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Personal profile

Personal information

I am an Associate Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Since 2019 I have also been Director of Studies for the BSc and MSc Political Science of my department. I am Chair of the EU COST Action 18215 China in Europe Research Network (CHERN) a pan-European knowledge network on Chinese engagements in Europe of >250 researchers. I also serve as an Executive Council Member of SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics), editorial board member of the Routledge RIPE series in Global Political Economy, an International Advisory Board member of International Affairs (Oxford University Press/Chatham House) and of the journal The International Spectator (Taylor & Francis). I am also boardmember of the Dutch Political Science Association (NKWP, Nederlandse Kring voor de Wetenschap der Politiek) since 2015 responsible for the journal Acta Politica. Previously I was an Honorary Fellow (2016-2017), at the Department of International Politics, City University of London and I have served as Programme director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the VU Amsterdam for five years (2017-2020).


My main research interests are within International Relations, International Political Economy and Elite Studies (political sociology): Chinese political and economic elites; the globalization of Chinese firms; US foreign policy in the post-Cold War period; American political and economic elites; Corporate elite networks; Social Network Analysis; the politics and political economy of energy.

I publish in leading journals in International Relations (Review of International Political Economy, European Journal of International Relations, International Affairs, International Politics), journals within the field of International Political Economy, Sociology, Development and Geography (e.g. Global Networks, Globalizations, Development and Change, Geoforum, International Journal of Comparative Sociology) and with highly ranked publishers (e.g. Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Palgrave McMillan). 

Grants and Research Projects

I obtained an EU COST Action grant: China in Europe Research Network (CHERN) (2019-2023), with which I have established a Europe wide knowledge network on China aimed at pooling, exchanging, disseminating and generating research on Chinese socio-economic engagements with Europe. 

I am co-Principal Investigator in an ESRC (UK) funded project (2019-2022) 'Fraying Ties? Networks, Territory and Transformation in the UK oil sector.’ An interdisciplinary research project led by Prof. Gavin Bridge (Durham University) in collaboration with London School of Economic (LSE) and Platform. 

I have also been a co-investigator in the Corporate Mapping Project, a SSHRC funded research-project aimed at systematically mapping the structure and influence of the fossil fuel industry in Canada led by Prof. William Carroll (Victoria University).

And previously I was part of a Sino-Dutch research project (2013-2017) on the Transnationalization of China’s Oil Industry funded by Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Social Sciences (KNAW), directed by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and International Institute for Asia Studies (Leiden University).



I am Director of Studies for the Bachelor and Master in Political Science, at VU Amsterdam.

I teach or have taught courses at BSc and MSc level in:

  • International Relations and Global Governance
  • Transnational Political Economy
  • Global Political Economy
  • International Security
  • Model UN
  • Academic Writing
  • Supervision master theses and research papers




I obtained my doctoral degree in Political Science (cum laude/with distinction) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013, and also received my MSc-degree International Relations there in 2006. Previously, studied Political Science at the Free University in Brussels.


Prizes and Awards

2018 - Individual Talent Grant - Institute for Societal Resilience, VU Amsterdam. 

2018 - Nominated by students for Frank van der Duyn Schouten award, best senior lecturer in Political Science 

2016 - Best Junior Lecturer of the Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam.

2015 - Research Fellowship of the Dept. of Political Sciences & Public Administration, VU University Amsterdam.

2013 - Faculty Dissertation Prize, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam.

2013 - Best Lecturer in Political Science, VU University Amsterdam (selected by students).

2013 - Annual Faculty Grant from VU University Faculty of Social Sciences for talented female scholars.


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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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