9-60.
- “China’s Contribution to the US-China Security Dilemma” in Jacques DeLisle and Avery Goldstein eds, After Engagement: Dilemmas in U.S.-China Security Relations (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2021) pp. 76-121.
- “The Effect of Imagined Social Contact on Chinese Students’ Perceptions of Japanese People” (with Wang Dong and Wang Baoyu) Journal of Conflict Resolution 65:1 (2021)
- “Is China Trying to Undermine the Liberal International Order?” Adele Carrai, Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi eds The China Questions II (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2021)
- “The Ambiguity of Strategic Clarity” (with Tsai Chia-hung, George Yin, Steven Goldstein) War on the Rocks (June 20, 2021)
- Perception and Misperception in American and Chinese Views of the Other (co-editor with Shen Mingming) (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2015)
- Xi Jinping´s “New Era”: What Does It Mean for China´s Role in the World?, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs – Utrikespolitiska institutet (UI), 2017