Steven Phillips



Contact Information

LA 4229


Ph.D., Georgetown University, 1998

Areas of Expertise

China, Taiwan, E. Asia, 1800-present; political and diplomatic history; Cold War history; history of nationalism; international relations


Steven Phillips earned his PhD in in East Asian History at Georgetown University in 1998 for his dissertation, “Between Independence and Assimilation: The Taiwanese Elite under Nationalist Chinese Rule, 1945-1950." It was published by Stanford University Press in 2003. His research focuses on China and Taiwan, 1800-present, particularly political and diplomatic history, history of the Cold War, nationalism, and international relations. He is currently researching Chinese Nationalist foreign policy during the Cold War.

In 2008-2011 Dr. Phillips held Towson University’s first Mitten Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts. This enabled him to arrange a series of talks about the challenges and opportunities offered by China’s rise. His goal was to ensure that this lengthy series of talks, when taken as a whole, provided a balanced overview of the People’s Republic, and did not hew to any single political agenda. These talks were designed to engage diverse audiences from outside of academia. Baltimore City and Baltimore County citizens had an opportunity to hear people like Dr. Richard Bush, a former diplomat, discuss Sino-American relations and journalist Adama Gaye talk about China’s influence in Africa.

Dr. Phillips has received four Fulbright Group Project Abroad Grants (2006, 2008, 2010, and 2013). These grants enabled a dozen K-12 teachers, mainly from Maryland, to spend five weeks in China and Taiwan escorted by Dr. Phillips and Professor Jin Lijun of the College of Education. The teachers visited key historic sites and interacted with Chinese scholars in order to gain new perspectives on the Middle Kingdom.

Dr. Phillips often gives talks and writes about China’s history and current events, as well as the impact of China’s rise on the United States. His goal is to give Marylanders a balanced overview of the challenges presented by a more powerful People’s Republic of China.

Recent Publications

Why Taiwan? ROC Leaders Explain Taiwan’s Strategic Value.” In American’s Strategic Pivot to Asia and Cross-Strait Relations: Economic and Security Dynamics, edited by Peter Chow. Forthcoming from Palgrave-MacMillan.
“Nationalist Legitimacy and Overseas Chinese Mobilization.” Journal of Modern Chinese History 7, 1 (2013): 64-86.
“Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).” In Oxford Bibliographies in International Relations, edited by David Armstrong. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Recent Lectures and Presentations

“Nationalist Knowledge and American Inexperience in Cold War Burma.” Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China conference, Taipei (August 2014).
“Cross-Border Education/Internship: Successful Models.” Taiwan-Maryland Higher Education Conference, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (June 2014).
“Historians, Journalists, Documentary Editors, and the Challenges of Getting It Right: Nixon and China.” Roundtable at the American Historical Association conference, Washington (January 2014).
“The Nationalists and Taiwan’s Strategic Value.” American Association of Chinese Studies conference, Rutgers University (October 2013).

Awards and Honors

Taiwan Fellowship, 2012
University of Maryland System Regents’ Award for Public Service, 2012
Martha A. Mitten Professor in the College of Liberal Arts, 2008-2011

FALL 2018
HIST 111 East Asian Civilization Since the Nineteenth Century    
HIST 370 Diplomatic History of the United States