Research topics

My research topics include development studies, international relations, urban governance and history.

Regional development

I am deeply interested in development studies. For my Ph.D. thesis, I focused on the development policies in the Chinese province of Hainan and their impacts.
My interests lie in the study of stakeholders’ interactions in development strategies. I am especially interested in the role given to civil society and local entrepreneurs in regional development policies. I also focus on the strategies followed by local governments to conduct innovative projects and their capacities to influence central authorities.
Having China as my main geographical area of research, I also study the evolution of the state-owned sector and its impact on local development.
During my studies, my research focused mainly on regional development in China’s border regions such as Xinjiang, Dongbei (Manchuria ) and Hainan. But for each case study, I tried to adopt a comparative approach and broadened my research to other regions. For instance, for my doctoral dissertation on Hainan’s development, I looked at the cases of Jeju island in South Korea, Okinawa, Hawaii or EU overseas territories.

International relations

My research areas also include international relations. Regional relations and diplomacy are a key factor for the development of the Chinese border regions I have studied. A high level of regional integration is required to transform these territories from deadlocks to gateways.
I have also a growing interest in studying soft power mechanisms especially tourism and city-branding.


For the UrbaChina project, I conducted research on urbanisation in China, especially on urban governance and institutions. My study focused on the relations between central, local governments and residents.


I am also interested in history and the concept of path dependence in development studies. For my Ph.D. dissertation, I analysed how history impacted a territory (China’s province of Hainan)’s current development path.


I also study migrations, especially between Asia and Europe. I anlayse the consequences of migrations on urbanisation and housing policies.