Dr Janet Liao

Reader in International Politics

Energy Environment and Society, School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

CEPMLP, Energy Environment and Society

Portrait photo of  Xuanli Liao
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+44 (0)1382 384928


Janet Xuanli Liao is Senior Lecturer on Energy Diplomacy and Climate Governance, at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP), University of Dundee. She is currently Director of Doctoral Studies of the School of Social Sciences.

Dr Liao obtained a PhD in International Relations from the University of Hong Kong. She held B.A. and M.A. in History from Peking University, China, and worked as Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at PKU for a few years, before studying her M.A. in International Relations at the International University of Japan.

Dr Liao is a member of International Studies Association (ISA) and the British Association of China Studies (BACS). She is also an Editorial Board Member for the Routledge Series on Belt and Road Initiative. In addition, she used to be the Country Report Editor for the Journal on Global Energy Law and Sustainability (2019-20) and a Guest Editor for the Encyclopaedia of Mineral and Energy Policy (2015-17).

Dr Liao was invited to be Visiting Professor at the International University of Japan in 2011, and at the Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2017. She also served as Visiting Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London), the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (Tokyo), and the Institute for Security & Development Policy (Sweden). Dr Liao was appointed as Honorary Professor at the China Institute of Boundary Studies, Wuhan University 2008-2012.

Dr Liao teaches two modules for Masters’ students within the School of Social Sciences. One is on “International Relations and Energy and Natural Resources”, and the other on “The Political Economy of the Environment and Climate Change”. She was invited to be a guest lecturer to deliver teaching at several universities, including the London School of Economics, the Uppsala University (Sweden), the International University of Japan, the Lingnan University (Hong Kong), the Education University of Hong Kong, The Xi’an Jiaotong University (China), and the Northwestern Polytechnical University (China), and so on.


Dr Liao’s current research interests include China’s energy diplomacy and the “Road and Belt Initiative” (towards Central Asia-Russia, Middle East, Africa, etc.), the relationship between Chinese NOCs and the government, Sino-Japanese political/energy relations (including the East China Sea dispute), China and Japan’s climate change policy, and climate change governance.

Between June 2015 – November 2018, Dr Liao led the CEPMLP Team in a DFID-ESRC sponsored research project, with nearly GBP 1 million of funding, on “Chinese National Oil Companies and the Economic Development of African Oil Producers” (a joint-project with the Open University, UK, with Prof G Mohan being the PI). She has also been involved in more than a dozen of other research projects from various sources during her service at the CEPMLP, including the EU Horizon 2020 Project on “Strategic Dialogue on Sustainable Raw Materials for Europe” (2016-19), and the EU FP7 project on “Competition and collaboration in access to oil, gas and mineral resources” (2010-12).

Dr Liao has published widely in these fields and has been invited as keynote speaker at various workshops globally, including some organized by prestigious institutions, such as Chatham House, the Wilton Park, the OECD, the EU Joint Research Centre, the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR, USA), the German British Forum, and the Beijing Forum, etc..

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Media availability

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Areas of expertise

  • China
  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Global politics
  • Politics