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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 a Research Fellow at REDEFINE, a European Research Council grant looking at China's rise and its implications for global development. He is the author of “Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics” (Routledge, 2019) and the co-Editor of the journal Asia Maior. You can follow him at @FilippoBoni1.

His research interests concern the politics of Chinese investments in Europe and South Asia; China's use of strategic partnerhsips in its foreign policy; 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 in 2020/2021 on the BAFTA nominated, OU/BBC co-production "Trump Takes on the World"

Research interests

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

Filippo has 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. He has published widely on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including articles in Asian Survey and Asia Policy, and he is currently co-editing a volume on CPEC algonside colleagues in Pakistan and Germany. 

As part of his fellowship with REDEFINE, Filippo is also researching the economic, political and public diplomacy dimensions of China's engagement with Europe, with a specific focus on the strategic partnership between Italy and China. 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. 

Federalism and civil-military relations in Pakistan

Filippo has co-created a De/centralisation dataset assessing Pakistan between 1947-2020, with Professor Katharine Adeney (University of Nottingham) as 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. 

He is also interested in civil-military relations in Pakistan, and building on his previous work on the topic, he is now expanding it to look 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, Filippo is the co-chair of the dissertation component of the new MA in International Relations, a module team member on DD211 "Understanding politics: ideas and institutions in the modern world".  

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

- The politics of Belt and Road investments (including Europe).

- Democracy and authoritarianism in South Asia.

- Civil-military relations.

- China's public diplomacy. 

Impact and engagement

Media Interviews:

Latest Invited talks:  

External collaborations

Co-Editor of the journal Asia Maior 

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

Executive Board Member, British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS)


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

Caught between the United States and China: Critical Junctures in Pakistan’s Foreign Policy (2021-08-31)
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

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