Dr. Mohammadbagher Forough

Research Fellow

  • Short CV

    • Since 04/2021: Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies and at the project "World Order Narratives of the Global South" (WONAGO)

    • 09/2016 - 01/2021: Assistant Professor of International Relations and Iranian Studies at Leiden University, The Netherlands

    • 09/2014 - 08/2016: Lecturer of International Security at Groningen University

    • 01/2016-present: Associate Researcher at Clingendael Institute of International Relations, The Hague, The Netherlands

    • 09/2019-present: Affiliate Researcher at Leiden Asia Centre, Leiden, Netherlands

    • Education: PhD in International Security, Groningen University, The Netherlands

    Current Research

    • Geoeconomics (infrastructure-security nexus)

    • Middle East-China Relations

    • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (aka “The New Silk Road”)

    • Cybersecurity (“Digital Silk Road”, China 2025, etc.)

    Countries and Regions

    • The Middle East (Iran and GCC)

    • East Asia (China)

    Dr. Mohammadbagher Forough

    Research Fellow


    Blog Article | 03/2022

    What Will Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Mean for China’s Belt and Road?: Exploring the Geoeconomic Implications for China's BRI and other Eurasian Economic and Infrastructure Initiatives.

    Exploring the geoeconomic implications for China's BRI and other Eurasian economic and infrastructure initiatives

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 7/2021

    Raisi’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Revolutionism and the Iranian Pivot to Asia

    This GIGA Focus sheds light on the new Iranian conservative president Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, and his doctrine of “pragmatic revolutionism.” The author analyses what the Iranian Asia-oriented foreign policy entails geopolitically and geoeconomically, and suggests how the multilateralist tendencies can be used by policymakers.

    Global Studies Quarterly | 12/2022

    The Production of Souls in International Relations

    The article introduces 'soul' and 'soulcraft' — as an indispensable yet unacknowledged component of statecraft — to IR and Political Science.

    9DashLine | 10/2022

    The EU Ventures into the Strategic "Jungle"

    The article unpacks the negative consequences of diplomatic discourse such as 'garden/jungle' coming out of the EU, especially as they pertain to the European search for strategic autonomy in the world and EU's competition (through the Global Gateway) with China (and its BRI) in Africa.

    National Interest | 09/2022

    What the West Gets Wrong About the SCO

    While Exaggerated Analyses of the Geopolitical Bonding in the SCO Abound, Little is Being Said About its Members’ Geoeconomic Projects.

    Policy Brief | 09/2022

    Born in Tokyo, Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Crawls in LA; Will it Ever Walk?

    In this article, Dr. Mohammadbagher Forough analyses the first in-person ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which took place in September 2022 in Los Angeles, and provides policy recommendations for the endeavour to move forward.

    Blog Article | 07/2022

    Biden’s Middle East Policy Contradicts his China Policy

    US President Joe Biden has just completed his first trip to the Middle East. This blog article discusses four global implications of this trip for US Indo-Pacific policy and the China-US rivalry.

    Research Project | 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2024

    World Order Narratives of the Global South (WONAGO)

    The decades since the late twentieth century are marked by the end of the bipolar world order and the rise of countries of the Global South. Most explanations focus on political and economic power shifts and do not pay much attention to ideas of order, especially those prevalent in the Global South. To provide a more inclusive perspective, this project researches world order narratives in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its Area Studies strategy.
    BMBF, 2021-2024

    Deutsche Welle | Interview | 07/10/2021

    Neue Runde im iranischen Atompoker

    Leiden Asia Centre | Expert Comment / Guest Contribution | 28/01/2021

    The Belt and Road Initiative Revisited

    Speaker | 08/12/2022

    European Silk Road Summit 2022


    Speaker, Speaker, Discussant, Moderator | 27/10/2022

    Iran: Pivot to the East amidst Domestic Repression

    As protests and human rights violations prevail in Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to orient itself towards the east, stepping up its relations with China, Russia, and India. This GIGA Talk seeks to shed light on this key strategic turn.

    Speaker | 01/2022

    China and the Middle Eastern Green Energy Sector

    Leiden Asia Centre Leiden: 01/2022

    The Increasing Role of China in the Middle Eastern Green Energy Sector


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