Brett McCormick, Ph.D.


Ph.D. in History, Cornell University
M.A. in History, Cornell University
B.A. in Asian Studies, SUNY Stony Brook

About Brett

Brett McCormick is Director of the University of New Haven’s Global Studies Program. He holds an appointment in History and Global Studies in the Department of Human Sciences, within the College of Arts and Sciences.

As an undergraduate student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Dr. McCormick completed multiple majors and minors across the field of Asian Studies, including the disciplines of Religious Studies, Philosophy, History, Comparative Literature, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, and language training in Chinese, Japanese, and Classical Chinese.

Dr. McCormick went on to complete both his M.A. and Ph.D. at Cornell University, with specializations in Japanese History, Chinese History, and Japanese Literature.

Dr. McCormick is a specialist in East Asian diplomatic and security affairs, with specific focuses on China-Japan relations, and US-China relations.  His scholarship and this teaching span the disciplines of history, political science, global studies, diplomacy, and international security studies.  At the heart of his career in these fields is the East Asia Security Center (, of which he is a Co-Founder and Director.  This Center is a jointly sponsored partnership between the University of New Haven and two of the top universities in Asia – The China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, and Bond University in Australia.  Under Dr. McCormick’s guidance as a Director, the EASC host an internationally acclaimed annual week-long symposium and conference series in Beijing – The East Asia Security Symposium & Conference (

The EASSC regularly hosts top-level military officials, diplomats, and scholars from over two dozen countries around the world, and is the only program of its kind directly linked with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Scholarship produced through this forum includes an ongoing book series, and dozens of book chapters and articles by leading East Asia specialist from around the world: . Information from these events is continually folded directly into Dr. McCormick’s history, political science, and global studies courses at the University of New Haven, offering his students unique opportunities for direct access to primary source materials and personnel throughout East Asia.

Additional information – including regular Twitter updates – can be found linked to below:


Dr. McCormick’s personal interests revolve around his family and their shared love of international travel. With he and his wife’s many years of traveling and living abroad, his mother’s passion for global birding, his father’s former career as an Air Force officer, and his brother’s ongoing twenty-nine year career as a Navy officer, Dr. McCormick and his family have visited all but a handful of the countries of the world.

Books and Manuscripts

"Compulsory Choice: The Ideology of Rights and Responsibility in Imperial Japan"

"Chinese Engagements: Regional Issues with Global Implications" (B. McCormick & J.H. Ping, eds.)

"China's Strategic Priorities"  (B. McCormick & J.H. Ping, eds.)

Book Chapters

"The Role of History in Constructing a Context for International Relations: Strategies for Transcending Divergent Historical Perspectives in Diplomatic Dialog"

"Taiwan as the Nexus of China-Japan Relations: Historical Analysis of Domestic, Regional and Global Components of East Asian International Relations"

"New Horizons in China-Japan Strategic Relations"

"The Quandary of Historically Construed National Territories in the South China Sea"

Articles and Papers

"History, Geography, and National Identity in East Asia: New Models of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization"

"Beyond Borders: East Asian Models of Regional Identity and Organization in a Globalized World"

"Historical Justification for Territorial Claims in the South China Sea"

"Anti-Access Area Denial and the Air-Sea Battle Concept: An American Perspective on Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in US-China Relations"

"Rescuing the Nation from History: Questioning Narratives of Modern China-Japan Relations, 1871-1990"

"Can Two Tigers Share One Island: New Perspectives on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute"

"China-Japan Security Relations, 1894 – 1990: At War"

"China-Japan Security Relations, 1991 – 2008: At Peace"

"A Failure to Communicate: Historical Rhetoric and Diplomacy in U.S.-China Relations" 

"Liang Qichao’s Liberal Statism and His Vision of a Modern Citizen"

"The Freedom to Serve: The Right and Duty of Military Conscription in Imperial Japan"

"When the Medium is the Message: The Ideological Role of Yoshino Sakuzô’s Minponshugi in Mobilising the Japanese Public"

"Liberal Nationalism From Meiji through Shôwa: Individualism in Japan’s Modern Imperial State"

"Constitutional Monarchy in Meji Japan: Ito Hirobumi and Minobe Tatsukichi"

"Minobe Tatsukichi & Uesugi Shinkichi: The Emperor as an Organ of the State"

"Social and Political Theories of Late Taisho Liberalism: Oyama Ikuo"

Grants, Awards and Recognition

Mellon Fellowship (2001) 
Idhler Fellowship (2001) 
C.V. Starr Fellowship (2000) 
Einaudi Center Research Travel Grants (1998, 2000) 
Cornell University Japan Research Travel Grants (1998, 2000) 
U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (1997, 1998, 1999) 
R.J. Smith Fellowship (1997) 
Sage Fellowship (1996)