Thu Htet

International Relations Network
Oriel College
MPhil International Relations

Thu Htet is a MPhil International Relations candidate (2022-2024) under the supervision of Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada. His project reconceptualises and theorises hedging through exploring Myanmar's foreign policy and foreign relations with external powers (2011-2021). His thesis asks a question of how small states retain their hedging strategies over time amidst structural uncertainties and the growing US-China geopolitical competition.

His broad research interests include geopolitics, foreign policy, small states’ agency in international relations, and contemporary security and strategic studies. Methodologically, he adopts global and postcolonial approaches to IR, as well as the intersection between IR and Area Studies. His geographical and empirical scope of interest includes Myanmar, China, Southeast Asia, and the wider Indo-Pacific. His methods interests are qualitative methods, historical methods, and discourse analysis. Beyond the discipline of IR, he has experience in engaging with political economy, public policy, international development, comparative federalism, strategic foresight, and urban planning and politics. His studies at Oxford are generously funded by the Jardine Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship

Prior to Oxford, he received his Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Political Science from the Department of International Relations and Political Science, University of Yangon, where he was awarded first prize for all five academic years, and Master of Science in Urban Strategies from Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University. Beyond the formal higher education, he received 14 diplomas in the areas of business, marketing, strategy, and finance; and also studied and was awarded prizes in the Buddhist Teachings (Dhamma) for Laypersons. 

Research interests 

  • Geopolitics, foreign policy, and small states’ agency in international relations
  • Contemporary security and strategic studies
  • Global and postcolonial IR
  • Myanmar, China, Southeast Asia, and Indo-Pacific


Awards & Scholarships

  • Jardine Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship (2022-2024)
  • Chulalongkorn University ASEAN Non-ASEAN Scholarship + Department of Urban and Regional Planning Scholarship (2020-2021)
  • First prize of the cohort (2014-2015 Academic Year to 2018-2019 Academic Year)
  • University of Yangon Arts Excellence Scholarship (2014-2019)



  • Htet, T. (2021) Shifting the US-Myanmar Relations under Trump Administration and its Geopolitical Implication. WIMAYA: Interdisciplinary Journal of International Affairs. 2(2).
  • Htet, T. (2021) The Geopolitics of Myanmar-China Relations after the Coup: China’s Geostrategic Calculations towards Myanmar’s Coup. Tea Circle: A Forum for New Perspectives on Burma/Myanmar.


Non IR-related

  • Htet, T. (2023) Beyond What Numbers can Say: The Economic and Social Devastations Caused by Myanmar's Burning Villages. Tea Circle: A Forum for New Perspectives on Burma/Myanmar.
  • Htet, T. (2022) Learning from the Past: Investigating the Income Restoration Programs in the Resettlement Work Plans of Thilawa Special Economic Zone, Yangon, Myanmar. Asia Social Issues. 15(1).
  • Htet, T. (2021) Political Economy Analysis of the Ride-Hailing Platforms in Yangon: The Case of Grab. Tea Circle: A Forum for New Perspectives on Burma/Myanmar.