Isaac B. Kardon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Strategic and Operational Research Department
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Isaac B. Kardon (孔适海) is assistant professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department, China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). He specializes in Chinese foreign policy, and writes on China's maritime disputes, Indo-Pacific maritime security and commerce, and China-Pakistan relations. He teaches classes on Chinese foreign policy and is managing editor of the CMSI Red Book series. His book "China’s Law of the Sea" (Yale, forthcoming) analyzes China's influence on "the rules" through its practice of the law of the sea. He is also studying Chinese firms' overseas port projects, focusing on “strategic strongpoint” ports and their commercial and strategic drivers.

Areas of Expertise

  • Asia-Pacific
  • China
  • Geopolitics
  • International Law
  • International Relations
  • Maritime History
  • Maritime Strategy
  • South China Sea

Professional Highlights


Associate in Research, Harvard Fairbank Center

Affiliation to continue progress on book project, "Rising Power, Creeping Jurisdiction: China's Law of the Sea" during AY 2017-2018.

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Princeton University

Non-resident post-doc at the Princeton-Harvard China & the World Program, working to revise dissertation into academic volume.

Assistant Professor, US Naval War College

Principle project is revising dissertation for publication as a book, "Rising Power, Creeping Jurisdiction: China's Law of the Sea" analyzing China's practice of the law of the sea.

Visiting Scholar, PRC National Institute of South China Sea Studies

Dissertation field work on a Fulbright-Hays award in Hainan, PRC as a visiting scholar with the leading Chinese think-tank on maritime policy and law.

Visiting Scholar, NYU Law

Joined US-Asia Law Institute to specialize in Chinese law and law of the sea.

Ph.D. candidate, Cornell University

Began doctoral study in Government department at Cornell. Subfields IR and comparative politics (China), with specialization in international law. Committee: Peter Katzenstein, Jerry Cohen, Peter Dutton, Matt Evangelista, Allen Carlson.

Adjunct Research Fellow, National Defense University/INSS

Research & writing projects on PRC civil-military relations, China's regional diplomacy.

Research Analyst, National Defense University/INSS

Research & analysis at the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs.


Ph.D., Cornell University, Government Department (subfields: international relations, comparative politics)

M.Phil, Oxford University, Modern Chinese Studies (St. Antony's College)

B.A., Dartmouth College, History

C.V. or Resume

Related Credentials

Language training Oxford University

Language training Peking University

Language training Taiwan Normal University

Language training Tsinghua University

Associate in Research, Harvard University, Fairbank Center For Chinese Studies

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Princeton University, China & the World Program

Research Contributions and Publications

Ongoing research on China's attitude toward and practice of international law, esp. UNCLOS (forthcoming book and law review article)

Ongoing research on China's port and infrastructure development in the Indian Ocean region (forthcoming CMSI red book)

Beginning research on China-Pakistan security and economic relations (forthcoming journal article)

Awards and Decorations

Fulbright-Hays Award
Department of Education

Lee Teng-Hui Award
Cornell University

FLAS Award
Department of Education

External Memberships and Associations

Council on Foreign Relations
Term Member

National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

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