Skip navigation

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

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

a person sitting at a table using a laptop
NU World Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Latest News and Features

THE Impact rankings
Architecture Apprenticeship Handbook cover
Pictured from left to right are Northumbria University academics Dr Qiang Wu, Dr Juna Sathian, Professor Zabih Ghassemlooy, Dr Yongtao Qu and Dr Xicong Li.
Insights North East
gettyimages/Kobus Louw
Felicia Gottman
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Immunology North East Symposium - 18th June 2024
REVEAL: Industrial Design

Back to top