China: from the Balkan Corridor to the Chinese Revisionism by Simone Sclarandris

Simone is a recent university graduate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the University of Torino and a master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Torino obtained with a final score of 110/110 cum laude. In addition, he was enrolled in a double degree program between my Italian university and the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). Currently, he finished his exams and he is only waiting for the Chinese certificate that, for bureaucratic issues, will be available in few months.  Because of the pandemic, Simone followed the entire academic year in China remotely from Italy. 

During his university years, he developed strong experience working both with qualitative and quantitative analysis and he improved a lot his analytical skills. 

First, in the bachelor’s dissertation he studied the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative with a particular focus on the Balkan corridor,).

 There, Simone delineates which is the presence of Beijing in the area through the BRI putting it in relations with the other major powers involved in the region. In the conclusion, he describes China’s role as undoubtedly growing in the Balkans but still far from the other major players. Then, he saw the first steps of some actors, especially the European Union at that time, towards the development of. Simone wrote this dissertation during 2019 when China was perceived as a super-China (it was the year of the MoU between Beijing and Rome), however, the final picture in his work was quite cautious about this consideration.

More info about this work available at the University of Torino website at:

Secondly, in the master’s thesis, Simone analyzed Chinese revisionism starting from a deep critic and review of the literature together with an examination of the current debate through more than two years of Foreign Affairs articles on the issue. In this work, with the title Studying Beijing’s impact on International Order through a Social Network Analysis Approach, he applied and tested the framework developed by Professor Stacie Goddard[1] to the Chinese case. In particular, he focused on the international institutions’ environment to evaluate Beijing’s revisionism. 

In the conclusion, the definition of Chinese revisionism takes the growing presence and power of Beijing in the last decade but highly emphasizes today’s difficulties of China and the turnabout of Chinese ability to expand its power through the use of institutionalized cooperation around the world. Maybe, isn’t super-china not as super as we thought?

More info about this work available at the University of Torino website at:

In continuity with the previous work, in the master thesis, Simone analyzed the institutionalization of the BRI. In one section, in particular, he focused more on Central and Eastern Europe, understanding that after these two years of pandemic our perception about China is profoundly changed and its role has been profoundly downsized.

Moreover, he individuates in the new multilateral project led by the United States and Western powers in the Indo-Pacific and around the world fundamental tools to counter the growing presence of China and to offer a strongest alternative to the BRI.

Simone’s interest about China is based on the necessity of knowing this “new” international actor to understand today’s international politics but he thinks that a good expert of international politics needs to put this actor in relations with the other major actors in the international arena and know more about other fields of studies.

To know more about Simone’s works you can contact him at