Dalton Lin

Assistant Professor

Member Of:
  • School of International Affairs
  • Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy
Office Location:
Habersham 219


Dalton Lin is a political scientist specializing in theories of international relations and foreign policy. His research interests focus on theorizing the bargaining between major and lesser countries in international politics, with an area focus on China and East Asia. He holds a research affiliation with the China Research Center and has been the Executive Editor of the Taiwan Security Issues since 2022. Before joining Georgia Tech, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Awards and
  • Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 CIOS Honor Roll, Georgia Institute of Technology, Fall 2020
  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Dissertation Fellowships, 2011-2012
  • Fulbright Scholarship, U.S. Department of State, 2005-2007


Research Fields:
  • Regional Security Challenges
  • Asia (East)
  • Armed Conflict
  • Foreign Policy
  • Politics


  • INTA-1110: Intro to Int'l Relations
  • INTA-2100: Great Power Relations
  • INTA-2698: Research Assistantship
  • INTA-3130: Foreign Policy of China
  • INTA-3131: Pacific Security Issues
  • INTA-4101: Vietnam War Politics
  • INTA-4500: INTA Pro-Seminar
  • INTA-6131: Pacific Security Issues

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • The “One China" Framework at 50 (1972–2022): The Myth of “Consensus” and Its Evolving Policy Significance
    In: The China Quarterly [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: September 2022

    This lead article surveys the history and evolving policy legacies of the “one China” framework 50 years after US President Richard Nixon's historic 1972 visit to China. It begins by introducing key concepts and highlighting the crucial difference between Beijing's self-defined “one-China principle” and the US's, Japan's and key other countries’ variable “one China” policies as it relates to Taiwan. It argues that three seminal 1970s developments consolidated the “one China” framework as an informal institution of international politics. The ambiguity baked in by Cold War-era geopolitical necessity provided flexibility sufficient to enable diplomatic breakthroughs between erstwhile adversaries, but also planted seeds for deepening contestation and frictions today. Recent developments – especially Taiwan's democratization and Beijing's increasingly bold and proactive assertion of its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan – have transformed incentive structures in Taipei and for its major international partners. The net effect is that the myth of “consensus” and the ambiguities enabling the framework's half-century of success face unprecedented challenges today.

    本篇专节的首文回顾了尼克松 1972 年历史性访华 50 年后,“一个中国”框架的发展和政策遗产。它首先定义几个贯串专节的关键概念,重点强调了中华人民共和国政府主张的“一个中国原则”与美国、日本和其他主要国家的“一个中国”政策之间的关键区别。本文指出 1970 年代三个开创性的发展如何巩固了“一个中国”框架作为国际政治的非正式机制。“一个中国”框架内含的模糊性为昔日冷战对手之间的外交突破提供了足够的灵活性,但也为今日升高的竞争和摩擦埋下了种子。最终结果是,支撑该框架半个世纪成功的模糊性现正面临着前所未有的挑战。

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  • “One China” and the Cross-Taiwan Strait Commitment Problem
    In: The China Quarterly [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: September 2022

    Fifty years after the current “one China” framework emerged in international politics, the cross-Taiwan Strait “one China” dispute has transformed from its historical nature of indivisible sovereignty. As Taipei has stopped competing internationally to represent “China” since 1991, Beijing now worries that compromising its “one-China principle” in cross-Strait reconciliation would enhance Taiwan's separate statehood internationally and enable the island to push towards de jure independence. In contrast, Taipei worries that any perceived concessions on the question of “one China” would enhance China's sovereignty claim over Taiwan and enable Beijing to push for unification coercively with fewer concerns about international backlash. Improved cross-Strait relations thus rely on circumventing this quintessential commitment problem in international politics.

    在现今的 “一个中国” 框架出现在国际政治中 50 年后,台湾海峡两岸的 “一个中国” 争端已经从主权不可分割的历史性质转变。由于台北自 1991 年以来已经停止在国际上竞争 “中国代表权”,北京现在担心,在两岸和解中损害其 “一个中国原则” 将加强台湾在国际上的独立国家地位,并使该岛能够推动法理独立。相对的,台北则担心任何在 “一个中国” 问题上的让步都会增强中国对台湾的主权主张,并使北京能够强制推动统一,而不必担心国际反弹。因此,改善两岸关系有赖于规避国际政治中这一个典型的承诺问题。

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Internet Publications