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Transformation and Challenge in the International Order (TCIO)

This network brings together academics, journalists and policymakers to offer regionally-informed reflections on the contemporary international order. As established centres of global power arguably retreat from leadership positions on the world stage, there has been a rise to prominence of alternative visions of political principles, organisation, infrastructure and development. The aim of this network is to de-privilege Western-centric approaches to understanding and conceptualising international order. In doing so, we will offer comparative insights into the impact and likely future implications of these alternative visions on contemporary global affairs.

Network events

TCIO webinar series

This webinar series brings together a wide range of speakers to present regionally-informed insights on contemporary global challenges. Our speakers consider how alternative visions of political principles, organisation, infrastructure and development influence the politics of the regions concerned. Do these visions have the potential to challenge or transform the broader international arena? How can we enrich our insights by de-privileging Western-centric approaches to the international order?

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for future events, please email:

Towards a post-American Century – geopolitics in a new multi-polar world

24th February 2021

Part of our webinar series on Transformation and Challenge in the International Order, this roundtable brought together speakers with expertise on a wide range of global regions to shine a light on alternative perceptions of world order and multipolarity, as rising powers and regions look to assert their place in a century that will be marked by inevitable US decline. Panellists: Dr Edward Wastnidge (The Open University), Sumitha Narayanan Kutty (Nanyang Technological University and KCL), Professor Jinghan Zeng (Lancaster University) and Dr Kevork Oskanian (University of Birmingham). Chair: Dr Brigitte Weiffen (The Open University).

Transforming Eurasia through the Belt and Road Initiative

20th January 2021

This panel explored sub-regional perspectives and responses within the wider Eurasian landscape set in motion by Beijing's inroads in the region, thereby offering comparative insights into the way in which the BRI is unfolding on the ground, and into the implications of China's expansion on the domestic and international politics of the region. Panellists: Dr Jonathan Fulton (Zayed University), Nilanthi Samaranayake (CNA), Dr Filippo Boni (The Open University), Dr Moritz Pieper (Independent Researcher). Chair: Dr Precious Chatterje-Doody (The Open University).

Challenging ‘political legitimacy’ in a transforming international order

16th December 2020

This webinar brought together speakers with a wide range of regional expertise to discuss the challenges to political actors’ legitimacy – and to assumptions about the basis of political legitimacy – that have risen to global prominence in recent times. Covering debates about social norms, democracy and legitimacy; hegemony, counter-hegemony and protest; information, conspiracy theories and trust, this webinar will prompt a wholesale reimagining of how we engage with notions of political legitimacy in the present time. Panellists: Dr Ruth Deyermond (KCL), Prof. Simon Mabon (Lancaster), Dr Precious Chatterje-Doody (The Open University), Dr Brigitte Weiffen (The Open University). Chair: Dr Edward Wastnidge (The Open University).

Related events

China's Belt and Road Initiative: curse or blessing for democracy in Eurasia?

12th - 14th March, 2021

This hybrid format workshop, organised by POLIS’s Dr Britta Weiffen on behalf of IPSA Research Committee 34 “Quality of Democracy” in cooperation with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will assess the political implications of the BRI almost a decade after its official launch. Contributors discuss the impact that BRI has had, willingly or not, on democratization or autocratization processes in the countries and societies that it invested in, ranging from Europe to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Find details of the program and registration here.

Network Coordinators

Dr Filippo Boni

Dr Precious Chatterje-Doody

Professor Jamie Gaskarth

Dr Edward Wastnidge

Dr Brigitte Weiffen

Recent publications

Beeson, M & Zeng, J (2018) 'The BRICS and global governance: China’s contradictory role', Third World Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 1962-1978.

Boni, Filippo (2019) Sino-Pakistani relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics, London and New York: Routledge.

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

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

Chatterje-Doody, P N and Tolz, V, (2019) ‘Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia’s Neo-Authoritarian State’, European Journal of Cultural Studies.

Deyermond, Ruth (2020) “You think our country’s so innocent?” The Trump administration’s policy on democratic practices in Russia and the challenge to US identity”, Global Affairs, 6 (1), DOI: 10.1080/23340460.2020.1734959.

Fulton, Jonathan (2020) “Domestic Politics as Fuel for China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative: The Case of the Gulf Monarchies,” Journal of Contemporary China Vol. 29 No. 122, pp. 175–190.

Jones, L., & Zeng, J. (2019). Understanding China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”: Beyond “Grand Strategy” to a State Transformation Analysis. Third World Quarterly, 40(8), 1415-1439.

Kutty, Sumitha (2019) “Dealing with Differences: The Iran Factor in India-US Relations” , Asia Policy, 14 (1), pp. 95-118.

Mabon, Simon (2020) Houses Built on Sand: Violence, sectarianism and revolution in the Middle East, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Nolte, Detlef and Weiffen, Brigitte (eds.) (2020): Regionalism under Stress: Europe and Latin America in Comparative Perspective, London/New York: Routledge.

Oskanian, Kevork (2019) “Carr Goes East: Reconsidering Power and Inequality in a Post-Liberal Eurasia” in Götz, E. & Merlen, C-R. (eds.) Russia and the Question of World Order

Pieper, Moritz (2021) The Making of Eurasia: Competition and Cooperation Between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Russia, New York: Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris.

Samaranayake, Nilanthi (2019) China’s Engagement with Smaller South Asian Countries. US Institute of Peace.

Samaranayake, N. (2019). Securing the Maritime Silk Road in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Asia Policy 26(2), 21-26.

Sim Li-Chen and Fulton, Jonathan (2020) “Implications of a Regional Order in Flux: Chinese and Russian Relations with the United Arab Emirates”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2020.1800590.

Wastnidge, Edward (2020) 'Iran's own 'War on Terror': Iranian foreign policy towards Syria and Iraq during the Rouhani Era', in Luciano Zaccara (ed) The Foreign Policy of Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, Singapore: Palgrave MacMillan.

Wastnidge, Edward and Nasirzadeh, Samira (2020) “De-securitizing through Diplomacy: De-sectarianization and the View from the Islamic Republic’”, The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 18 (1). DOI: 10.1080/15570274.2020.1729529.

Weiffen, Brigitte, Gawrich, Andrea and Axyonova, Vera (2021): “Reorganizing the Neighborhood? Power Shifts and Regional Security Organizations in the Post-Soviet Space and Latin America”, Journal of Global Security Studies 6 (1), DOI: 10.1093/jogss/ogz080.

Zheng, Jihang (2021) Slogan Politics: Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Concepts, Singapore: Palgrave MacMillan.

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