Thanks to the ongoing generosity and support of the Ax:son Johnson Institute for Statecraft and Diplomacy (AJI), the Centre has recruited three new postdoctoral research associates for two-year placements, starting October 2024. Our three new ‘postdocs’, who will be replacing Dr Anahita Arian and Dr Hugo Bromley as they come to the end of their two-year AJI placement, are:

Alice Politi is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at King’s College London. She is also an Eisenhower Defense Fellow at the NATO Defense College and a Policy Advisor at the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Her doctoral research focuses on EU-China relations during the presidency of Xi Jinping, with a focus on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. More broadly, her research concentrates on China’s geopolitical behaviour and foreign policy under Xi Jinping. Says Alice, “I’m eager to learn more and continue to contribute to research in the field at the Centre for Geopolitics”, where her work will focus on exploring the evolution of China’s domestic politics and foreign policy posture and investigating how this has affected its geopolitical ambitions. Alice has previously collaborated as a Policy Consultant with the UK FCDO and participated in projects with the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Molly Kiniry is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, Peterhouse, where she took an MPhil in Economic and Social History with distinction. Her research is focussed on the history of economic integration in post-colonial Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. She is particularly interested in national industrial dynamics and the role of industrial actors in regional integration efforts. ‘I am tremendously excited to join the Centre’s vibrant research team, and to further explore the geopolitical and geoeconomic implications of pan-African unity,’ Molly says, noting the continent’s increasingly important markets and diplomatic ties. She previously served as Research and Editorial Director for the Project for Peaceful Competition. Molly has given evidence on rest-of-world post-Brexit trading arrangements to the House of Commons Treasury and Trade select committees and previously wrote a weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph.

Barnabas Szabo is a PhD student in Comparative History at Central European University (Budapest/Vienna). He also holds graduate degrees in International Relations, European Studies, and Nationalism Studies. “I’m looking forward to combining these approaches in my work at the Centre for Geopolitics.” Barnabas, whose current research focuses on the establishment of the British and Spanish unions in the early eighteenth century, finds it remarkable that the themes orienting European diplomacy in the 1700s are gaining a new urgency today. “Themes like security, economic prosperity, stability, trade, and national interest have taken centre stage with the eruption of war on the flanks of Europe.” At the Centre, he hopes to contribute to research on Central Europe, “a region that will soon be crucial to relations between West and East, North and South.” Having studied and worked in Hungary, France, and the US, Barnabas is excited to continue his work in Cambridge.

AJI is a four-university, transatlantic consortium, which in collaboration with the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit, aims to recruit, train, and mentor the next generation of historically minded scholars and practitioners in statecraft, diplomacy and strategy. As well as the Centre for Geopolitics here at Cambridge, the consortium comprises the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C., the Centre for Geopolitics in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and the Center for Statecraft and Strategic Communication at the Stockholm School of Economics.

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