Christopher John Jenner


The United States of America’s strategic engagements in the Indo-Pacific since 1895.


My full name is Christopher John Jenner. I am Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, King’s College London; and Senior Fellow, University of Oxford Rothermere American Institute. I hold Master of Studies and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Modern History from the University of Oxford and have held various academic appointments in Asia, Europe, and the USA. Before election to my current post at Oxford, I was a First Sea Lord Fellow and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Focusing on the United States’ engagements in the Indo-Pacific during the twentieth century, my interdisciplinary research is anchored in History and incorporates primary source based investigation methods from Area Studies and International Relations. In June 2021, I won an Office of Naval Research Global Grant Award to examine maritime diplomacy’s agency in Sino-American relations. A multi-year research project, Bounding Power in the Island Chains: The Efficacy of Maritime Diplomacy in Sino-American Relations, 1949-96 was conceived at Oxford when I held an Economic and Social Research Council Fellowship at the History Faculty and St Cross College. In addition to my academic work, I undertake governmental analytical assignments and contribute occasionally to internationally televised documentary series.

My door is wide open to students, scholars, and practitioners who share my research interests.

Selected publications

  • “Command, Strategic Contest, and Confidence-building in the South China Sea,” Orbis, vol. 65:3 (Summer 2021).
  • “Struggles for Prestige and Power, 960-2020” in Zou K., ed., Routledge Handbook of the South China Sea (London, 2021).
  • “Military Attaché, Accidental Agent: Colonel Bonner Fellers’ Defence Engagement Mission in Cairo, 1940 – 42” in Kennedy, G., ed., Defence Engagement Since 1900 (Lawrence, 2020).
  • The South China Sea: A Crucible of Regional Cooperation or Conflict-making Sovereignty Claims? Edited with Tran, T. T. (Cambridge, 2016 [paperback 2018]).
  • “Engaging the Changing Order in South-East Asia,” Journal of International Studies [Tạp chí Nghiên cứu Quốc tế], 32 (June 2015).
  • “Making Peace in Hà Nội and Washington: General John W. Vessey’s Presidential Emissaryship to Việt Nam, 1987-94” in Diplomats at War: The American Experience, editors Stewart, A. and Rofe, J. S. (Dordrecht, 2013).
  • “Turning the Hinge of Fate: Good Source and the U.K.-U.S. Intelligence Alliance, 1940–1942,” Diplomatic History, 32:2 (April 2008).