Jonas Balkus

Jesus College
MPhil International Relations

I am an MPhil in International Relations student and a member of Jesus College. My research focuses on Chinese foreign policy, in particular the ways in which the historically grounded narratives of 'the Century of National Humiliation' and 'National Rejuvenation' influence foreign policy. Relatedly, I am looking at the impact of the Boxer Rebellion, the Opium Wars, and similar events on the Chinese national psyche.

Prior to my MPhil, I studied History at Durham University, graduating with first class honours. I wrote my thesis on US intelligence and policy failures in the lead up to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. I maintain an interest in Cold War foreign policy and Middle Eastern affairs and I currently work as an editor for the Oxford Middle East Review. During my undergraduate studies, I served on various society committees, interned at the UK Civil Service and worked as a foreign policy editor for a Europe-focused think tank.

Outside of my studies, I frequently write on UK and international affairs— a list of selected publications can be found on my LinkedIn page. I also enjoy writing fiction and poetry, as well as travelling and hiking.


Research Interests

  • Chinese foreign policy

  • The impact of history on international affairs

  • Great power conflict and grand strategy

  • Security studies

  • Post-Soviet conflicts

  • Middle Eastern affairs



  • English (C2)

  • Lithuanian (C2)

  • Mandarin Chinese (A2/B1)