Miwa Hirono

Profie photo of Miwa Hirono

Professor / Associate Dean

Ph.D. in International Relations, Australian National University

hirono-1 [at] fc.ritsumei.ac.jp (Replace "[at]" with "@")
Office Location:
Office Hours:
Tuesday 16:20-17:20 (Make an appointment by email in advance)


  • Ph.D. in International Relations, Australian National University
  • M.A., Keio University

Until she joined Ritsumeikan University in 2015, she held a Research Councils UK (RCUK) Research Fellowship, and Deputy Directorship at the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, at the University of Nottingham. Her publication includes China's Evolving Approach to Peacekeeping (London: Routledge 2012), Civilizing Missions: International Christian Agencies in China (New York: Palgrave MacMillan 2008), and Cultures of Humanitarianism: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific (Canberra: Australian National University 2012).

She has taught at the Australian National University, where she was awarded a Ph.D. in International Relations, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School on Fulbright Fellowship (2018-2019), at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2003-2004) and at Beijing University (2003-2004; 2009).

Message to Students

China's rise has affected a variety of global issues such as peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and environmental problems. To what extent has China exerted its influence in global issues, and what has been the nature of such influence? To consider the future of international relations, it is essential to explore these questions from global perspectives. A rich diversity of backgrounds of GLA students, together with my research on these questions, will make our discussion very lively and informative. I look forward to working with you all to explore China's potential and the problems it faces in international society.

Courses Taught

  • Critical Area Studies
  • International Relations in the Asia-Pacific
  • Research Seminar I & II
  • Thesis

Critical Area Studies

When discussing international affairs, one tends to assume the existence of "areas." Such "areas" do not necessarily derive from geography and topography, but also—more importantly—are constructed from such elements as power politics, ideology, religion, ethnicity, culture and history amongst others. Critically examining the nature of "areas" with a particular attention paid to these elements help students understand the systems of power behind world affairs. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the nature of major "areas" in the world, including "East Asia," "South East Asia," "Oceania" and "Europe," and aims to equip students with methods and skills to critically analyse the nature of power behind the making of "areas."

Research Interests

China, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Humanitarianism, Disasters, Conflict, East Asia, Developing Countries, Foreign Policy

Does China play the role of a 'responsible power' in international affairs? China contributes to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan and undertakes large-scale investment in the oil sector there. Analysts debate whether such activities amount to 'responsible' behaviour, but what is missing in the debate is a perspective of those on the receiving end of China's security and economic contributions. My research examines the often-neglected perspectives of the developing world in response to China's peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance.

See more on Ritsumeikan University Researchers Database.

Supervision Information

A few examples of the theses I supervised in the past:

  • Gender-based Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Case Study of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in the Kivus;
  • The Role of China as a Responsible Power: A Case Study of China in Building Peace in South Sudan;
  • China's Capacity Building Program: The Case with Africa;
  • How had China Approached the Non-intervention Principle in the Period from 2000 to 2011?;
  • The Perceived Impact of India-China Competition on the Political Instability of Nepal: An Analysis of the Post-Monarchy Political Situation of 2008-2016;
  • China's Sea Power in the Indian Ocean: Lessons from Mahan;
  • 日中関係の悪化の原因:日本のメディアを中心に;
  • 中国の国内政治と規範の受容との関連性研究 ー南シナ海問題を例としてー(2013~2018);
  • ソフト・パワーから中国脅威論を分析する.

Representative Publications

Books and Special Issues in International Peer-review Journals

  • Hirono, M. 2008. Civilizing Missions: International Religious Agencies in China, New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Lanteigne, M. and M. Hirono. 2012. (eds). China's Evolving Approach to Peacekeeping, London: Routledge.
  • Hirono, M., Y. Jiang and M. Lanteigne (eds). 2019. 'China's Evolving Approaches to the Principle of Non-Intervention', The China Quarterly, special section, March.
  • Hirono, M. and M. Lanteigne (eds). 2011. 'China's Evolving Approach to Peacekeeping', International Peacekeeping 18(3), special issue.
  • Hirono, M. 2019. 'China's Conflict Mediation and the Durability of the Principle of Non-Interference: The Case of Post-2014 Afghanistan', The China Quarterly, vol. 239, September, pp. 614-34.
  • Hirono, M. 2019. 'Asymmetrical Rivalry between China and Japan in Africa: To What Extent has Sino-Japan Rivalry Become a Global Phenomenon?' The Pacific Review, vol 32, no. 5, pp. 831-62. Approach to Peacekeeping, London: Routledge.

Journal Articles (2019-2020)