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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Hsinyen Lai

Hsinyen Lai
Hsinyen Lai
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
International Relations of the Middle East, Middle East Politics, Historical sociology, ideas and foreign policy, the Arab Left, the Arab Gulf states


MSc(R), Politics (University of Edinburgh)

MA, Political Science (National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan)

BA, Arabic Language and Literature (National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan)

PhD working title

The Social Origins of Arabism and Formation of Foreign Policy: Gramsci and the case of Bahrain, 1971-1989


Dr Ewan Stein and Professor Juliet Kaarbo

Publications and Presentations

  • Hsinyen Lai (2015), 'Rethinking the Role of Ideas in the International Relations of the Persian Gulf,' presented at Taiwan Scientific Symposium in Scotland, Edinburgh, March 2015.
  • Hsinyen Lai (2015), 'A Meso Approach to Ideas and Foreign Policy in the Middle East: the Anatomy of StateSociety Relations in Historical Sociology,' paper presented at the International Studies Association's annual convention, New Orleans, February 2015.
  • Hsinyen Lai (2011), ‘Security Ideas among Arab States: a Perspective on nonMaterial Structural Norms,’ in Middle East, Islam and Taiwan: Discourse on Regional Security, Foreign Relations and Culture, edited by ChangKuan Lin, Taipei: Center for the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NCCU Press, pp. 53-80 (in Mandarin Chinese).
  • Hsinyen Lai (2010), ‘Institutional Cooperation Shaping National Security Ideas: From the Experience of the Gulf Cooperation Council,’ paper presented at the Academy for International Relations Studies' annual convention, Taipei, November 2010 (in Mandarin Chinese).

Other publications


  • Government scholarship, Ministry of Education, Taiwan (2015-2016)
  • ISA Travel Grant Award, International Studies Association (2015)

Teaching Experience

  • Tutor,  'Politics of the Middle East', University of Edinburgh (forthcoming in Spring 2017)
  • Tutor, 'Egypt: Political Dynamics in a Changing Middle East', University of Edinburgh (Spring 2015)
  • Teaching assistant, 'History of the Middle East', National Cheng-Chi Univeristy, Taiwan (Spring 2012)
  • Teahcing assistant,  'Modern History of International Politics', National Chung-Cheng Univeristy, Taiwan (Fall 2007/ Spring 2008)
  • Teaching assistant, 'Theories of International Relations', National Chung-Cheng Univeristy, Taiwan (Fall 2007/ Spring 2008) 

Memberships and Other Activisties

  • Member of International Relations research group, Edinburgh University
  • Member of International Studies Association (ISA)
  • English-Mandarin Chinese interpreter, the Taiwan Public Financial Management trainging programme (August 29-September 10, 2016) and the Taiwan Executive Leadership Programme (September 1-12, 2014),  Academy of Governemnt, Edinburgh University
  • Secretary of Cross-Party Group on Taiwan, Scottish Parliament