Thomas J. Christensen

Alastair Iain Johnston 江憶恩


  • Deputy Director

Chen Yali (Lily)

  • 2016-2017 Fellow

Nate Adler

  • Alumni Student Affiliate

Adam P. Liff

Adam P. Liff’s (黎雅澹research focuses on international security and the Asia-Pacific, with particular emphasis on the foreign relations of Japan and China; U.S. Asia-Pacific strategy; the U.S.-Japan alliance; and the rise of China and its regional and global impact. He is assistant professor of East Asian international relations at Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies (, an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and an associate-in-research at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. Liff’s academic scholarship has been published in Asia Policy, International SecurityJournal of Contemporary China, Journal of Strategic Studies, Security StudiesThe China Quarterly, and The Washington Quarterly, and has been cited widely in global media, including in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Politics from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Stanford University. You can follow his research at or @AdamPLiff.



China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations in the East China Sea and Japan’s Response.” in Ryan D. Martinson and Andrew S. Erickson, eds. China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, Forthcoming 2018)

Policy by Other Means: ‘Collective Self-Defense’ and the Politics of Japan’s Postwar Constitutional (Re-)Interpretations.” Asia Policy no. 24 (2017): 139-172.

China and the U.S. Alliance System.” The China Quarterly no. 233 (published online 4/2017; print version forthcoming, 3/2018): 1-29

From Management Crisis to Crisis Management? Japan’s Post-2012 Institutional Reforms and Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability.” Journal of Strategic Studies 40, no. 5 (2017): 604-638. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Whither the Balancers? The Case for a Methodological Reset.” Security Studies 25, no. 3 (2016): 420-459.

Installing a Safety on the ‘Loaded Gun’? China’s Institutional Reforms, National Security Commission and Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability.” Journal of Contemporary China 25, no. 98 (2016): 197-215 [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Balancing China: Moving Beyond the Containment Fallacy.” ASAN Forum 4, no. 5 (2016).

Looking for Asia’s Security Dilemma.” International Security 40, no.2 (2015): 181-204 [Correspondence; response with G. John Ikenberry, pp. 195-204].

Japan’s Defense Policy: Abe the Evolutionary.” The Washington Quarterly 38, no. 2 (2015): 79-99.

Racing Toward Tragedy?: China’s Rise, Military Competition in the Asia-Pacific, and the Security Dilemma.” International Security 39, no. 2 (2014): 52-91. [with G. John Ikenberry]

The Budget This Time: Taking the Measure of China’s Defense Spending.” ASAN Forum 2, no. 2 (2014). [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Demystifying China’s Defence Spending: Less Mysterious in the Aggregate.” The China Quarterly 216 (2013): 805-830. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

The Proliferation of Cyberwarfare Capabilities and Interstate War, Redux.” Journal of Strategic Studies 36, no. 1 (2013).

Cyberwar: A New ‘Absolute Weapon’? The Proliferation of Cyberwarfare Capabilities and Interstate War.” Journal of Strategic Studies 35, no. 3 (2012): 401–428.

“East Asia and its Evolving Security Architecture.” In Rewiring Regional Security in a Fragmented World,” edited by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall, 415-436. Washington, D.C: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2011. [with Hitoshi Tanaka]

“Japan Debates its Security Options: The U.S. Air Force in a Dynamic Security Landscape.” Santa Monica, Calif: RAND Corporation, 2010. [with Eric Heginbotham, Ely Ratner, and Richard Samuels] Draft report; not for distribution

“Task Force Report: U.S.-China Relations: A Roadmap for the Future [工作小组报告:中美关系为了未来的路线图].” Issues & Insights [ 09, No. 16]. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum CSIS, August 2009. [with Andrew S. Erickson, Wei He, Chaoyi Chen, Scott E. Hartley, Jiun Bang, and Aki Mori]

“Japan’s Foreign Policy and East Asian Regionalism.” In Northeast Asia Security Architecture Project, 1–12. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2009. [with Hitoshi Tanaka]

“The Strategic Rationale for East Asia Community Building,” In East Asia at a Crossroads, edited by Jusuf Wanandi and Tadashi Yamamoto, 90-104. Tokyo: Japan Center for International Exchange, 2008. [with Hitoshi Tanaka]

“The Return to ‘Normalcy’? The 2004 National Defense Program Guidelines and Japan’s Defense Policy” (Senior Honors Thesis at Stanford University, 2005)


Seventy Years of Politically Shifting Goal Posts.” Asia Unbound (blog of the Council on Foreign Relations), May 10, 2017. (Part of a guest-blogger series entitled Will the Japanese Change Their Constitution?)

On the Verge of History? Japan’s 2016 Election and Prospects for Article 9 Revision.” PacNet [No. 56]. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum CSIS, July 11, 2016.

‘Self-restraint’ with Japanese Characteristics.” Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Center for Strategic and International Studies: Washington, D.C.), March 10, 2016.

The Limits of Growth: Economic Headwinds Inform China’s Latest Military Budget.” ChinaRealTime (The Wall Street Journal), March 5, 2016. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

POINT OF VIEW/ Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson: Japan-China Crisis Management–the Urgent Need for Air-Sea Contact Mechanism.” AJW by The Asahi Shimbun, July 9, 2015. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

日中間の危機管理–海空連絡メカニズム急げ” [Japan-China Crisis Management—Expedite an Air-Sea Contact Mechanism](私の視点)[Our Perspective (Op-Ed)], 朝日新聞 [Asahi Shimbun], July 4, 2015. [with Andrew Erickson]

The 2015 US-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation: Toward ‘A More Balanced and Effective Alliance.’ PacNet [No. 27]. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum CSIS, April 23, 2015.

Crowding the Waters: The Need for Crisis Management in the East China Sea“, Foreign Affairs, March 23, 2015.  [with Andrew S. Erickson]

China’s Military Spending Swells Again Despite Domestic Headwinds.” ChinaRealTime (The Wall Street Journal), March 5, 2015. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Calm in the East China Sea?: What to Make of Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping’s Recent Meeting.” The National Interest, November 12, 2014.

Not-So-Empty Talk: The Danger of China’s ‘New Type of Great-Power Relations’ Slogan.” Foreign Affairs, October 9, 2014. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Watch This Space: ‘Collective Self-defense,’ Constitutional Reinterpretation, and Japan’s Security Policy.” PacNet [No. 48]. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum CSIS, June 26, 2014.

Full Steam Ahead: China’s Ever-Increasing Military Budget.” ChinaRealTime (The Wall Street Journal), March 5, 2014. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Lifting the Shroud on China’s Defense Spending: Trends, Drivers, and Implications.” Policy Q&A. Seattle, Wash.: National Bureau of Asian Research, May 16, 2013. [with Andrew S. Erickson; Interviewer: Nathaniel Austin]

China’s Military Development, Beyond the Numbers.” The Diplomat, March 12, 2013. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

A Player, but No Superpower.” Foreign Policy, March 7, 2013. [with Andrew S. Erickson]

Japan’s 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines – Reading the Tea Leaves.” Asia Pacific Bulletin [ 89]. Washington, D.C: East-West Center in Washington, December 22, 2010.

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: The China Fallacy.” PacNet [No. 67]. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Forum CSIS, October 8, 2009.

China-Japan Relations Remain Fragile?” The Global Times [China], August 7, 2009. [with Yoshikazu Kato]

Profile: Shigeru Ishiba, Minister of Defense.” Japan, Inc., March/April 2008

On the Rocks? Implications of recent domestic political developments for the US-Japan alliance.” Japan, Inc, January/February 2008.

Japan Pulls Out,” The New York Times, November 4, 2007.


Principles Without Consensus: Setting the Record Straight on the 2014 Sino-Japanese ‘Agreement to Improve Bilateral Relations.’” Research Note. November 8, 2014.

  • Note: none of the above are intended for formal publication 
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