Dr. Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications within the School of Arts and Humanities. He works in Communication and Society subject team and contributes teaching to the BA Joint Honours Humanities, BA Media Communication and Culture and the MA Media and Globalisation degree programmes. He has supervised, and is currently supervising, PhD projects on many topics close to his research interests.
Dr. Alexander has a PhD in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds, UK. His thesis examined the role played by public diplomacy in China and Taiwan’s competition for diplomatic allies in the Global South. This research was guided by Prof. Gary Rawnsley, Prof. Philip Taylor and Dr. Robin Brown.
Before joining NTU in September 2013 Dr. Alexander had held posts at the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University), and Sheffield Hallam University. During 2013 he spent eight months working in Taiwan as a Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Research Fellow based at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.
Prior to a career in academia, Dr. Alexander worked in corporate industry holding positions with Hewlett Packard (HP), Bell Micro Inc. and Yorkshire Building Society.
Dr. Alexander's work on Coronavirus Propaganda:
- Coronavirus and the British Wartime Propaganda Playbook (first published 30th March 2020)
- COVID Propaganda from an Addicted Government (first published 26th November 2020)
- Understanding the Communications surrounding the Coronavirus Vaccine (first published 14th Jan 2021)
- Coronavirus propaganda - in search of the BBC’s public service mandate (first published 23rd April 2021)
- Coronavirus propaganda - reflections on an episode of mass self-haunting (first published 23rd June 2022)
Dr. Alexander’s research interests cover the following areas:
- Political propaganda – particularly global trends in information flows
- Diplomacy and Public diplomacy
- Charity and philanthropy
- East Asian and Asia-Pacific international relations – particularly China, Taiwan and North Korea)
- North Korea, its politics, propaganda and global media coverage
- Foreign aid and development assistance
- Moral philosophy
- Colonialism and North-South relations
- Colonial India and the Indian Civil Service
- World War II in Asia
PhD applications are welcome in any of the above.
PhD project opportunity
Dr Alexander has a PhD opportunity in "Coronavirus Propaganda: Encouraging Public Behaviour within Political Communications". Find out more.
Alexander, C., (2019), Administering Colonialism and War: The Political Life of Sir Andrew Clow of the Indian Civil Service. Oxford and New Delhi: Oxford University Press
Alexander, C., (2014), China and Taiwan in Central America: Engaging Foreign Publics in Diplomacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Alexander, C., (ed.) (2021), The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy: Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere. New York: Routledge.
Alexander, C., (2021), ‘Hegemony, Morality and Power: A Gramscian Theoretical Framework for Public Diplomacy’, Chap 1 in, C. Alexander (ed.), The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy: Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere, New York: Routledge
Alexander, C., (2021), ‘Hegemonic Communications with Colonial Subjects: British Public Diplomacy in Colonial India’, Chap 4 in, C. Alexander (ed.), The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy: Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere, New York: Routledge
Alexander, C., (2021), ‘Public Diplomacy on the Frontiers of Madness: North Korea and the Hegemonic Coalition’, Chap 12 in, C. Alexander (ed.), The Frontiers of Public Diplomacy: Hegemony, Morality and Power in the International Sphere, New York: Routledge
Alexander, C., (2021), ‘The Compassion ‘Spectacle: The Propaganda of Piety, Virtuosity and Altruism within Neoliberal Politics’, In. G. Rawnsley, Y. Ma and K. Pothong (eds.), The Edward Elgar Handbook of Political Propaganda, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
Alexander, C., (2018), ‘The Soft Power of Development: Aid and Assistance as Public Diplomacy Activities’. In, J. Servaes (ed.), The Handbook of Communication for Development and Social Change. New York: Springer
Alexander, C., (2016), ‘Taiwan’s Public Diplomacy’. Chap 34 in, G. Schubert (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Taiwan. London: Routledge.
Refereed Journal Articles
Alexander, C., (2020), “The Recognition Imperative behind Taiwan's Public Diplomacy: A Critical Study of its efforts to join the World Health Assembly”, International Journal of Taiwan Studies, 3(1)
Alexander, C., and A. Royo i Marine, (2020), “Prohibited Sub-state Public Diplomacy: The Attempt to Dissolve Catalonia's DIPLOCAT”, Journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 16(1)
Alexander, C., (2015), “’The Martyr’s Return’: A Poem Reflecting Relations within the All India Radio during the 1930s”, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 35(3)
Alexander, C., (2015), “The Communication of International Development Assistance: The Case of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF)”, Journal of Global Governance, 21(1).
Alexander, C., (2014), “The Public Diplomacy of sub-State Actors: The Case of the Scottish Government with Malawi”, Palgrave Journal of Public Diplomacy and Place Branding, 10(1).
Alexander C., (2011), “Public Diplomacy and the Diplomatic Truce: the PRC and Taiwan in El Salvador”, Palgrave Journal of Public Diplomacy and Place Branding, 7(1).
Dr. Alexander is a committed public academic who has been interviewed many times by journalists on topics related to his research and expertise.
He was a regular commentator on the North Korea crisis between 2017 – 2019 and appeared across BBC broadcasting services discussing the dynamics of the situation. This included the BBC television national news, World Service News and the Victoria Derbyshire current affairs programme.
Dr. Alexander is available for media work on any of the following topics:
- Propaganda and its role in society
- North Korea, China, Taiwan, East Asian and Asia-Pacific international relations
- Foreign aid and development assistance
- The role of charity, philanthropy and altruism within society
- India and Colonial India
- The Indian Civil Service
- The civil wars of Central America - particularly Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador
Dr Alexander's Television Work
Colin Discussing the Information War in the Ukraine Crisis (18th March 2022, CBS News (Canada))
Colin Discussing President Zelensky's Communications Strategy in the Ukraine Crisis (22nd March 2022, ITV News (UK))
Colin Discussing the North Korea Nuclear Crisis (29th July 2017, BBC News (UK and Worldwide))
The following is a selection of press work that Dr. Alexander has participated in or authored:
Alexander, C., (2022), "President Volodymyr Zelensky is a hero to the world but who is the man behind the Ukrainian resistance?" (21st April 2022) Available online
Alexander, C., (2022), "Ukraine is well ahead in the global battle for hearts and minds – but Russia knew this would happen " (11th March 2022) Available online
Alexander, C., (2021), "North Korea, nuclear proliferation and why the ‘madman theory’ is wrong about Kim Jong-un" (15th September 2021) Available online
Alexander, C., (2021), "Why ‘freedom day’ is the latest example of COVID propaganda" (18th July 2021) Available online
Alexander, C., (2019), “Foreign aid: less about helping poor countries than maintaining a power imbalance” (13th Feb 2019) Available online
Alexander, C., (2018), “Trump's cancelled summit with Kim Jong-un has more to do with greedy capitalism than ballistic missiles”, (25th May 2018) Available online
Alexander, C., (2017), “Now North Korea is a nuclear power, the capitalist societies which would love to exploit it will have to start respecting it instead”, (29th December 2017) Available online:
Alexander, C., (2017), “A visit to Pyongyang: the Kim dynasty’s homage to Stalinism”, (21st September 2017) Available online. This article was also used by The Conversation to launch their podcast service in early 2018.
Alexander, C., (2017), “Colonialism in India was traumatic – including for some of the British officials who ruled the Raj”, (11th August 2017) Available online
Alexander, C., (2017), BBC News Appearance, (29th July 2017), Available online
Alexander, C., (2013), “Past with Guatemala must be probed”, Taipei Times (13th May 2013), Available online