School of Politics and International Relations

Michael Magcamit, BA and MA (UP), PhD (Canterbury, NZ)


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow



Hello! I am Michael Magcamit, currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. I am working on a project entitled, The Divine Tragedy of Securing the Sacred: Security, Religion and Nationalism in Southeast Asia. This research investigates the three-way linkages between security, religion, and nationalism, exploring how relations between dominant and minority religions influence the formation of national security policies in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, Islamic Indonesia, and Buddhist Myanmar. My current work is an extension and expansion of my overarching goal to provide a better and more nuanced understanding of (in)security, both from the perspectives and experiences of states and human societies across the world. In my earlier projects, I examined the contexts, motives, and outcomes that were driving the small powers in Southeast and East Asia to link their security interests and free trade policies, including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Prior to joining QMUL, I was an assistant professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, Japan taught International Relations and East Asian Studies courses on a joint program between the London School of Economics and Musashi University (see my teaching experiences). Having previously lived and worked in the Philippines, New Zealand, Japan, and now, United Kingdom, see myself as a ‘wandering sensei’.



I have previously taught International Relations Theories, East Asian Studies, Comparative Politics, and Globalization and Development to undergraduate and graduate students.


Research Interests:

Security Studies, Religion and IR, Comparative Southeast Asian Politics, International Political Economy

Examples of research funding:

European Commission Marie Curie Individual Fellowship Research Grant of 220,986 USD (2019-2021) for the project, The Divine Tragedy of Securing the Sacred: Religion, Security, and Nationalism in Southeast Asia (

Musashi University Research Funding Research Grant of 5, 799 USD (2016-2018) for the project, The Trading ‘Oligarchipelagos’: National Oligarchs and the Fate of Free Trade in Southeast Asia

New Zealand ASEAN Scholars Awards Grant of 271, 650 USD (2012-2015) for the PhD thesis, Trading Security: Understanding East Asian Security-Trade Linkages in the Twenty-first Century (



Small Powers and Trading Security: Contexts, Motives and Outcomes. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2016.

Peer-reviewed articles:

“The Fault in Japan’s Stars: Shinzo Abe, North Korea, and the Quest for a New Japanese Constitution.”International Politics.(July 2019)Online first:

“The Duterte Method: A Neoclassical Realist Guide to Understanding A Small Power’s Foreign Policy Behaviour.” Asian Journal of Comparative Politics. (October 2019) Online first:

“Explaining the Three-way Linkage between Populism, Securitization, and Realism: President Donald Trump and the Pursuit of America First Doctrine,” World Affairs, Vol. 180, no. 3 (February 2018), pp. 6-35.

“Trading in Vain? Investigating the Philippines’ Development-oriented National Security and Free Trade Linkages,” Japanese Journal of Political Science, Vol. 17, No. 1 (March 2016), pp. 84-105,

“East and South China Seas Maritime Dispute Resolution and Escalation: Two Sides of the Same Coin,” Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 2 (July 2016), pp. 113-134, [With Alexander Tan].

“Crouching Tiger, Lurking Dragon: Understanding Taiwan’s Sovereignty and Trade Linkages in the Twenty-first Century,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 15, No. 1 (January 2015), pp. 81-112, [With Alexander Tan].

“Trading in Paranoia: Exploring Singapore’s Security-Trade Linkages in the Twenty- first Century,” Asian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 23, No. 2 (January 2015), pp. 184- 206,

“A Costly Affirmation: Exploring Malaysia’s One-Sided Domestic Security Dilemma,” Asian Affairs, Vol. 42, No. 1 (March 2015), pp. 22-45,

“Games, Changes, and Fear: Exploring Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Dilemma in the Twenty- first Century,” Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 1 (April 2015), pp. 92-115,

“A Case for Cohabitative Security: The Philippine and Malaysian Experience,” Journal of Human Security, Vol. 10, No. 1 (September 2014), pp. 32-45,

Public Engagement

The Monocle Daily Interview, 13 May 2019:

National University of Malaysia East Asian International Relations Forum
Public Lecture: Small Powers and the Security Utility of Trade: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan (22 Aug 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Mabini Dialogue Series
Public Lecture: Small Powers and Trading Security: Contexts, Motives, and Outcomes (9 Aug 2017, Manila, Philippines)

Rodrigo Duterte and the Making of a Populist Demigod, Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, 17 March 2017{ the- making-of-a-populist-demigod-part-1/} [With Dr Aries Arugay}.

The Duterte Doctrine: A Neoclassical Realist Guide to Understanding A Small Power’s Foreign Policy Behaviour, Commissioned paper by Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, 30 September 2018 { papers/2445-appfi-working-paper-2018-01}.

Duterte’s Populism and Philippine Foreign Policy: Implications for China-Philippine Relations, China Policy Institute, 10 March 2017 { policy-implications-for-china-philippine-relations/} [With Dr Aries Arugay].

The Enduring Curse of Patronage Politics, University of the Philippines Forum, 30 April 2016 {}.