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Dr Filippo Boni

Profile summary

Professional biography

Filippo joined the Department of Politics and International Studies as a Lecturer in October 2019. Previously, he taught at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Nottingham, where he completed his PhD in June 2017. Filippo is also affiliated with REDEFINE, a project funded by the European Research Council looking at China's rise and its implications for Europe. He is the co-Editor of the open access, peer-reviewed journal Asia Maior and you can follow him  @FilippoBoni1.

His research interests concern the politics of Chinese investments in Europe and South Asia; the use of "strategic partnerhsips" as a diplomatic tool; the international relations of South Asia, with a focus on the bilateral ties between Pakistan and China and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Filippo was an academic consultant on the BAFTA nominated, OU-BBC documentary "Trump Takes on the World"

Research interests

The politics of the Belt and Road Initiative in Europe and South Asia

Filippo is researching the normative, economic, and political dimensions of China's engagement with Europe. You can read Filippo's latest publication on China's use of strategic partnership in its foreign policy in The British Journal of Politics and International Relations; and his co-authored article on the impact of populism on EU countries' foreign policy towards China in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies. He is also part of the collaborative network "The politics of Chinese investments in Europe: The end of the Liberal International Economic Order?", which examines the implications of China's inroads in Europe for the international order. He has a book chapter on China's normative influence in Europe, in the Open Access, edited volume "Rising Power, Limited Influence. The Politics of Chinese Investments in Europe and the Liberal International Order" (Oxford University Press).  

With regards to South Asia, he is the author of “Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics” (Routledge, 2019) and the co-editor of the forthcoming volume "China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Iniative: the experience of an early adopter state", alongside Dr Pascal Abb (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) and Dr Hasan H. Karrar (LUMS). He has also co-authored the report "How China and Pakistan negotiate" for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as part of the "China Local/Global" project, financed by the Ford Foundation and aimed at producing innovative body of research on Chinese engagement strategies in seven regions of the world. A video summarising the main findings presented in the report is available here. He has published widely on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including articles in Asian SurveyAsia Policy and a forthcoming one in Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.   

Federalism and civil-military relations in Pakistan

Filippo has co-created with Professor Katharine Adeney (University of Nottingham) the dataset "Provincial Autonomy in Pakistan, 1956-2020", available Open Access through UKRI's data service. This was part of the project "Why De-centralization in federations?", financed by Leverhulme Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Forum of Federations, among others, and it formed the basis of the article "Federalism and Regime Change: De/Centralization in Pakistan 1956-2020".  

He is also interested in civil-military relations in Pakistan, and building on his previous work on the topic, he is now looking at how Chinese investments in the country are shaped by, and impact on, Pakistan's domestic institutions and hybrid regime more broadly.  

Teaching interests

Filippo has taught in the past both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including "International Relations Theory", "International Relations of the Middle East", "Theories of Global Politics" and "International Politics of East Asia", among others.  

At The Open University, he is the Co-Chair of D828, the dissertation component (90 credits) of the new MA in International Relations. He was Block lead on the first part of the MA with a block titled "Rising Powers and the International Order". He also teaches on the level 3 course "International Relations: people, power, change".  

PhD Supervision

Students currently supervised: 

  • Alastair Morgan - Project title: "British Foreign Policy towards North-East Asia, 2010 – 2024"
  • Paul Beel - Project Title: "Great Powers, Wars of Choice and Realism: An analysis of the United States' struggle to end intervention".
  • Emma Connolly - Project title: "I can't remember the last time I kissed you: exploring commemorative behavior in the instantaneous aftermath of terror attacks"

Filippo is happy to discuss research proposals on any topic related to:

  • The politics of Belt and Road investments in Europe and South Asia.
  • Democracy and authoritarianism in South Asia.
  • Civil-military relations.
  • China's public diplomacy. 

Impact and engagement

Op-eds/blog posts:

Media mentions and interviews:

Latest Recorded Invited talks:  

External collaborations

Co-Editor of the journal Asia Maior 

Co-Convenor, Politics of South Asia Specialist Group, Political Studies Association (PSA)

International Editorial Board member of the journal Contemporary South Asia.