Xiang Lanxin , professor of international history and politics at the Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales in Geneva, Switzerland, has been appointed the new Henry Alfred Kissinger scholar in foreign policy and international relations at the Library of Congress, effective Sept. 2. Librarian James H. Billington made the appointment upon the recommendation of a six-person selection committee, consisting of members of the academic community and high-ranking foreign policy experts.
Xiang is the third scholar to occupy the Kissinger chair since the position was created in 2000. The chair was established through the generosity of friends of the former secretary of state to honor him and emphasize the importance of foreign affairs. Aaron Friedberg, director of the research program in international security and acting director of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University, was the first chair-holder. The second was Klaus Larres, then the Jean Monnet professor of European foreign and security policy at the School of Politics, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Library's Kissinger chair offers to outstanding thinkers and practitioners the opportunity to pursue advanced research in the largest international collections in the world.
As the Kissinger scholar, Xiang will spend 10 months at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library. He has chosen "The Idea of Democracy and Sino-U.S. Relations" as his area of research.
Xiang earned his doctorate from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in 1990. He is the author of numerous articles and books about contemporary Chinese history and Chinese domestic and international affairs during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. He is a noted authority on the changing relationship between China and the West. Xiang's most recent book, "The Origins of the Boxer War," was published by the Curzon Press in 2002. Other published works include "Mao's Generals" (University Press of America, 1998) and "Recasting the Imperial Far East" (M.E. Sharpe, 1995).