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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 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.


De-risking, re-balancing and recentralising: Intra-state relations in Chinese-backed transport infrastructure projects in Europe (2024-08)
Mohan, Giles; Boni, Filippo; Rogers, Samuel; Schaefer, Florian and Wang, Yue
Political Geography, 113, Article 103152

Does Populism Matter in EU–China Relations? The Cases of Italy and Czechia (2024)
Jakimow, Malgorzata; Boni, Filippo and Turcsányi, Richard
JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies ((Early access))

Afghanistan 2023: Taliban governance and international isolation (2024)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXIV 2023 (pp. 376-387)

Global China and Pakistan’s federal politics: 10 years of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (2024)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (pp. 1-21)

Strategic partnerships and China’s diplomacy in Europe: Insights from Italy (2023-11)
Boni, Filippo
British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 25(4) (pp. 740-757)

Federalism and regime change: De/centralization in Pakistan – 1956–2020 (2023)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
Regional & Federal Studies, 33(5) (pp. 725-753)

Afghanistan 2022: Life under the Taliban (2023)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXIII (pp. 411-423)

Authoritarianism, democracy and de/Centralization in federations: what connections? (2023)
Dardanelli, Paolo; Kincaid, John; Adeney, Katharine; Moscovich, Lorena; Olmeda Cruz, Juan; Schlegel, Rogerio; Suberu, Rotimi; Boni, Filippo and Lacroix Eussler, Santiago
Regional and Federal Studies, 33(5) (pp. 577-606)

Afghanistan 2021: US Withdrawal, the Taliban return and regional geopolitics (2022)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXII (pp. 375-391)

Afghanistan 2020: the US-Taliban peace deal, intra-Afghan talks and regional implications (2021)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior. The Journal of the Italian Think Tank on Asia founded by Giorgio Borsa in 1989, XXXI (pp. 465-478)

Introduction. Asia in 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact (2021)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXI (pp. 9-17)

The Impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on Pakistan’s Federal System: The Politics of the CPEC (2020-06-01)
Boni, Filippo and Adeney, Katharine
Asian Survey, 60(3) (pp. 441-465)

Afghanistan 2019: Between peace talks and presidential elections, another year of uncertainty (2020)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXX / 2019 (pp. 435-449)

Foreword. Asia in 2019: The escalation of the US-China contraposition, and the authoritarian involution of Asian societies (2020)
Torri, Michelgulgielmo; Mocci, Nicola and Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXX (pp. 9-23)

Protecting the Belt and Road Initiative: China’s Cooperation with Pakistan to Secure CPEC (2019-04)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Policy, 14(2) (pp. 5-12)

Afghanistan 2018: Parliamentary Elections and regional power shifts (2019)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, 29 (pp. 377-392)

India at 70: Introduction to the BASAS 2017 Special Issue (2018)
Boni, Filippo and Maiorano, Diego
Contemporary South Asia, 26(3) (pp. 259-262)

Civil-military relations in Pakistan: a case study of Sino-Pakistani relations and the port of Gwadar (2016)
Boni, Filippo
Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 54(4) (pp. 498-517)

Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics (2019-08-28)
Boni, Filippo
Routledge Contemporary South Asia
ISBN : 9780429431982 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at Ten: Taking Stock of the Belt and Road’s “Flagship” Project (2024-06-21)
Abb, Pascal; Boni, Filippo and Karrar, Hasan
In: Abb, Pascal; Boni, Filippo and Karrar, Hasan H. eds. China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Initiative. The Experience of an Early Adopter State. Rethinking Asia and International Relations (pp. 1-13)
ISBN : 9781032640174 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, UK

China's normative influence in Europe: the case of Sino-Italian relations under the Belt and Road Initiative (2024)
Boni, Filippo
In: Roy, Indrajit; Eckhardt, Jappe; Stroikos, Dimitrios and Davidescu, Simona eds. Rising Power, Limited Influence: The Politics of Chinese Investments in Europe and the Liberal International Order (pp. 82-99)
ISBN : 9780192887115 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford

India’s Responses to the Belt and Road Initiative: A Case Study of Indo-Pakistani Relations (2023-02-13)
Boni, Filippo
In: Beretta, Silvio; Berkofsky, Axel and Iannini, Giuseppe eds. India’s Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges Friends, Enemies and Controversies. Global Power Shift (pp. 233-246)
ISBN : 978-3-031-20269-8 | Publisher : Springer Nature Switzerland AG | Published : Cham

China’s Public Diplomacy and Its Foreign Policy Towards Central and South Asia (2023)
Burcu, Oana and Boni, Filippo
In: Zhang, Xiaoling and Schultz, Corey eds. China's International Communication and Relationship Building. Communicating China (pp. 79-96)
ISBN : 978-1-032-18357-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Caught between the United States and China: Critical Junctures in Pakistan’s Foreign Policy (2022)
Boni, Filippo
In: Pande, Aparna ed. Routledge Handbook on South Asian Foreign Policy (pp. 311-323)
ISBN : 978-0-367-15068-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Initiative: The Experience of an Early Adopter State (2024-06-21)
Abb, Pascal; Boni, Filippo and Karrar, Hasan H. eds.
Rethinking Asia and international relations
ISBN : 9781032633411 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon

Provincial Autonomy in Pakistan, 1956-2020 [Research Dataset] (2022-10-07)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
UK Data Service

The US-China rivalry in South Asia and Pakistan’s hedging dilemma (2021-12-17)
Boni, Filippo
European University Institute

How China and Pakistan Negotiate (2021-05-24)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace