Gaye Christoffersen

Gaye Christoffersen

Resident Professor of International Politics


  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Energy Issues
  • Energy and Security
  • Chinese

Background and Education

Prior to coming to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in 2012, Dr. Christoffersen was a visiting professor in the Political Science Department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has several years of experience in educational and research institutions in California, Hawaii, Colorado, Beijing, Vladivostok and Turkish Cyprus.  As a Fulbright professor, she introduced a course on Asia-Pacific international relations to Far Eastern State University, Vladivostok. She introduced the same course to the Chinese Foreign Affairs University, teaching a class of young diplomats from the Foreign Ministry. She taught Peace & Conflict Resolution to Turkish Cypriots involved in bi-communal activities on the Green Line.
Dr. Christoffersen obtained a PhD from the Political Science Department, University of Hawaii (1987). She has received an East-West Center award, an IREX Travel Award, and a Social Science Research Council Faculty Professional Development Grant.
Research and Publications: Dr. Christoffersen's research focus has been primarily on transnational, non-traditional security issues such as piracy, energy, and other issues on which East Asian nations cooperate in Asian multilateral regimes.

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

2015-03-26 00:00:00 
Fall 2016 
This course pro...
This course provides an introduction to the varying ways in which societies around the world organize and govern themselves. Students examine different political systems, including democratic, communist, authoritarian, and the developmental state.  They also explore how and why political systems change.  To understand global societies and political systems in more detail, students study in depth the contemporary political systems of selected countries such as Russia, China, Japan, the US, India, Central Asian, and Southeast Asian countries.
Spring 2017 
This course is ...
This course is concerned with the relationship between energy security and human security. It will study the energy issues of East Asian countries as they make difficult energy policy choices, attempting to achieve simultaneously economic growth, energy security, and environmental sustainability. Some of these issues are: whether to invest primarily in increasing supply or to invest in managing demand; whether to cooperate in building a regional resource regime or to engage in resource competition; what is the optimal mix of energy types that will further human security; who should decide energy choices—citizens, industry or government--in a post-Fukushima world; how best to diversify oil import dependence between SLOCs & pipelines, between the Middle East, Central Asia, and Russia; how should access to modern energy sources be expanded.
Spring 2017 
This course tak...
This course takes provincial foreign relations as its focus with emphasis on political economy. China’s provincial foreign relations include economics, trade, FDI, migration, ecology, and security. Although the central government in Beijing manages China’s foreign relations, local governments have discretionary administrative authority in numerous areas. The current situation of economic decentralization and political centralization has led to complicated center-local relations in the reform era.

The course covers the historical roots of China’s border relations, the evolving nature of center-local governance issues, theories of subnational government’s practice of international relations, a wide sampling of China’s border provinces’ foreign relations, and concludes with a section on China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st c. Maritime Silk Road.

Students are encouraged to write a research paper on a single province’s foreign relations.

Class will take a field trip to be decided in consultation with instructor. A class project will be decided by students in consultation with instructor