Michael received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours – First Class) from the University of Sydney in 2016 and his Master of International Relations from the Australian National University in 2017. His Honours Research Project looked at the role of ideology in the nation-building process in Cold War Korea, focusing in particular on how the rivalry between the Korean states influenced the choices in this process. Along with this, he has worked as a Research Assistant in the Coral Bell School and interned as a market researcher at the Hyundai Corporation in Seoul.
The focus of Michael’s research is on exploring the nature of hierarchy in early-modern East Asia. In particular, he hopes to focus on non-Sinocentric hierarchies within the region and how these overlapping systems were able to co-exist despite contradictory understandings of how they viewed the order they inhabited. This will be examined by exploring how official narratives of these embedded hierarchies sought to reconcile themselves through the role of performative diplomacy and the conscious decision to strictly control all forms of interaction with other states.