Institute of Malaysian and International Studies

INSTITUTE OF MALAYSIAN AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Professor Dr. Kuik Cheng-Chwee

Google Scholar h-index: 15
Citations: 1410

Professor in International Relations
Head, Centre for Asian Studies (iKAS),
Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS),
National University of Malaysia (UKM),
43600 Bangi, Malaysia.

Nonresident Fellow, SAIS Foreign Policy Institute,
Johns Hopkins University

Contact:
Ext: 3662
Email: cckuik@gmail.com (preferred)
kuik@ukm.edu.my
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
43600 Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA
Academia.edu ¦  ResearchGate.net
ORCID: 0000-0002-6318-085X

Qualifications:
BPA (UUM), M.Litt. (St. Andrews), PhD (Johns Hopkins)

Area of study:
International Relations

Brief Profile:
KUIK Cheng-Chwee is Professor in International Relations and Head of the Centre for Asian Studies, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), National University of Malaysia (UKM). He is concurrently a Non-resident Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Previously, Cheng-Chwee was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Princeton-Harvard “China and the World” Program and a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations. Dr. Kuik’s research concentrates on smaller state foreign policy, Southeast Asia-China relations, Asian security, and international relations. He served as Head of the Writing Team for the Government of Malaysia’s inaugural Defence White Paper (2020). Cheng-Chwee has held consultant positions at Oxford, Council on Foreign Relations, and Asian Development Bank. His publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and edited books. Dr. Kuik’s essay, “The Essence of Hedging”, won the Michael Leifer Memorial Prize by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). He is co-author (with David M. Lampton and Selina Ho) of Rivers of Iron: Railroads and Chinese Power in Southeast Asia (University of California Press, 2020) and co-editor (with Alice Ba and Sueo Sudo) of Institutionalizing East Asia (Routledge, 2016). His current projects include: hedging in international relations, elite legitimation and foreign policy choices, and the geopolitics of infrastructure connectivity cooperation. Cheng-Chwee serves on the editorial boards of Contemporary Southeast Asia, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Asian Politics and Policy, and International Journal of Asian Studies. He holds an M.Litt. from the University of St. Andrews and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. He can be contacted at cckuik@gmail.com.

Research interests:
– International relations
– Hedging and smaller states’ foreign policy behavior
– Regional multilateralism and minilateralism in Indo-Pacific
– ASEAN and Southeast Asian security
– Malaysia’s foreign and defence policies
– China-Southeast Asia relations
– BRI and geopolitics of connectivity-building

Awards:

  • Newton Advanced Fellowship(British Academy) ▪ 2016-2018
  • UKM Excellent Service Award (Anugerah Perkhidmatan Cemerlang), Malaysia ▪ 2016
  • The Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program(CWP) Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship ▪ 2013/2014
  • KPT-UKM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award ▪ 2012/2013
  • 2009 Michael Leifer Memorial Prize, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) ▪ 2010
  • William and Marie-Daniele Zartman Fellowship, Johns Hopkins SAIS ▪ 2009
  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (CCKF) Doctoral Fellowship, Taiwan ▪ 2008/2009
  • Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship Award, Singapore ▪ 2007
  • SAIS Ph.D. Student Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University ▪ 2006/07 & 2007/2008
  • UKM Faculty Development (Study Leave) Award, Malaysia ▪ 2005/06
  • Fulbright Graduate Study Scholarship ▪ 2003/2004 & 2004/2005
  • ASIA Fellows Award (Asian Scholarship Foundation – Ford Foundation), Bangkok ▪ 2002/2003
  • UKM Excellent Service Award (Anugerah Perkhidmatan Terpuji), Malaysia ▪ 2002
  • British High Commissioner’s Chevening Award ▪ 1997/1998

 

Selected Publications:

  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2022). “Southeast Asian States and ASEAN: A Center of Courtships and Cooperation”, in David Shambaugh, ed., The International Relations of Asia, 3rd edition (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield), 189-227.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2022). “Southeast Asia-U.S. Relations in the Indo-Pacific Era: Navigating Promises and Pitfalls across the Twin Chessboards”, in Gilbert Rozman, Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies 2022, 33 (Washington, DC: Korea Economic Institute of America), forthcoming.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2022). “Locating Host-Country Agency and Hedging in Infrastructure Cooperation”, in Seth Schindler and Jessica DiCarlo, eds., The Rise of the Infrastructure State: How US-China Rivalry Shapes Politics and Place Worldwide (Bristol: Bristol University Press), forthcoming.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik and Thomas Daniel (2022). “Malaysia’s Relations with the United States and China: Asymmetries (and Anxieties) Amplified”, Southeast Asian Affairs 2022, 211-231.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2022). “The Politics of Thailand-China Railway Cooperation: Domestic Determinants of Smaller State BRI Engagement”, in Suthiphand Chirathivat, Buddhagarn Rutchatorn, Anupama Devendrakumar, eds., China’s Belt and Road Initiative in ASEAN: Growing Presence, Recent Progress, and Future Challenges (Singapore: World Scientific), 223-250.
  1. Lai Yew Meng, Cheng-Chwee Kuik, and Amy Azuan Abdullah (2021). “Pulau Layang-Layang in Malaysia’s South China Sea Policy: Sovereignty Meets Geopolitical Reality amid China-U.S. Rivalry”, International Journal of China Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (December), 189-222.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Getting Hedging Right: A Small State Perspective”, China International Strategy Review, Vol. 3, No. 2 (December), 300-315.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik and Abdul Razak Ahmad (2021). “Malaysia’s Resilient (but Ambiguous) Partnership with the United States: The Dilemmas of Smaller States in the Indo-Pacific Era”, Asia Policy, October, pp. 86-95.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Laos’ Enthusiastic Embrace of China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, Asian Perspective, 45, No. 4, 735-759.
  1. Abdul Razak Ahmad, Cheng-Chwee Kuik, and Lai Yew Meng (2021). “PLA Overflight near Malaysian Airspace: A Precarious Provocation”, Fulcrum: Analysis on Southeast Asia, June 30.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Irresistible Inducement? Assessing China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Asia”, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)’s Asia-Unbound, June 15. Available at https://www.cfr.org/sites/default/files/pdf/kuik_irresistible-inducement-assessing-bri-in-southeast-asia_june-2021.pdf
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik, Abdul Razak Ahmad, and Khor Swee Kheng (2021). “Malaysia-US Relations and the Biden Administration: Mapping Excitement, Managing Expectations”, ISEAS Perspective, April 16.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Asymmetry and Authority: Theorizing Southeast Asian Responses to China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, Asian Perspective, 45, No. 2, 255-276.
  1. Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Malaysia’s Fluctuating Engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Leveraging Asymmetry, Legitimizing Authority”, Asian Perspective, 45, No. 2, pp. 421-444.
  1. Lai Yew Meng and Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2021). “Structural Sources of Malaysia’s South China Sea Policy: Power Uncertainties and Small-State Hedging”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 75, No. 3.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2021). “The Twin Chessboards of US-China Rivalry: Reshaping Geostrategic Supply and Demand in Post-Pandemic Asia,” Asian Perspective, Vol. 44, No. 4 (October).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2020). “Elite Legitimation and the Agency of the Host Country: Evidence from Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand’s BRI Engagement,” in Florian Schneider, ed., Global Perspectives on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Asserting Agency through Regional Connectivity (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press), pp. 217-244.
  1. David M. Lampton, Selina Ho, and Cheng-Chwee Kuik (2020). Rivers of Iron: Railroads and Chinese Power in Southeast Asia. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2020). “Hedging in Post-Pandemic Asia: What, How, and Why?’ The Asan Forum: An Online Journal, June 6, http://www.theasanforum.org/hedging-in-post-pandemic-asia-what-how-and- why/
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2020). “Connectivity and Gaps: The Bridging Links and Missed Links of China’s BRI in Southeast Asia,” in Maria Adele Carrai, Jean-Christophe DeFraigne, and Jan Wouters, eds. The Belt and Road Initiative and Global Governance. Northampton, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, pp. 76-95.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2020). “Mapping Malaysia in the Evolving Indo-Pacific Construct,” CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2020 (Canberra: Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific).
  1. BA Hamzah and Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2019). “The Making of Defence White Paper”, New Straits Times (December 7).
  1. Ngeow Chow Bing and Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2019). “4th breakthrough in Malaysia-China relations,” New Straits Times (April 24).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee and Liew Chin Tong (2018). “Decoding the Mahathir Doctrine,” The Interpreter (August 20).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2018). “Opening a Strategic Pandora’s Jar? US-China Uncertainties and the Three Wandering Genies in Southeast Asia,” The Asan Forum: An Online Journal (July 2).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2018). “Keeping the Balance: Power Transitions Threaten ASEAN’s Hedging Role,” East Asia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January-March), pp. 22-23.
  1. Alice D. Ba and Kuik Cheng Chwee (2018) “Southeast Asia and China: Engagement and Constrainment”, in Alice D. Ba and Mark Beeson, eds., Contemporary Southeast Asia: The Politics of Change, Contestation, and Adaptation, 3rd edition (London: Palgrave), pp. 229-247.
  2. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2017). “A Tempting Torch? Malaysia Embraces (and Leverages on) BRI Despite Domestic Discontent”, in Praxis: A Review of Policy Practice, Asian Politics and Policy, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 652-654.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2017). “Explaining the Contradiction in China’s South China Sea Policy: Structural Drivers and Domestic Imperatives,” China: An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1 (February), pp. 1-24.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2016) (With Ithrana Lawrence). “Duterte’s and Najib’s China Visits and the Future of Small-State ‘Realignment’ in the Trump Era,” The Asan Forum: An Online Journal(December 14).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2016). “China’s ‘Militarization’ in the South China Sea: Three Target Audiences,” East Asian Policy, Vol. 8, No. 2 (April/June), pp. 15-24.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2016). “How Do Weaker States Hedge? Unpacking ASEAN States’ Alignment Behavior towards China,” Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 25, No. 100, pp. 500-514.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2016). “Malaysia between the United Sates and China: What do Weaker States Hedge Against?” Asian Politics and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 155-177.
  1. Alice Ba, Kuik Cheng-Chwee, & Sueo Sudo, eds. (2016). Institutionalizing East Asia: Mapping and Reconfiguring Regional Cooperation(London & New York: Routledge).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “Malaysia’s Balancing Act”, The International New York Times(December 7), p. 8.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee & Gilbert Rozman (2015). “Introduction to Part 1: Light or Heavy Hedging: Positioning between China and the United States,” in Gilbert Rozman, ed., Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies 2015, Vol. 26, (Washington, DC: Korea Economic Institute of America), pp. 1-9.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “Variations on a (Hedging) Theme: Comparing ASEAN Core States’ Alignment Behavior”, in Gilbert Rozman, ed., Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies 2015, Vol. 26 (Washington, DC: Korea Economic Institute of America), pp. 11-26.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “Malaysia’s Relations with Major and Middle Powers”, Observatoire Asie du Sud-est(Paris: Asia Centre, Sciences Po).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “Introduction: Decomposing and Assessing South Korea’s Hedging Options”, in “Special Forum: South Korea’s Foreign Policy Options”, The Asan Forum: An Online Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3 (May-June).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “An Emerging 3rd Pillar in Asian Architecture? AIIB and Other China-led Initiatives”, Asia-Pacific Bulletin, Number 305, March 26 (Washington, DC: East-West Center).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2015). “Malaysia-China Relations: Three Enduring Themes”, in Meredith Weiss, ed., Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia(London & New York: Routledge), pp. 417-427.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2014). 《中国参与东盟主导的机制:东南亚的视角》[China’s Participation in the ASEAN-led Institutions after the U.S. Rebalancing], in Men Honghua and Pu Xiaoyu, eds., 全球精英眼中的中国略走向[China’s Strategic Directions in the Eyes of Global Elites] (Beijing: Renmin Publisher).
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2014). “Malaysia-China Relations after MH370: Policy Change or Business as Usual?” The Asan Forum: An Online Journal, October 15.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2013). “Making Sense of Malaysia’s China Policy: Asymmetry, Proximity, and Elite’s Domestic Authority,” Chinese Journal of International Politics(Oxford University Press), Vol. 6, pp. 429-467.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2013). “Malaysia’s U.S. Policy under Najib: Structural and Domestic Sources of a Small State’s Strategy,” Asian Security, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 143-164.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee, Nor Azizan Idris and Abd Rahim Md Nor (2012). “The China Factor in the U.S. ‘Reengagement’ with Southeast Asia: Drivers and Limits of Converged Hedging,” Asian Politics and Policy, Vol. 4, No. 3 (July), pp. 315-344.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2011). “China’s Evolving Strategic Profile in East Asia: A Southeast Asian Perspective,” in China and East Asian Strategic Dynamics: The Shaping of a New Regional Order, edited by Mingjiang Li and Dongmin Lee (Lantham: Lexington-Rowman & Littlefield), pp. 127-149.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2010). “Analyzing Malaysia’s Changing Alignment Choice, 1971-89,” Jebat: Malaysian Journal of History, Politics and Strategic Studies, Vol. 37, pp. 41-74.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2009). “Shooting Rapids in a Canoe: Singapore and Great Powers,” in Impressions of the Goh Chok Tong Years in Singapore, edited by Bridget Welsh, James Chin, Arun Mahizhnan, and Tan Tarn How (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press), pp. 156-167.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2008). “The Essence of Hedging: Malaysia and Singapore’s Response to a Rising China,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 30, No. 2 (August), pp. 159-185.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2008). “China’s Evolving Multilateralism in Asia: The Aussenpolitik and Innenpolitik Explanations,” in East Asian Multilateralism, edited by Kent E. Calder and Francis Fukuyama (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press), pp. 109-142.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2005). “Multilateralism in China’s ASEAN Policy: Its Evolution, Characteristics, and Aspiration,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 27, No. 1 (April), pp. 102-122.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee and Bridget Welsh (2005). “Brunei: Multifaceted Survival Strategies of a Small State,” in Asian Security Handbook: Terrorism and the New Security Environment, 3rd ed., edited by William M. Carpenter and David G. Wiencek (London & New York: M. E. Sharpe), pp. 56-69.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2005). “China’s Participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum: The Exogenous and Endogenous Effects of International Institutions,” in China and Southeast Asia: Changing Political and Strategic Ties, edited by James K. Chin and Nicholas Thomas (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong), pp. 141-169.
  1. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (2004). 《中国参与盟主的地区机制的利益分析》 [An Interest-based Analysis on China’s Participation in the ASEAN-led Regional Institutions], 世界经济与政治 [World Economics and Politics] (Beijing) No. 9 (September), pp. 53-59.

 

Professional Experience:

  • Member, Editorial Board ▪Asian Politics and Policy ▪ January 2022 – Present
  • Consultant and Co-Investigator ▪ Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford ▪ “Bounding Maritime Power in the South China Sea: The Influence of Maritime Diplomacy on the United States of America’s Relations with the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1996” ▪ Principal Investigator: Dr. John Jenner ▪ June 2021 – May 2025
  • Co-Investigator ▪ Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway ▪ Research Council of Norway Project on “Shaping the Digital World Order: Norms and Agency along the Digital Silk Road in Southeast Asia” ▪ Principal Investigator: Dr. Ilaria Carrozza ▪ June 2021 – May 2024
  • Consultant ▪ Council on Foreign Relations, New York ▪ April – June 2021
  • Member, Editorial Board ▪ International Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press) ▪ February 2021 – Present
  • Principal Writer and Head, Writing Team for Defence White Paper, Government of Malaysia ▪ January 2019 – February 2020
  • Non-resident Fellow ▪ Foreign Policy Institute (FPI), Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, DC ▪ December 2018 – Present
  • Consultant ▪ Asian Development Bank (ADB) TA-9124 PRC: Study of the Belt and Road Initiative ▪ September 2018 – June 2019
  • Member, Editorial Committee ▪Asian Perspective ▪ August 2017 – Present
  • Member, Editorial Board ▪Australian Journal of International Affairs ▪ June 2016 – Present
  • Member, International Advisory Board ▪Contemporary Southeast Asia ▪ March 2016 – Present
  • Project Leader & Principal Investigator▪ Newton Advanced Fellowship Project on “Asymmetry and Authority: Southeast Asian States’ Responses to China’s Belt and Road Initiative” (in collaboration with Dr. Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London) ▪ March 2016 – Present
  • Co-Researcher▪ Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Project on “Road to Chinese Power: Railroad Infrastructure and Beijing’s Quest for Influence” (led by Professor David M. Lampton) ▪ January 2016 – Present
  • Senior Researcher▪ Unit Perundingan Universiti Malaya (UPUM) Project on “Malaysia’s Foreign Policy as a Middle Power” (led by Tan Sri Kamal Salil) ▪ August 2016 – February 2017
  • Coordinator ▪ Master of Social Sciences in Strategy and Diplomacy ▪ A collaborative program between Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia ▪ October 2014 – October 2017
  • Adjunct Lecturer ▪ Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College (MPAT), Ministry of Defense, Malaysia ▪ February 2010 – July 2012; September 2014 – present
  • Adjunct Lecturer ▪ Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia ▪ October 2009 – July 2012; September 2014 – present
  • Co-Founder and Co-Convener ▪ East Asian International Relations (EAIR) Caucus, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) ▪ August 2014 – Present
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate ▪ Princeton-Harvard “China and the World Program” (CWP), Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University ▪ September 2013 – August 2014
  • Associate Member ▪ Nuffield College, University of Oxford ▪ August 2012 – August 2014
  • Visiting Research Fellow ▪ Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford ▪ August 2012 – August 2013
  • Visiting Fellow ▪ Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta ▪ November-December 2011
  • Visiting Scholar ▪ ASEAN Studies Center, American University, Washington, DC ▪ August 2011
  • Visiting Scholar ▪ Southeast Asian Studies, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC ▪ June-July 2011
  • Adjunct Lecturer ▪ Malaysian Armed Forces Defense College (MPAT), Ministry of Defense, Malaysia ▪ February 2010 – July 2012
  • Adjunct Lecturer ▪ Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia ▪ October 2009 – July 2012
  • Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow ▪ Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, National Library Board (NLB), Singapore ▪ April-November 2007
  • Visiting Fellow ▪ Shanghai Institute of International Studies (SIIS) ▪ February-June 2003
  • Visiting Fellow ▪Institute of Asia Pacific Studies (IAPS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing ▪ September 2002 – February 2003

 

Peer Review:
Asian Security
Asian Journal of Comparative Politics
Asian Politics and Policy
Australian Journal of International Affairs
Cambridge Review of International Affairs
Chinese Journal of International Politics
Contemporary Southeast Asia
Cooperation and Conflict
Foreign Policy Analysis
Global Studies Quarterly
International Affairs
International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies
International Journal of China Studies
International Politics
International Relations
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
International Security
International Spectator
International Studies Quarterly
International Studies Review
Japanese Journal of Political Science
Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies
Journal of Cold War Studies
Pacific Affairs,
Pacific Review
Strategic Studies (ISSI)
TRaNS: Trans-Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia

Thesis Supervision:

  1. PhD ▪ 6 graduated + 6 in progress
  2. Master’s ▪ 69 graduated + 4 in progress
  3. B.A. in International Relations ▪ 15 graduated