Anatol Klass

PhD Candidate

East Asia: China

I study the institutional and intellectual development of Chinese foreign policy across the twentieth century. My research ranges from the education and professionalization of China's diplomatic corps during the Republican Period (1911-1949) to the experiences of Chinese representatives in international organizations during subsequent decades. My dissertation focuses on the campus experiences and subsequent careers of students in the Diplomacy Department at the Central Political Institute (zhongyang zhengzhi xuexiao), the Kuomintang's party school for civil service training. The project follows these young bureaucrats from the classroom into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they encountered new theories of international politics and then attempted to realize those ideas by transforming the institutions and practices of Chinese diplomacy. Although party school students were trained by the KMT, many of them stayed in Mainland China after the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. My dissertation traces the parallel careers of these former classmates on either side of the Taiwan Strait during the first decades of the Cold War as they put their shared training into practice in two very different political contexts. I conducted the research for this project as a Fulbright fellow in Taiwan and then spent the 2022-2023 academic year at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center as a May Fellow  in History and Public Policy I am spending the 2023-2024 academic year at Harvard's Fairbank Center as the Hou Family Predoctoral Fellow in Taiwan Studies. My primary research language is Chinese (modern and classical), but I also work with sources in Japanese and French. In addition to my academic work, my writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Review of Books, ChinaFile, and SupChina. 

Research Interests

  • History of International Law and International Organizations
  • Global History
  • Cold War History
  • Institutional History


"The Peking Formula: International Law, the United Nations, and Chinese Sovereignty during the Korean War," The International History Review, Volume 43, Issue 6 (2021), 1217-1237.

"'China marching with India': India's Cold War advocacy for the People's Republic of China at the United Nations, 1949-1971," Cold War History, published online on June 25, 2023. 

Awards & Fellowships

Harvard Fairbank Center Hou Family Predoctoral Fellow in Taiwan Studies (2023-2024)

Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies Summer Research Grant (Summer 2023)

Berkeley Institute for the Study of Societal Issues Mini-grant (Spring 2023)

Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center (2022-2024)

Wilson Center History and Public Policy Program Chun and Jane Chiu Family Foundation Fellow in Taiwan Studies (Summer 2022)

UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Dissertation Fellowship (2021-2022)

Fulbright Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Taiwan (2021-2022)

Ezra Vogel Memorial Fellowship (2021)

Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Graduate Fellowship (2020-2021)

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) award--Japanese (2019-2020)

Schwarzman Scholar Fellowship at Tsinghua University (2017-2018)

Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize (2017)