Robert S. Ross is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Associate, John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1984. He has taught at Columbia University and at the University of Washington and in 1989 was a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. In 1994-1995 he was Fulbright Professor at the Chinese Foreign Affairs College, in 2003 he was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Strategic Studies, Qinghua University, Beijing, and in 2014 was Visiting Scholar, School of International Relations, Peking University. In 2009 he was Visiting Scholar, Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College. From 2009-2014 he has been Adjunct Professor, Institute for Defence Studies, Norwegian Defence University College.
Professor Ross's research focuses on Chinese security policy and defense policy, East Asian security, and U.S.-China relations. His recent publications include Chinese Security Policy: Structure, Power, and Politics, China’s Ascent: Power, Security, and the Future of International Politics, and New Directions in the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy. His other major works include Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History; Great Wall and Empty Fortress: China’s Search for Security, Negotiating Cooperation: U.S.-China Relations, 1969-1989, and The Indochina Tangle: China's Vietnam Policy, 1975-1979. Professor Ross is the author of numerous articles in World Politics, The China Quarterly, International Security, Security Studies, Orbis, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, and Asian Survey. His books and articles have been translated in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and various European countries.
Professor Ross has been the recipient of research fellowships from the University of Washington and Columbia University. He has received research and collaborative project grants from the Social Science Research Council, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), The Asia Foundation, and The United States Institute of Peace.
Professor Ross has testified before various Senate and House committees and the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, he advises U.S. government agencies, and he serves on the Academic Advisory Group, U.S.-China Working Group, United States Congress. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations. Professor Ross is also a member of the executive committee of the John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, Senior Advisor of the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Senior Advisor to the Institute for American Studies, Shanghai. He is a founding member and former board member of the United States Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (USCSCAP) and former co-chair of the Committee's task force on Confidence Strategic Building Measures. He is on the editorial board of Security Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Cold War Studies, Issues and Studies, Asia Policy, Journal of Chinese Political Science, the Security Studies book series of Shanghai People’s Press, and the Grand Strategy book series of Peking University Press.
“China Looks at the Korean Peninsula: The 'Two Transitions,’” Survival, vol. 63, no. 6 (October 2021).
US-China Foreign Relations: Power Transition and its Implications for Europe and Asia, co-edited with Øystein Tunsjø and Wang Dong (London: Routledge, 2021).
“Learning From Foreign Colleagues: Research In China,” in Peter Krause and Ora Szekely, eds. The Unorthodox Guide to Fieldwork (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020).
“Beyond Theoretical Determinism: Exploring The Complexity of Power Transitions” (review essay), Journal of East Asian Studies, vol. 20, no. 2 (2020).
“It’s Not a Cold War: Competition and Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations,” China International Strategy Review, vol. 2, no. 1 (2020).
Published in Chinese in Zhongguo Guoji Zhanlue Pinglun (China international strategy review), no. 6, 2020.
“The Changing East Asian Balance of Power and the Regional Security Order,” in Robert S. Ross, Øystein Tunsjø, and Wang Dong, eds., US-China Foreign Relations: Power Transition and its Implications for Europe and Asia (New York: Routledge, 2020).
“Sino-Russian Relations: The False Promise of Russian Balancing,” International Politics, vol. 57, no. 5 (2020).
“Sino-Vietnamese Relations in the Era of Rising China: Power vs. Resistance and the Sources of Instability,” Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 30, no. 130 (2021).
"On the Fungibility of Economic Power: China’s economic rise and the East Asian security order", European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 25(1) 302–327, (2018).
“Nationalism, Geopolitics and Naval Expansionism: From the Nineteenth Century to the Rise of China,” Naval War College Review, vol. 71, no. 4 (autumn 2018).
Strategic Adjustment and the Rise of China: Power and Politics in East Asia. Cornell University Press, 2017.
"The 1995-96 Taiwan Strait Confrontation: Coercion, Credibility, and the Use of Force", International Security, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2000), pp. 87-123