Research Interests

Chinese politics, Socialisation, China at the United Nations, Taiwan-China relations, Authoritarian Regimes

Background & Qualification

Jade is a PhD student studying International Relations at DCU. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Chinese and a Masters in Public Policy also at DCU. Since Jade started her academic journey, she has always found Chinese studies interesting. After spending a few years living in China, Jade came back to Ireland and joined the Taiwan Ireland Association which promotes Taiwanese culture in Ireland. She has also won several awards such as; 2nd place in the Irish Chinese Bridge Competition 2019 and TOCFL level B award in Traditional Chinese. During her Masters degree, Jade wrote a thesis titled “How to create a policy framework for soft power institutions in Ireland”. The thesis addressed the growing threats Confucius Institutes play in Irish universities. In September 2021, the document was sent to the Oireachtas on Education for inclusion in a scoping report on Chinese political ties with Irish universities. Recently Jade has set up the Irish-Taiwanese Political Association which aims to raise awareness about Taiwanese political issues in Ireland.  

Doctoral Research

Has China socialised into international human rights norms over time?

Research Overview

Through the theoretical framework of socialization, this research aims to investigate if China has socialized into international human rights norms over time. The results of this study will also aim to address whether or not the overall Chinese domestic human rights regime has improved since 1990. The literature on socialization states that international norms can be diffused over time. Large inter-governmental organisations (IGO), such as the United Nations (UN), have been shown to facilitate socialisation at greater levels than smaller ‘unstructured’ IGOs. The first hypothesis takes into consideration the constructivist literature on socialisation and the diffusion of norms at IGO level. The study seeks to prove that China’s membership at the UN has helped to improve its domestic human rights regime over time. The research spans over thirty years, from 1990 to 2020, to allow for the process of socialisation to be observed. This approach aims to complement the existing literature in constructivist studies on socialisation and the diffusion of norms at inter-governmental organisations. This hypothesis will be proved using a mix of voting behaviour analysis of Chinese votes cast at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and other subcommittees, and also a quantitative analysis of Chinese domestic data relating to human rights. This is to explain if there is causation of international norms being applied to domestic practices.

The second hypothesis observes assumptions made by the realist scholarship and will seek to explain if the strategic decisions of the Chinese Government is a method of norm compliance rather than socialisation. This hypothesis will be explained using a ‘spiral model’ qualitative method which explains the status of a norm at any given point during the thirty year period. The third and final hypothesis takes into account the change in leadership over time as a cause for the socialisation of particular norms. The three changes in leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the thirty-year period will illustrate if there is a particular trend regarding the socialisation of international human rights norms. Based on the literature on authoritarian regime leadership, certain human rights norms may prevail over others to reflect the interests of the leader. This is to ensure a continued power dynamic in favour of the regime. Despite the varying degrees of human rights issues in China, the country’s attitude to the international human rights regime seems to have changed over time.


Dr Eoin O’Malley & Dr Alex Baturo

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @IETWPA