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Gabriele Giovannini

Gabriele Giovannini Northumbria UniversityPhD Project

The transformative capacity of Transboundary Infrastructure in Small States: a Case Study of Laos


Gabriele Giovannini is a PhD Student in International Relations at Northumbria University at the Department of Social Sciences and Languages.

He is supervised by Dr. Oliver Hensengerth and Prof Matt Baillie Smith. His research aims to investigate the extent to which large transboundary infrastructure can help overcoming a Small-State paradigm and to this end Gabriele's research uses Laos as a case study.

The aim is to examine the transformative capacity of infrastructure projects for the regional and international power position of small countries that have traditionally been perceived as weak. The research is especially interested in examining if, and how, transboundary infrastructure can lead to the transformation of a country’s power position. This involves an in-depth examination of the characteristics and implications of selected large transboundary infrastructure in Laos and to this end Gabriele is planning to carry out a period of fieldwork in the country during his second year.

From a theoretical perspective, the case study of Laos aims to contribute to literature on Small States in the broader International Relation (IR) field, providing an analysis of an often overlooked country and adding transboundary infrastructure as a new variable so far neglected in Small States studies. 

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Geographic focus: Southeast Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, Mekong Region, Laos

Thematic interests: International Relations (IR), Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA), Geopolitics, Small States, Diplomacy, Non-traditional Security, Water Diplomacy, Transboundary Infrastructure, International Negotiation. 


Giovannini, G. (2013), ‘The garden of harmonious censorship’, East-Global Geopolitics, No. 48 July/August 2013, pp. 70-71

Giovannini, G. (2013), ‘Myanmar’s Time’, Longitude, The Italian Monthly on World Affairs, No. 33, pp.106-109

Giovannini, G. (2014), ‘Gateway to China’, Longitude, The Italian Monthly on World Affairs, No. 35, pp. 58-63


Twitter: @gabrigiovannini

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