Research

My research agenda largely revolves around three main topics: the evolution and diminishing space for the use of military force in international affairs, the strategies adopted by small/medium powers in the context of great power competition, and the foreign policymaking dynamics in non-democratic countries. From an empirical perspective, the focus of my research is on China’s foreign policy and relations with countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Given the role of China in international politics and the importance of the Middle East for world affairs, this issue is both academically and politically relevant. In the future, as you can find in the “Work in Progress” page of this website, I do not exclude that my research agenda might also include other topics that can be more or less related to Chinese foreign policy.

During my academic career at Fudan University, I have conducted analyses on issues such as security privatization, civil-military relations, securitization of non-traditional security issues, as well as strategic culture in China. I have also been doing research on the relations between China and the wider Mediterranean region under the framework of the ChinaMed Project for more than five years. These are all important issues that have been scarcely studied and their analysis, as I have shown in all my publications, is also relevant for scholars outside the community of “China Watchers.” You can find more about my already-published research in the “Peer-reviewed Publications” and “Book” pages of this website.

My research is based on the careful use of original Chinese and, thanks to the support of the other members of the ChinaMed Project’s research team, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Turkish, Greek, and French sources. The ability to have direct access to those sources, instead of solely relying on English-language material, greatly contributes to make my research work as detailed and accurate as possible. Moreover, I have collected a significant amount of qualitative and quantitative data on Chinese investments overseas, the number and value of contracts signed by Chinese companies in the MENA region, and number of Chinese workers in those countries.

You can find the description of my book, peer-reviewed publications, as well as work in progress in the other pages of this website.

You can also listen to this short conversation between Prof. Todd Hall and me on what I think researcher should keep in mind when they try to shed light on making of Chinese foreign policy.