Official Title: Associate Professor

Faculty: 藝術及人文學院


Short Bio

Priscilla Roberts is a British-born historian, educated at King’s College, Cambridge, from which she holds BA and PhD degrees in History. She was among the first women admitted to King's College, and the first woman admitted as an undergraduate there to complete a PhD degree.

Throughout her academic career she has researched aspects of international transitions of power and the role of elites, as private individuals and through institutions, in the making of foreign policy in the United States, Great Britain, and the British dominions, and in Western-Asian relations. Her current research interests focus upon the formal and informal roles of transnational elites, foreign policy think tanks, and philanthropic foundations, in Anglo-American relations, Western-Asian relations, and British imperial history, and power transitions from the late 19th to early 21st centuries. Since moving to Macau, she has also developed a strong interest in the territory’s history, especially in terms of its global significance, and in the Portuguese-speaking world.

After completing her PhD thesis, Priscilla Roberts spent several years on research fellowships in the United States, before moving to Hong Kong, where she worked for many years in the History Department of the University of Hong Kong. She came to Macau in 2017, working first at City University of Macau, where she was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award in 2020, and then at the University of St. Joseph. She has held many research grants and fellowships from bodies in Hong Kong, the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and Macau. She spent the year 2003 as a Fulbright Fellow at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and has held visiting fellowships at the University of Edinburgh, the National Library of Australia, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, United States.

Since 1990, Priscilla Roberts has been coordinator/chief organizer of more than a dozen international conferences, workshops, and seminars, bringing together scholars from China and elsewhere, which have resulted in eleven edited volumes and a special journal issue.

Priscilla Roberts is a life member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association. She was a founding member and Management Committee Member of the Transatlantic Studies Association; she currently serves on the TSA's Board of Management and has for several years chaired the TSA's Book Prize Committee.

She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of H-Diplo, the leading H-Net platform in international history, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations and of Diplomatica.

Priscilla Roberts has supervised many master's and doctoral students. She is willing to supervise postgraduate students with interests in international history, global history, Western-Asian relations, or Macau studies. She is working on a history of the development of modern higher education in Macau, so is particularly familiar with that subject, and may be able to suggest specific topics in this field and other aspects of Macau studies to potential students.


Priscilla Roberts has published over 30 single-authored and edited books, and numerous journal articles, book chapters, and review essays. Her more recent publications include:


Voices of World War I: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.

Editor, Chinese Economic Statecraft from 1978 to 1989: The First Decade of Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.

Editor (with Spencer C. Tucker and Timothy Dowling), The Cold War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. 5 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2020. Winner of the Dartmouth Medal of the American Library Association, for the Best Reference Work of 2020.

Compiler of documents volume (Vol. 4) for Spencer C. Tucker, ed., Middle East Conflicts from Ancient Egypt to the 21st  Century:  An Encyclopedia and Document Collection. 4 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2019.

Editor and compiler, The Cold War: Interpreting Conflict Through Primary Documents. 2 vols.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018.

Co-edited (with Odd Arne Westad). China, Hong Kong, and the Long 1970s: Global Perspectives.  London: Palgrave Macmillan (series Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies), 2017. 

Author/compiler. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Documentary and Reference Guide.  Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2017.  Named Library Journal Best Reference Source for 2017.

Editor (with Spencer Tucker), author of 101 short articles, sole compiler/editor, Vol. 5 (Documents Volume). World War II: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. 5 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2016.  Named Booklist, Editors’ Choice Top Reference Title for 2016.

Editor. Hong Kong in the Cold War. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2016. 

Editor. The Power of Culture: Encounters between China and the United States. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

Editor (with Spencer Tucker), author of 33 short articles, sole compiler/editor, Vol. 5 (Documents Volume). World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. 5 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2014. Named Booklist, Editors’ Choice: Reference Sources, 2014.

Editor. Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Essential Reference Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2014.

Editor. Going Soft? The US and China Go Global. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.

Editor. World War II: The Essential Reference Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. 2012.

Editor. Cuban Missile Crisis: The Essential Reference Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012.

Voices of World War II: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2012.

Editor (with Mei Renyi and Yan Xunhua). China Views Nine-Eleven: Essays in Transnational American Studies. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2011.

Editor. Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1900-1940. Dordrecht, Netherlands, Republic of Letters Press, 2010.

Editor (with Spencer Tucker et al.), author of 14 short articles, editor/compiler of Vol. 5 (Documents Volume), The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts. 5 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010. Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011; Booklist, Editors’ Choice, 2011.

Special Journal Issue

Guest editor and author of Introduction, “Economic Statecraft with Chinese Characteristics: Strange, New, and Different, or Old Wine in New Bottles?” Special issue on Chinese Economic Statecraft Explored: How Uniquely Chinese are its Characteristics? Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 50:3 (December 2021), 267-293.

Journal Articles

“British Commonwealth Archives from Far North to Distant South: Neglected Resources for Cold War International History.” Special issue on archival resources of Journal of American-East Asian Relations 29:3 (Summer 2022), 133-166.

"'Our Friends Don't Understand Our Policies and Our Situation': Informal U.S.-China Dialogues Following Tiananmen." Journal of American-East Asian Relations 27:1 (March 2020), 58-95.

“Chatham House, the Council on Foreign Relations, and China Policy during the Korean War, 1950-1953.” Special issue on “China in Transatlantic Relations,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 18:1 (March 2020), 36-58.

"Intersecting Global Atlantics from Lisbon to Macao: The Lusophone World, the Anglosphere, and Asia." Transatlantic Studies Association Newsletter (June 2019), 5-20.  Available online at:

“The British Royal Air Force: Operations Over Laos Against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, 1962.” Cold War International History Project, Working Paper # 89. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2018.

“The Forgotten Director? Frank Aydelotte at the Institute for Advanced Study, 1939-1947.” Institute for Advanced Study Website: Ideas Section (November 30, 2018).

“A Poisoned Chalice? The Kavanaugh Affair and U.S. Politics.” Krasno Analysis 1 (October 9, 2018), 1-6.

“Having It All and the ‘Great White House’ of Matcham in Henry James’s Last Novels.” American Studies Journal Occasional Paper 13 (December 2017).

“The Institute of Pacific Relations: Pan-Pacific and Pan-Asian Visions of International Order.” Special issue on “The Birth of Global Knowledge,” edited by Ludovic Tournes. International Politics 55:6 (November 2018), 836-851. (Published online October 15, 2017). DOI: 10.1057/s41311-017-0108-y.

“Celebrating the Anniversary: Political Frustration and Impasse in Hong Kong.”  Analysis: The Online Journal of the Nottingham University China Policy Institute (July 1, 2017).

“Donald Trump: The View from the Asia Pacific.  Loose Nukes and Loose Cannons.”  H-Diplo/International Studies Security Forum on America and the World—2017 and Beyond (June 29, 2017).

“Defense and Acquiescence: Alexander Grantham, Hong Kong, and China.”  Cold War International History Project: Sources and Methods Blog (June 28, 2017).

“A Century of International Think Tanks in Historical Perspective.”  International Journal 70:4 (December 2015): 535-555. Published electronically, June 2015.  20 pp. Available at: 2015, SAGE Prize for Best International Journal Article on International Affairs.

“Tweaking the Lion’s Tail: Edgar J. Tarr, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, and the British Empire, 1931-1950.” Diplomacy and Statecraft 23:4 (December 2012): 636-659.

“The Geopolitics of Literature: The Shifting International Theme in the Works of Henry James.” International History Review 34:1 (March 2012): 89-114.

“American Studies with Chinese Characteristics.” Journal of Transnational American Studies 3:1 (2011), 1-36.

Commentary in “Forum: Mao, Khrushchev, and China’s Split with the USSR: Perspectives on The Sino-Soviet Split.” Journal of Cold War Studies 12:1 (Winter 2010), 120-128.

“The Transatlantic American Foreign Policy Elite: Its Evolution in Generational Perspective.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 7:2 (June 2009), 163-183.

Book Chapters

(With Alex May). "Introduction." In Caroline Soper, Michael Cox, Christopher Hill, and Alex May, eds., A History of Chatham House: Its People and Influence, 1920 to the Present. (Forthcoming, Chatham House/Brookings Institution Press, 2024).

“The British Royal Air Force: Operations over Laos against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, 1962.” In Locating the transatlantic in twentieth century politics, diplomacy and culture: essays in honour of Professor Alan Dobson, edited by Gaynor Johnson (London: Bloomsbury, 2024), 139-155.

“A ‘great steel arm of China thrusting its way into the African interior’: The Tanzam Railway and the PRC Experience in Africa.” In Palgrave Handbook on China-Europe-Africa Relations, eds. Yichao Li, Francisco Leandro, Carlos Rodrigues, and Jorge Tavares (Forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).

“The BRI in Historical Perspective: The Lessons of PRC Economic Statecraft Since 1949.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Globalization with Chinese Characteristics - The Case of the Belt and Road Initiative, eds. Paulo Duarte, Francisco Leandro, and Enrique Galan, pp. 17-34. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

“Punching Above Its Weight? Guinea-Bissau’s Quest for Independence and Great Power Diplomacy.” And “Online Sources on Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.” Keynote chapter in China, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe: From Sporadic bilateral exchanges to a comprehensive multilateral platform, eds. Francisco José Leandro, Carlota Beja, and Lu Yuqing. (City University of Macau, 2022), 61-85, 459-474.

“Neighbors and Rivals: Iran and Great Power Diplomacy.” In Francisco José B. S. Leandro, Carlos Branco, and Flavius Caba-Maria, eds.,  The Geopolitics of Iran, 17-59. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

“Agile, Resilient, and Versatile: The International Survival Skills of Small Portuguese-Speaking States.” “Online Sources on Cabo Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe.” In Francisco José Leandro, Pedro Paulo dos Santos, and Yichao Li, China and Portuguese-Speaking Small Island States: From Sporadic Bilateral Exchanges to a Comprehensive Multilateral Platform, pp. 39-77, 509-526. Macao: City University of Macau, 2021.

“East Timor: Hostage to the Cold War?” and “Online Sources on Timor-Leste.” In Ip Kuai Peng, Francisco José Leandro, and Danilo Afonso-Henriques, The Challenges, Development, and Promise of Timor-Leste, 37-71, 305-315. Macao: City University of Macau, 2019.

“The View from the Asia Pacific: Loose Nukes and Loose Cannons.”  In Chaos in the Liberal Order: The Trump Presidency and International Politics in the Twenty-First Century, eds. Robert Jervis, Francis Gavin, Joshua Rovner, and Diane Labrosse (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 301-321.

“Rebuilding a Relationship: British Cultural Diplomacy Towards China, 1967-80.” In Greg Kennedy and Christopher Tuck, eds., British Propaganda and Wars of Empire: Influencing Friend and Foe 1900-2010 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 191-218.

“Wilson, Europe’s Colonial Empires, and the Issue of Imperialism.” In Ross A. Kennedy, ed., A Companion to Woodrow Wilson (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 492-517.

 “‘Mr. Anglo-American’: Arthur Lehman Goodhart and World War II Britain.” In J. Simon Rofe and Andrew Stewart, eds., Diplomats at War: The American Experience (Dordrecht: Republic of Letters Press, 2013), 65-84.

“Henry James and British Power.” In William Roger Louis, ed., Resurgent Adventures with Britannia: Personalities, Politics and Culture in Britain (London: I. B. Tauris, and Austin, Texas: Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, 2011), 61-74.

 “American Studies in China.” In Sichuan University American Studies Research Center, America in the Age of Globalization (Chengdu: Sichuan University Press, 2010), 355-363.

Review Essays

Concluding remarks: “Once More with Feeling: The Debate Over Yalta Resurrected.” H-Diplo State of the Field Roundtable on the Eastern European Settlements during the Second World War. H-Diplo Round Table 25 (5 June 2024), 31-42.

Round-table review essay on Daniel Larsen, Plotting for Peace: American Peacemakers, British Codebreakers, and Britain at War, 1914-1917 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). H-Diplo/RJISSF Review Essay 15-31 (4 March 2024), 9-16.

Review Essay on Hall Gardner. Year of the Earth Serpent Changing Colors. Stuttgart: Edition Noëma, 2023. H-Diplo/RJISSF Review Essay 76 (19 September 2023), 1-10.  

Round-table review of Philip Zelikow, The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Battle to End the Great War, 1916-1917 (New York: PublicAffairs, 2021), ISS/ H-Diplo Round Table XXIII: 41(June 13, 2022), 24-37.

Review of Jeremy M. Hughes, Brian A. Swanson, and Mary K. Swanson, "Chinese Perception of U.S. Presidential Candidates," Journal of American-East Asian Relations 28:1 (March 2021), 72-88. H-Diplo Article Review 1097 (March 22, 2022), pp. 1-4. Available online at:

Introduction to Roundtable Reviews on James Cotton, ed., Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and the World 1920-1930 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2019). H-Diplo Roundtable 22:26 (February 16, 2021), 2-9.

Review of Ilnyun Kim.  “The Vital Center for United States-China Relations in the 1950s.”  Diplomatic History 41:4 (September 2020): 609-635. H-Diplo Article Review 1037 (May 26, 2021), 1-8.

Review essay on Jonathan Kirshner. “Handle Him with Care: The Importance of Getting Thucydides Right.” Security Studies 28:1 (2019):1-24; Huiyun Feng and Kai He, eds. China’s Challenges and International Order Transition: Beyond “Thucydides’s Trap.” Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press, 2020. H-Diplo Review Essay 294 (4 December 2020), 1-59. URL:

Review of Trump's First Year in Asia. Special Issue of Journal of American-East Asian Relations 25:2 (Summer 2018), 105-220. H-Diplo Article Review no. 817 (20 December 2018), 1-26. URL:

Review of special issue of International Security 40:2 (Spring 2018), on the rise of China and its impact on Asia and the United States. H-Diplo/ISSF Forum, Article Review 104 (October 12, 2018), 1-7.

Review of special Diplomatic History Forum  on Chinese historians and US relations with China 41:2 (April 2017).  H-Diplo Article Review 722 (November 3, 2017), 1-11.

Author’s response to round-table review of Hong Kong in the Cold War (2016).  H-Diplo Round Table Review XVIII:29 (June 12, 2017), 18-32.

Review of Shu Guang Zhang, Beijing’s Economic Statecraft during the Cold War, 1949-1991. Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD: Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.  H-Diplo Round Table Review XVIII:27 (May 29, 2017), 19-32.

Review of Meredith Oyen, The Diplomacy of Migration: Transnational Lives and the Making of U.S.-Chinese Relations in the Cold War (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2015). For round-table in Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review 47:1 (April 2016), 14-18.

Review of Chi-Kwan Mark, “Waiting for the Dust to Settle: Anglo-Chinese Normalization and Nixon’s Historic Trip to China, 1971-1972,” Diplomatic History 39:5 (2015), 876-903. H-Diplo Article Review No. 607 (April 19, 2016), 1-5.

Round-table review of special issue, Journal of American-East Asian Relations 22 (2015), 83-165.  H-Diplo Article Review 603 (March 28, 2016), 13-23.

Review of Peter Hamilton, “‘A Haven for Tortured Souls’: Hong Kong in the Vietnam War,” International History Review 37:3 (2015) 565-681.  H-Diplo Article Review 602 (March 26, 2016), 1-5.

Review of Michael E. Weaver. "The Relationship Between Diplomacy and Military Force: An Example from the Cuban Missile Crisis." Diplomatic History 38:1 (January 2014): 137-181. H-Diplo Article Review 456 (May 2014): 1-8.

Round-table review of Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750 (New York: Basic Books, 2012). H-Diplo Roundtable Review, 15:2 (2013), 22-39.  

Author’s/editor’s response to reviews of Priscilla Roberts, ed., Bridging the Sino-American Divide: American Studies with Chinese Characteristics (2007); Priscilla Roberts and He Peiqun, eds., Bonds Across Borders: Women, China, and International Relations in the Modern World (2007); and Priscilla Roberts, Mei Renyi, and Yan Xunhua, eds., China Views Nine-Eleven: Transnational Essays in American Studies (2011). H-Diplo Round Table Reviews, Vol. XIV, No. 22 (2013): 36-43.

Introduction, Roundtable on Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, ed. The Cold War in East Asia 1945-1911 (Washington, DC, and Stanford: Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, 2011). H-Diplo Round Table Reviews, Vol. 12, No. 30 (June 25, 2012), 2-11.

Review of Shigeru Akita and Nicholas J. White, eds. The International Order of Asia in the 1930s and 1950s (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010). International History Review 33:4 (December 2011): 737-738.

Introduction, Roundtable on Nicholas Guilhot, ed., The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954 Conference on Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011). H-Diplo/ISSF Forum, Vol. III, No. 5 (2011), 2-8.

Review, Mario del Pero, The Eccentric Realist: Henry Kissinger and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010). H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews XI:29 (2011), 18-28.

Review for Round-Table on Zara Steiner, The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Britain and the World: Historical Journal of the British Scholar Society 4:1 (April 2011), 148-155.

Review of Norman A. Graebner, Richard Dean Burns, and Joseph M. Siracusa. America and the Cold War, 1941-1991: A Realist Interpretation, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010). H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Forum 1:6 (2010), 17-28.

Review of Michael Lumbers, Piercing the Bamboo Curtain: Tentative bridge-building to China during the Johnson years (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2008). H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews Vol. XI, No. 11 (21 January 2010), 13-23.


Year 1 Master