Dr Marek W. Rutkowski

Lecturer in Global Studies

Email: marek.rutkowski@monash.edu
Telephone No.: +603 5514 6175 (Direct Line)
Fax No: +603 55146365
Room No.: 2-6-29


PhD (History), National University of Singapore
MA (International Relations), Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland


Marek Rutkowski received his PhD in History at the National University of Singapore in 2017. His dissertation analysed the role of international peacekeepers in Indochina in the 1950-60s in the period leading up to the Vietnam War, with the Cold War and decolonization as a backdrop. Marek's research is primarily empirical and archive-driven, looking at political processes in Asia from a historical perspective. His interests range from diplomacy and peacekeeping to development models and nation-building. Currently, Marek focuses on turning his dissertation into a book manuscript and embarking on a second project looking at Eastern European encounters with Asia in the Cold War period.

Teaching Interests

  • World Politics and History
  • International Relations
  • Development and Globalisation

Research Interests

Cold War and Decolonization in Asia, Development and Modernisation, Eastern Europe-Asia Interactions

Current Research Activities

"Getting in the Ring with the Big Powers" - book manuscript

Stemming from my PhD dissertation, this project re-examines the road to the Vietnam War by looking through the lens of the International Control Commission (ICC), a supervisory body established in 1954 and composed of India, Canada and Poland. The study focuses primarily on India, the chairman of the Commission, and New Delhi’s attempts at using the organisation to further goals of its nonaligned foreign policy in Southeast Asia. More broadly, the study examines the limitations of institutions and multilateralism in dealing with big power conflicts of the Cold War.

Eastern Europe-Asia Interactions in the Cold War – research project

My second research project is set to offer a counter narrative to the growing field of literature on Western modernisation as a means of winning the Cold War in the Third World. Based on documents from archives of post-communist Eastern Europe, the project will explore the Soviet Bloc’s political initiatives, developmental and nation-building efforts in Southeast Asia. It aims to determine the scope of the involvement on the one hand, and its reception and appropriation by the host countries, on the other.

“Chasing Dragons: Western Military Power and Reordering Modern Asia” – book project

This international multi-authored book project funded by a research grant from the Ministry of Education (Singapore) is set to redefine the role of Great Powers in reordering modern East Asia from the Great War to the end of the Vietnam Wars and beyond. I am involved as collaborator in two chapters dealing with Southeast Asia in the 1950-60s. The outcome will be published in two volumes with Bloomsbury Academic.

Book Chapters

Rutkowski, Marek W. (2018), ‘Reassuring Comrades and Courting the Non-Aligned: Poland, the 1957 Goodwill Tour in Asia and the Post-October Diplomacy’ in Philip Muehlenbeck and Natalia Telepneva (eds), Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War (London and New York: I. B. Tauris), pp. 51-73.

Journal Articles

Rutkowski, Marek W. (2018), ‘Wind, Mountains and Tribesmen:  Polish Tropical Expedition to North Vietnam (1957-1960)’, New Perspectives. Interdisciplinary Journal of Central & East European Politics and International Relations (forthcoming)

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