School of Politics and International Relations

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Martin Thorley

Doctoral Researcher,



After completing an undergraduate degree in History at the University of Liverpool, Martin travelled to China in 2008 to represent the British Council. In 2011 he won a scholarship to study at Tianjin University and in the following year switched attention to work with a Chinese business partner, establishing a recruitment group in Beijing. The company assisted Chinese and China-based groups to recruit foreign experts. This position led to interaction with a range of Chinese officials and industry leaders.

Martin returned to the UK in 2015 to take a scholarship MA place at Nottingham in the field of Contemporary Chinese Studies. Having secured a distinction grade generally and for his thesis on elite convergence between the UK and China, Martin took a place as a PhD student, exploring in further detail elite relations between the two countries.

Expertise Summary

Martin's research focuses on elite convergence internationally, predominantly between China and the UK. He is interested in interaction between the two countries in the realms of politics, business, media and academia. Martin's research employs elite theory generally as well as specialist knowledge on China, such as Chinese Party-State strategies for influence abroad.

Martin's research explores to what extent elite convergence is taking place at international level. The research focuses primarily on China and the UK, considering the ramifications of elite convergence in terms of political accountability, foreign policy and development.

Martin serves as an Editorial Assistant for Chinese submissions to the university's Asia Dialogue online magazine.

Martin's research supervisors are Dr Andreas Fulda and Professor Mathew Humphrey.

Teaching Summary

Martin teaches on the following modules:

Social Change and Public Policy in China's Reform Era (T12211)

Contentious Politics: The Struggle for Democracy in Greater China (M12106)

School of Politics and International Relations

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University of Nottingham
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