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 | 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.

    Blog Article | 05/2022

    America’s Pivot to Asia 2.0: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

    In this tripartite article, I (first) introduce the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework or IPEF, (second) trace its history and discourse back to Obama's 2011 Pivot to Asia, and (third) I offer seven observations about the visions behind, contradictions within, and challenges ahead of IPEF.

    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

    Contribution | 01/2022

    China's BRI Deepening its Roots in the MENA Region

    In this new year, China’s Belt-and-Road-Initiative (BRI) is set to deepen its roots in the broader Middle East and North Africa. This region has offered China and its BRI an enthusiastic reception. The Iranian new conservative president, Ebrahim Raisi, has a clear policy agenda, which can be called the ‘Iranian Pivot to Asia’.

    Contribution | 01/2022

    China-GCC Relations in 2022

    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 | 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

    Speaker | 20/12/2021

    Conference on the Role of the Middle East in the New Silk Road

    Ministry of Roads and Urban Development Teheran: 20/12/2021

    Speaker | 28/10/2021

    The World between American Geopolitics and Chinese Geoeconomics

    GLOBSEC Brussels Brussels: 28/10/2021

    Presenting a chapter I wrote on this topic for Globsec, on China and the Broader Black Sea Region


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