Marcus Tao Mox Lim

MLitt in Modern History, University of St. Andrews

United Kingdom

Graduated BA International Relations, King's College London. Research interests include historical and modern day imperial, British imperial policy and decolonisation movements.

Kokutai - The Perils of Japanese National Essence

"If we regard the State as a 'form' or 'container', the content that fills this 'form' or 'container' is the reality of a state, that is the kokutai. " (Motohiko Anzu in Kitagawa, 1974) Kokutai is the embodiment of Japanese national polity or essence: it is a vague and malleable concept that has been reshaped based on needs across different time periods.

International Relations Today
The COVID Pivot: Why the West stopped listening?

Following Asia’s ongoing successes of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of articles on ‘what the West could learn from the East’ found itself on mainstream press: but whether the West is willing to pick up from their Asian counterparts is a separate question.

Of Kings and Protests: Thailand's identity crisis

The start of 2020 saw Thailand being engulfed by a series of ongoing protests - as 2021 approaches, the state of Thailand's political future has yet to be conclusive. Triggered by the dissolution of the pro-democracy Future Forward Party, mismanagement of the economy and increased weaponization of lese-majeste laws under the new monarch, fresh momentum for democracy swung in full force.

Identity Hunters
Thaification: from ethnicity to nationality

Siam, present-day Thailand, presents an interesting anthropological account for its fierce sense of identity despite the ‘Thai’ nation state’s fairly recent inception in 1939. Infamously known for the world’s harshest lèse-majesté enforcement and outlandish infatuation towards the monarchy; altruistic patriotism within the Thai psyche cannot be understated. One can only wonder the origins for such chauvinism. Whether it is a result of habitual state indoctrination or a product of generational...

Crossing the Geopolitical Rubicon: Assessing the Risks in a post-COVID Age
The Dawn of a New World: A Litmus Test for Global Governance

Forecasts project that COVID-19 will claim 40 million lives and reduce global economic outputs by USD $12.5 trillion at the end of 2021. While ending the pandemic is in the interests of the international community, supranational organisations that were designed to solve global issues as such, remained paralysed. The UN, WHO and EU failed not only to grasp the severity of the pandemic in earlier stages, but more importantly, failed to take the helm in a time of crisis.

KCL Geopolitical Risk Society Blog
The Geopolitics of Canals: Far from the 'Suez of the East'?

This piece looks at the geopolitical implications of the potential construction of the Kra Isthmus canals in terms of ASEAN dynamics and Chinese encroachment onto regional stability through its ‘string of pearls’ strategy that is emboldened by the Belt Road Initiative. Although presently deterred by narrow cost-effectiveness and lukewarm Thai enthusiasm, the hypothetical success of this megaproject will transform the geopolitical landscape of Southeast Asia and beyond.

International Relations Today
The 'Unstringing' of a 'String of Pearls' - Part One

A six-part sequel on China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) which aims to highlight various forms of challenges to China’s seemingly unopposed strategy of ‘stringing ‘pearls’. This series looks into Chinese motivations in rejuvenating its historical Silk Road prowess and explores how other powerhouses have attempted to oppose such a projection of economic imperialism. In particular, this series will engage with the strategies of Japan under the Abe administration, India under the Modi...

International Relations Today
The 'Unstringing' of a 'String of Pearls' Part Two: The Dragon At The Elephant's Doorstep

Long viewed itself as South Asia’s regional hegemon, Beijing’s recent manoeuvres in upsetting the established equilibrium particularly, the Sino-Pakistan nexus and naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean trigger India’s redlines. India’s opposition towards the BRI stems from maritime anxieties over China’s String of Pearls as well as its strategic culture which perceives Chinese investments as a threat to Indian interests. Nonetheless, India’s attempts at counterweighting Chinese influence have...

International Relations Today
The 'Unstringing' of a 'String of Pearls' - Part Three: The Hoax of ASEAN Collectivity?

This segment will discuss China’s interest in the region from an economic imperialism point of view, it will then evaluate ASEAN’s strategic utility as a regional bloc in resisting great power politics. Most crucially, this segment will challenge the preponderant realist tradition of balance of power politics by explaining why ASEAN responses and possibilities of effective ‘unstringing’ remain bleak.