People Feature

John De Bhal

DPhil in International Relations

I am a DPhil candidate in International Relations at Nuffield College, Oxford. Previously, I completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at the University of Queensland and an MPhil in International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford. My MPhil studies were generously funded by the Governor Phillip Scholarship and my DPhil is funded by a Nuffield-Clarendon joint award.

My DPhil thesis builds on my MPhil research. Specifically, it is concerned with how anxieties about social status shape foreign policy in rising and declining states. 

My research interests include: International Relations theory; status in Internatonal Relations; rising and declining powers; the relationship between history, social science, and International Relations; and the evolution of the international system. Previously I've written on US foreign policy in the context of the Americas and the foreign policy of Brazil.

I'm also available to teach any of the IR papers at Oxford. I'm currently a tutor for the 214 International Relations core course at St Hugh's College.


de Bhal, John. 2019. ‘Never Thaw that coming! Latin American regional integration and the US–Cuba Thaw’. Third World Quarterly 40 (5): 855-869.

de Bhal, John. 2018. ‘More continuity than change? US strategy toward Cuba under Obama and Trump’. Contemporary Politics 24(4): 436-453.