HENG, Yee Kuang |

HENG, Yee Kuang

Heng Yee Kuang

PhD (International Relations), London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Visiting Project Associate Professor from Feb-July 2015, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, Japan

Heng Yee Kuang
Contact Details

DID: +65 6601 1179

Office Location

469B Bukit Timah Road
Level 2, Li Ka Shing Building
Singapore 259771


Dr. Heng graduated with a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) and PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the United Kingdom, where he studied on a British Government research scholarship. He then moved on to hold faculty positions as Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2004-2007) and Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (2007-2011), where he was also Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV). Dr. Heng’s research interests include security risks in the age of globalization; Singapore’s experience of managing global risks as a global city; ‘soft’ power strategies in the Asia-Pacific, especially Japan and Singapore; Great Power Politics especially Japanese security and defence policies; strategic studies and the evolution of strategic cultures.

Formerly a Visiting Scholar at Waseda University (2010) in Japan, he has been invited to speak, amongst others, at King’s College London, Chatham House and Ditchley Park in Britain; New York University in the US; the Vancouver conference of the NATO Defence College; the National Defence University in Helsinki, Finland; the Danish Institute for Military Studies in Copenhagen; the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College and the Singapore Armed Forces Joint Intelligence School in Singapore. Dr. Heng also has extensive research interests in Japan, having given talks at the University of Tokyo; Waseda University; Aoyama Gakuin University; the National Defence Academy in Yokosuka; the Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre; the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Staff College; and the National Institute for Defence Studies. Dr. Heng contributed advice on risk case development for the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2013 report, served on the Royal Irish Academy’s Committee for the Study of International Affairs (2005-2007) and was an elected Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, UK (2012).

Heng Yee Kuang - CV

Research Areas

  • Asian security
  • Cities and Urban Policies
  • Global risk society
  • International security
  • Singapore international relations
  • Soft power

Media Expertise

  • Globalisation of security risks
  • Singapore: global city facing global risks
  • Soft power in the Asia-Pacific (especially Japan and Singapore)
  • Strategic studies and transformation of warfare in the post-Cold War era: US, UK, NATO


Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal Articles

  • ‘Turning on the taps: Singapore’s new branding as a global hydrohub’ (with Joo Yu Min), International Development Planning Review, accepted for publication, forthcoming 2016
  • ‘Can small states be more than price-takers?’(with Syed Adha), Global Governance, Vol. 21 No. 3, July-September 2015, pp.435-454
  • ‘Managing Risk, the State and Political Economy in Historical Perspective’ (with Ken McDonagh), International Politics, Vol. 52 No. 4, July 2015, pp.408-425
  • ‘Smart Power and Japan’s Self-Defence Forces’, Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 38 No. 3, 2015, pp.282-308
  • ‘The Bundeswehr and the Kunduz Air Strike 4 September 2009: Germany’s Post-Heroic moment?’ (with Constantin Schuessler), European Security, Vol. 22 No. 3, 2013, pp.355-375
  • ‘A global city in an age of global risks: Singapore’s evolving discourse on vulnerability’, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 35 No. 4, Dec 2013, pp.432-452
  • ‘Beyond kawaii pop culture: Japan’s normative soft power as a global trouble-shooter’, accepted for publication, The Pacific Review, Vol. 27 No. 2, May 2014, pp.169-192
  • ‘Confessions of a small state: Singapore’s evolving approach to international peace operations’, Journal of International Peacekeeping, Vol. 16 Issue 1-2, February 2012, pp.119-151
  • ‘What did New Labour ever do for us? Evaluating Tony Blair’s imprint on British strategic culture’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 14 Issue 4, November 2012, pp.556-575
  • ‘After the ‘War on Terror’: Regulatory States, Risk Bureaucracies and the Risk-based Governance of Terror’ (with Ken McDonagh), International Relations, Vol. 25 No. 3, September 2011, pp.313-329
  • ‘Ghosts in the machine: Is IR eternally haunted by the spectre of old concepts?’, International Politics, Vol. 47 No. 5, September 2010
  • ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the softest of them all? Evaluating Japanese and Chinese strategies in the ‘soft’ power competition era’, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 10 No. 2, May 2010
  • ‘The other war on terror revealed: Global governmentality and the Financial Action Task Force’s campaign against terrorist financing’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 34 No. 3, July 2008 (with Ken McDonagh)
  • ‘The Return of Net Assessment’, Survival, Vol. 49 No. 4, Winter 2007-08
  • ‘Old wine in new bottles? Reconfiguring Net Assessment as a framework of 21st century security analysis’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 28 No. 3, December 2007
  • ‘Lost in translation? Why Japan and traditional Great Power rivalry remain key to East Asian international politics’, Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 18, October 2007
  • ‘The transformation of war debate: through the looking glass of Ulrich Beck’s World Risk Society’, International Relations, Vol. 20 No.1, March 2006
  • ‘Unravelling the ‘war’ on terrorism: A ‘risk-management’ exercise in ‘war’ clothing?’, Security Dialogue, Vol. 33, No.2 , June 2002


Book Chapters

  • ‘Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and “Smart Power”, in Mary McCarthy (ed) The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Foreign Policy, Routledge, forthcoming 2017
  • ‘The Asia Pacific region and international peace support: Limits of institutionalization’ (with Chiyuki Aoi) in Takashi Inoguchi (ed), The Sage Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy Vol.2,SAGE Publications,forthcoming 2017
  • ‘Assessing the Sino-US Power Balance,’ in Andrew Tan (eds) Handbook of US- China Relations,Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2016      
  • ‘Japan’s experience with terrorism’ (with Chiyuki Aoi) in Michael Boyle (ed), Non-Western Responses to Terrorism, Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2016
  • ‘Long-term strategic and economic trends in South-east Asia: the view from Singapore’, in David Denoon (eds), The US, China and the future of south-east Asia, New York University Press, forthcoming 2015
  • ‘NATO and Regional Approaches to Asia-Pacific Security: The Singapore perspective’ in Alex Moens (ed), ‘NATO and the re-balance to Asia’, NATO Defence College and Simon Fraser University, forthcoming 2015
  • ‘ASEAN’s position on the South China Sea and implications for regional peace and security’ in Huang Jing and Andrew Billo (eds), Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea: Navigating Rough Waters, Palgrave, 2014
  • ‘The Financial Action Task Force’, (co-authored with Ken McDonagh), in James Sperling (ed), Handbook of Security Governance, Edward Elgar, 2014, pp. 475-488
  • ‘Japan’s anti-piracy mission off Somalia and the dynamics of Great Power intervention’, in Emma Leonard (eds) Globalizing Somalia: Multilateral, International and Transnational Repercussions of Conflict, New York: Bloomsbury, 2013
  • ‘The New Security Concept: The role of the military in Chinese foreign policy’, in Emilian Kavalski (ed), The Ashgate Research Companion to Chinese Foreign Policy, Ashgate: 2012
  • Risk, Reflexive Rationality and the implications for decision-making’, in Heidi Kurkinnen, Decision-Making in Crisis and War, Helsinki: Finnish National Defence University, 2010
  • ‘The Iraq crisis: intelligence-driven or risk-driven?’ in Eunan O’Halpin, Robert Armstrong and Jane Ohlmeyer(eds), Intelligence, International Power and Statecraft, Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2006
  • ‘Unravelling the war on terrorism’, in Alan O’Day (editor), The War on Terrorism, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, December 2004

Op-Eds, Policy Briefs

Conference Papers

  • ‘Singapore as a maritime global city in the age of grand maritime visions’ , presented at International Symposium on ‘Dynamics of Maritime Asia in the 21st Century ‘, Rikkyo University, Japan, December 2015
  • ‘National Risk Assessment exercises and networked government in Singapore’, World Risk Congress, Singapore, July 2015
  • ‘Japan’s normative soft power as a global trouble-shooter’, International Studies Association-Global South Conference, Singapore, January 2015
  • ‘Risk and Anglo-American strategic thought’, Workshop on Risk and Security, University of Tokyo, July 2014
  • ‘NATO, partners, and the US rebalance’, NATO Defence College conference, Vancouver, Canada, May 2014
  • ‘Strategic Assistance: Disaster Relief and Asia-Pacific Stability’, US National Bureau of Asian Research and Japan Centre for International Exchange, Singapore, March 2014
  • ‘Peace and security in the Asia-Pacific’, invited participant, Nov 2013
  • 156th Bergedorf Round-table organised by the Berlin-based Korber Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • ‘Singapore’s peace operations: trends and analysis’, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, Chicago, USA, Oct 2013
  • “Singapore’s perception of strategic and economic developments in SEA”, Conference on “China, The U.S., and the Future of Southeast Asia”, New York University, USA (June 2013)
  • “To Feign control over the uncontrollable: The discourse of risk and the politics of catastrophe”, Workshop on ‘Political Economy, State Transformation and the new Security agenda’, Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom (March 2013)
  • “ASEAN’s Position on the South China Sea and Implications for Regional Peace and Security”, Conference on “The South China Sea: Central to Asia-Pacific Peace and Security”, Asia Society/Centre on Asia and Globalisation, New York, USA (March 2013)
  • “Urban Order, Global Risks”. British International Studies Association / International Studies Assocation Joint Conference (20 – 22 Jun 2012)
  • “To Feign control over the uncontrollable’ : The discourse of risk and the politics of catastrophe”. International Studies Annual Convention ( 1 – 5 Apr 2012, San Diego, United States)
  • “Human Rights and the Bureaucratisation of Counter‐Terrorism’”. International Studies Assocation Annual Conference 2011 (16 – 19 Mar 2011, Montreal, Canada)
  • “Japan’s Maritime Soft Power and Disaster Diplomacy”. Security and Defence Implications of the Great East Japan Earthquake, (King’s College, London, United Kingdom)
  • “The non kinetic role of the military in smart power strategies”. Smart Power: Transforming Militaries for 21st Century Missions, (Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College, Singapore)

 Papers for Seminars/Public Talks/Lectures

  • ‘Great Power Politics in southeast Asia’ , presented at the Diplomatic Roundtable, Japan Forum on International Relations, Tokyo, April 2015
  • The ‘soft’ power dimensions of Japna’s rebalancing towards Southeast Asia, The University of Tokyo, Japan, April 2014
  • ‘Singapore’s peace operations and capacity-building’, National Institute for Defence Studies, Ministry of Defence, Tokyo, Japan, June 2013
  • ‘Japan’s maritime soft power’, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Staff College, Tokyo, Japan, June 2013
  • ‘IR theory in the UK and Singapore’ Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan (20 Dec 2012)
  • ‘The evolution of British strategic culture’, Japan National Defence Academy, Yokosuka, Japan (14 Dec 2012)
  • ‘Contributions to international peacekeeping by Asia-Pacific countries: A micro view’, Japan Association of International Security Annual meeting, Tokyo, Japan (08-09 Dec 2012)
  • “Climate change and Security’”. Combined Annual Review Meeting of Indonesian and Singapore Chiefs of Defence Forces ( 8 – 10 May 2012)
  • “The security dimensions of Japan’s soft power’”. International Studies Seminar (14 Dec 2011, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan)
  • “The commercial peace theory and the economy security nexus: theorising the case of rare earth elements”. Five University Network Workshop on East Asian Security ( 8 – 10 Dec 2012, Tokyo, Japan)
  • “Japan’s soft power as a global trouble shooter”. Visiting Speakers Seminar Series (18 Nov 2011, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)
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