Dr Matteo Fumagalli, Senior Lecturer


Matteo Fumagalli joined the School of International Relations in September 2017. He received his PhD in Politics from the University of Edinburgh in 2005.

Matteo has previously taught at Central European University, University College Dublin, and the University of Edinburgh. He is a non-resident senior research associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg (Germany) and a non-resident fellow at the International Center for Risk Assessment (ICRA) in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Matteo was a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore, the National Chengchi University in Taiwan and the University of Macau. He is a regular contributor to Oxford Analytica.

He has conducted research in Central Asia (especially Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the Caucasus (esp. Georgia), Ukraine, Russia, East Asia (South Korea, Taiwan) and South-East Asia (Myanmar and Laos).

Matteo Fumagalli has received research grants from various sources, including:

  • the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • the Economic and Social Research Council (UK)
  • the British Academy (UK)
  • the Open Society Foundations (USA)
  • the Academy of Korean Studies (South Korea)
  • the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (Taiwan)
  • the Korea Foundation (South Korea)

Research areas

Matteo’s interests lie at the intersection of the study of ethnic conflict and violence and the politics of natural resources, especially in authoritarian settings. Therein his research has developed along the following tracks:
Ethnic conflict, irredentism and separatism in the post-Soviet space, particularly in Central Asia and the Caucasus. His work on Uzbek minorities in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (Ethnic Conflict in post-Soviet Central Asia: Exit, voice and loyalty among Uzbek minorities) is forthcoming with Routledge in 2018.

Transitions from authoritarian rule and in competitive authoritarianism, regime stability and resilience, and social contention. He has recently completed a project on with colleagues at the Caucasus Resource Research Center in Tbilisi (Georgia), published as a special issue of the Caucasus Survey (‘Taking partly free voters seriously’, 2017 vol. 5. N. 3).
Geopolitics of energy: Matteo has also published on various aspects related to energy politics and the international relations of natural resources, including the rise of resource nationalism in the smaller but resource-rich economies at China’s borders,  the resource nexus, and global energy and environmental governance. He has also a keen Interest on energy geopolitics in the Gulf, especially with regard to the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi-Iran rivalry.

Matteo’s most recent work revolves around the study of Asian inter-connectedness in the form of aid (south-south cooperation), logistics, trade and investment. He is especially interested in the policies of China and Korea towards South-East Asia (especially Myanmar) and Central Asia.  His monograph New Silk Roads, Growing inter-Asian connections: South Korea’s Quest for Energy and New Markets in Central Asia is forthcoming with Palgrave in 2018.

Finally, he is also interested in two areas of the scholarship of teaching and learning, namely how innovations in ICT affect student learning (online and blended learning) and the contribution of experiential learning to the study of conflict and conflict management.

Current projects

  • Arts and Conflict Transformation in Myanmar: Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the project  explores how artistic interventions  can transform inter-communal conflicts in contemporary Myanmar, focusing specifically on the conflicts in Karen, Kayin and Mon states.
  • Development assistance and inequality in the global south: How do donors react to problems of rolling out aid to the periphery? Does aid help, or does it do more harm than good to a country’s development, especially when seen from the periphery? This project examines the effects of development assistance on regional inequality in Myanmar.



  • 2018 (forthcoming) Ethnic Conflict in post-Soviet Central Asia. Routledge. (under contract)
  • 2018 (forthcoming) New Silk Roads, Growing inter-Asian connections: South Korea’s Quest for Energy and New Markets in Central Asia. Palgrave. (under contract)
  • 2018 (ed. With K. Turmanidze) Authoritarian Stability in the South Caucasus. Voting preferences, autocratic responses and regime stability in Armenia and Georgia. London: Routledge.
  • 2002 Il Grande Medio Oriente. Il Nuovo Arco dell’Instabilità (The Greater Middle East. The New Arc  of Instability) (with A. Colombo, A. Ferrari, R. Redaelli, F. Vielmini) Milano: Ispi-Universita’ Bocconi Editore/Egea.


  • 2018 (forthcoming) Myanmar 2017: The Rohingya crisis between radicalisation and ethnic cleansing. Asia Maior, XXVIII.
  • 2018 Order in Asia beyond power transition: Understanding China’s rise, changing international roles and grand strategies. Asian Politics and Policy, 10(2), pp. 359-370.
  • 2017 'Scoxit può attendere'. Limes. Rivista Italiana di Geopolitica, 10/2017, pp. 235-244.
  • 2017 Taking partly-free voters seriously: Autocratic response to voter preferences in Armenia and Georgia. Caucasus Survey, 5(3), pp. 199-215.
  • 2017 Social contention, authoritarian resilience and political change. Democratization, 36(4), pp. 1215-1223.
  • 2017 Myanmar in 2016: From enthusiasm to disillusionment. Asia Maior, XXVII.
  • 2016 Stateness, contested nationhood and imperiled sovereignty: the effects of non-western leverage on Kyrgyzstan’s conflicts. East European Politics, 32(3), pp. 355-377.
  • 2016 Growing inter-Asian Connections: Links, Risks, and Opportunities in South Korea-Central Asia Relations. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 7(1), pp. 36-48.
  • 2016 The 2015 Parliamentary Election in Kyrgyzstan. Electoral Studies, 42, pp. 300-303.
  • 2014 The 2013 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Georgia, Electoral Studies, 35, pp. 395-397
  • 2014 Regime survival, societal resilience, and change in North Korea, Wiener Beiträge zur Koreaforschung, VI, pp. 96-105.
  • 2012 The 2011 Presidential Elections in Kyrgyzstan. Electoral Studies, 31(4), pp. 864-867.
  • 2012 South Korea’s Engagement of Central Asia from the End of the Cold War to Lee Myung-Bak’s New Asia Initiative. Journal of Northeast Asia History, 9(2).
  • 2009 The limits of a rapprochement: Russia’s return in Central Asia. Quaderni di Relazioni Internazionali (Milano: Istituto Studi di Politica Internazionale), 9, March, pp. 44-54.
  • 2007 Alignments and re-alignments in Central Asia: Rationale and implications of Uzbekistan’s   rapprochement with Russia. International Political Science Review, 28(3), pp. 253-271.
  • 2007 Framing Ethnic Minority Mobilization in Central Asia: The Cases of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Europe-Asia Studies, 59(4), pp. 565-588.
  • 2007 Informal (ethno-)politics and local authority figures in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Ethnopolitics, 6(2), pp. 211-233.
  • 2007 Ethnicity, State Formation and Foreign Policy: Uzbekistan and Uzbeks abroad. Central Asian Survey, 26(1), pp. 105-122.
  • 2007 Stability, Sovereignty and the Resilience of Politics under Authoritarian Rule. Central Asian Survey, 26(1), pp. 1-6.
  • 2007 Usbekische Zwickmühle. Staatsnationalismus und Auslandsusbeken. Osteuropa, 8/9, pp. 237-244.
  • 2005 Le relazioni tra Turchia ed Unione Europea dal Summit di Helsinki all’Avvio dei Negoziati in Lussemburgo (1999-2005): Condizioni, Incentivi e Prospettive. Giornale di Storia Contemporanea), VIII(2).
  • 2004 Uzbek communities in the Kyrgyz Republic and their Relationship with Uzbekistan. Central Eurasian Studies Review, 3(2), Harvard University, pp. 12-16.

Book chapters

  • 2018 (forthcoming) ‘The BRICS, Energy Security and Global Energy Governance’ in S.Y. Kim (ed) The Brics and the Global Economy (Singapore: World Scientific).
  • 2017 When security trumps identity: Uzbekistan’s foreign policy under Islam Karimov. In M. Laruelle (ed) Uzbekistan. (Re-) Constructing the Uzbek State: Narratives of Post-Soviet Years (Lexington), pp. 3-17.
  • 2016 Semi-Presidentialism in Kyrgyzstan: The 2010 Constitution, the Switch to Premier-Presidentialism and the Potential for a Democratic Breakthrough. In R. Elgie and S. Moestrup (eds) Semi-Presidentialism in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Palgrave), 173-205.
  • 2015 Kyrgyzstan’s Turbulent March towards the Eurasian Union. M. Torri and N. Mocci (eds) Asia Maior 2014 (Roma: Emil).
  • 2013 Instabilità politica e nazionalismo delle risorse in Kirghizistan. M. Torri and N. Mocci (eds) Asia Maior: Ripresa economica, conflitti sociali e tensioni geopolitiche (Roma: Emil).
  • 2012 Politica elettorale e ritorno della democrazia in Kirghizistan. M. Torri and N. Mocci (eds) Asia Maior: Ripresa economica, conflitti sociali e tensioni geopolitiche (Roma: Emil).
  • 2012 Voice, not Democracy: Ethno-politics, Civil Society and the Search for Political Space in Central Asia. In F. Cavatorta (ed) Civil Society under Authoritarian Rule (Routledge- ECPR series).
  • 2010 Islamic Radicalism and the Insecurity Dilemma in Central Asia: The Role of Russia. In: R. Dannreuther and L. March (eds) Russia and Islam (Routledge), pp. 191-208.
  • 2010 Uzbekistan. In D. O’Beachain and A. Polese (eds) The Color Revolutions in the Former Successor States. Successes and Failures (Routledge), pp. 156-177 (with S. Tordjman).
  • 2009 The United States and Central Asia. In: E. Kavalski (ed) The ‘New’ Central Asia. Singapore: Word Scientific.
  • 2009 L’economia politica e la politica estera di un ‘rentier state’: Il Turkmenistan di Berdymukhammedov. In M. Torri (ed) Asia Maior (Roma: Guerini).
  • 2008 Tajikistan and the EU: From Post-Conflict Reconstruction to Critical Engagement. In N.J. Melvin (ed) The EU’s Strategic Challenge in Central Asia (Brussels: CEPS).
  • 2007 Informal (Ethno-)politics and local authority figures in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. In: S.Stroeschein (ed.) Governance in Ethnically Mixed Cities (London: Routledge).
  • 2006 La trasformazione del sistema politico turco (The Transformation of the Turkish Political System). In: M. Torri, ed., Il Grande Medio Oriente nell’era dell’egemonia americana, Milano, Mondadori.
  • 2004 La Turchia tra allargamento europeo e politica estera. In: A. Colombo, ed., L’Occidente diviso. La politica e le armi, Milano, Università Bocconi Editore, pp. 215-225.

Encyclopedia entries

  • 2010 ‘Diaspora’, in G. Kurian (ed) International Encyclopedia of Political Science (CQ Press/Sage). American Political Science Association.
  • 2010 ‘Irredentism’, in G. Kurian (ed) International Encyclopedia of Political Science (CQ Press/Sage). American Political Science Association.

Policy papers, commentaries, op-eds, briefs

  • 2017 ‘South Korea’s relations with Myanmar. A stepping stone to enhanced global engagement Korea Economic Institute of America’, Washington DC, 16 February.
  • 2016 L’Uzbekistan dopo Karimov: Eredità e dilemmi occidentali nella lotta al terrorismo. Commentary, Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Milano, 5 settembre (http://www.ispionline.it/sites/default/files/pubblicazioni/commentary_fumagalli_05.09.2016.pdf ).
  • 2016 Una questione di stabilità: L’Asia Centrale e l’Uzbekistan dopo Karimov. Limesonline, 5 Settembre (http://www.limesonline.com/una-questione-di-stabilita-luzbekistan-e-lasia-centrale-dopo-karimov/93955)
  • 2015 The Kumtor Gold Mine and the Rise of Resource Nationalism in Kyrgyzstan. Economic Series Papers n. 16, Central Asia Program, George Washington University, August.
  • 2010 Uzbekistan’s response to violence in Kyrgyzstan between caution, concern, and criticism. Central Asia and the Caucasus Analyst, Johns Hopkins University, 24 June.
  • 2010 Le conseguenze regionali della crisi in Kirghizistan. Milano: ISPI, September.
  • 2008 The ‘Food-Energy-Water’ Nexus: Regional Ramifications and the International Response to the Crises in Tajikistan. EUCAM (EU-Central Asia Monitoring) FRIDE Madrid/CEPS Brussels, Policy Brief no. 2, October.
  • 2008 Food Security in Central Asia: A Priority for Western Engagement. Central Asia and the Caucasus Analyst, 15 October (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University)
  • 2007 Tajikistan and the EU: From Post-Conflict Reconstruction to Critical Engagement. CEPS Policy Brief no. 130, (Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies).
  • 2007 La dimensione strategica dell’Asia Centrale tra Russia, Cina e Stati Uniti.. ISPI Policy Paper (Milano: ISPI).
  • 2006 Are Russian-Uzbek relations heading towards mutual entrapment? Central Asia and the Caucasus Analyst (Johns Hopkins University), 8(20), pp. 9-10.
  • 2006 The Andijan Events: State violence, popular resistance and the rhetoric of terrorism in Uzbekistan, in ISIM Review (Leiden, Netherlands: International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World), 18, pp. 28-29.


  • IR5510 - Central Asia in World Order
  • IR5601 - Research Methods in International Relations
  • IR4969 - Geopolitics of Energy in the Caspian Region
  • IR3074 - International Relations of Energy and the Environment

Teaching experience in the following areas:

  • International Security
  • Comparative authoritarianism
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Ethnic conflict
  • Comparative politics
  • Identity politics in the post-Soviet space
  • Energy security in the Caucasus and Central Asia
  • Identities and citizenship in Asia

Research students

First supervisor

  • Kristin Fjaestad, Identity under development: Kazakhstan from recipient to donor

Second supervisor

  • Elizabeth Armstrong
  • Michael Cecire

PhD supervision topics

  • Competitive authoritarianism
  • Ethnic conflict and conflict management
  • Energy and environmental politics in Eurasia
  • Central Asia and Caucasus Politics and International Relations
  • Myanmar (domestic and foreign policy)
  • The foreign policies of China and South Korea, especially in relation to aid, energy, and security
  • Korean peninsula

Further information

Manuscript reviewer

  • Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Hurst.

Journal article reviewer

  • International Security
  • Review of International Studies
  • Political Studies
  • Comparative Politics
  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Europe-Asia Studies
  • Ethnopolitics
  • Politics
  • Central Asian Survey
  • Problems of Post-Communism
  • International Studies Review
  • Development and Society
  • Nationalities Papers
  • Central Asian Affairs
  • Asian Studies Review
  • Democratization
  • Journal of International Relations and Development

Grant application reviewer

  • Economic and Social Research Council (UK), Swiss Peace Foundation, Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, STINT (Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, Sweden), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, Germany), Institute for International Education (IIE).

Leadership of professional organizations

  • Program Co-Chair, Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Organized Section of the International Studies Association (2009-2012).

Invited talks, seminars, lectures

  • 2017, E pluribus unum or ex uno plures? Unity and diversity among the Koryo Saram. University of Frankfurt, 4 May.
  • 2017, The Bologna Process and the changes in the Higher Education Sector, Abkhaz State University, Sukhum, Abkhazia, 10-11 April.
  • 2017, Energy security, emerging markets and the global economy. BRICs and the Global Economy, National University of Singapore, 2-3 March.
  • 2017, South Korea’s relations with Myanmar. A stepping stone to enhanced global engagement, Korea Economic Institute of America, Washington DC, 16 February.
  • 2016, EU-Russia Relations after the War in Ukraine: Geopolitical rivalries and competing regional integration projects. National University of Singapore, 12 April.
  • 2016, Stateness, contested nationhood, and imperilled sovereignty in Kyrgyzstan. University of Washington, Ellison School of Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies, Seattle, 31 March.
  • 2016, EU-Russia relations beyond the traditional neighborhood. Petrozavodsk State University, European Studies Center, Petrozavodsk, Russia, 22 March.
  • 2015, Does security still trump identity? Uzbekistan and Uzbeks abroad after the 2010 Osh Event. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden, 10-13 June.
  • 2015   The effects of non-western leverage on Kyrgyzstan’s conflicts. Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore, 24 March.
  • 2015    Reconnecting Myanmar: A Case Study of Academic Outreach and Innovation in Higher Education, College of Alice and Peter Tan, Master’s Tea, National University of Singapore, 16 March.
  • 2015    Russia, the War in Ukraine and Europe. College of Alice and Peter Tan, National University of Singapore, 2 March.
  • 2015    Stateness, contested nationhood and imperilled sovereignty in Kyrgyzstan: Linkage, Leverage and Conflicts. University of Macau, Macau SAR, 27 January.
  • 2014    Links, Risks and Opportunities in South Korea-Central Asian Relations, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, 3 December.
  • 2014    Linkage and Leverage in post-Soviet Conflicts: Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the ‘Black Knights’,University of Hokkaido, Japan, Slavic-Eurasia Research Center Conference, 11 July.
  • 2013    The politics of natural resources in Central Asia: Korea and China compared. Viennese Korean Studies Symposium, University of Vienna, 22-23 November.
  • 2012    Cyber-hatred in Russia. International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego, USA, 1-4 April.
  • 2012    Central Asian response to Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego, USA, 1-4 April.
  • 2011   Civil society in Central Asia. What the study of ethnopolitics in Central Asia tells us about state-society relations under authoritarian rule. University of Toronto, 9 March.
  • 2011    Ethnopolitics in Eurasia: Identity, Patronage and the Soviet Legacy. ISA Annual Convention, Montreal, 16-19 March.
  • 2010   Neo-patrimonial rule in Central Asia. SWP, Berlin, 17-18 November.
  • 2010   Microcosms of repression. Civil society under authoritarian rule in Central Asia. Social Research Center, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, 7 November.
  • 2010   Creeping migration in the  Central Asian borderlands. International Studies Association Annual convention, New Orleans, 17-21 February.
  • 2009   Authoritarian Rule in Uzbekistan: Advances and Limits in the Study of Neo-Patrimonialism. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin, 17-18 December.
  • 2009  The ‘Food-Energy-Water’ Nexus in Central Asia. Institute for Security and Development &EUCAM, Stockholm, 5 November.
  • 2009  Nation-states or states of nations? The politics of identity in Central Asia, STINT, Stockholm, 6 November.
  • 2009  Kin-states and ethnic minorities in Central Asia. OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and German Foreign Ministry, Berlin, 19 October.
  • 2009 Central Asian migration to Russia. International Studies Association Annual convention,New York, 14-18 February.
  • 2008 Central Asian Migration to Russia. Russia and Islam Conference, University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, 19-20 June.
  • 2008 Conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and beyond: Tajikistan in the context of the EU engagement in the post-Soviet periphery. ECPR Joint Sessions, Rennes, France
  • 2008 Food Security in Central Asia. European Parliament, Brussels, 8 October.
  • 2007 A ticking bomb or over-dramatised valley? Security issues in the Ferghana Valley. UK Ministry of Defense - University of St Andrews, UK, 2 November.
  • 2007 Explaining Ethnic Mobilization in Central Asia: The case of Uzbek Co-ethnics outside Uzbekistan. Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL,USA, 30 August-2 September.
  • 2007 Tajikistan and the EU: Time for Paradigm Change? Centre for European Policy Studies¸Brussels, 2 March.
  • 2006 Andijan: Views from beyond the border, special panel ‘Andijan one year on: Lessons and Perspectives for the Future’, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 11 May.
  • 2006 A strategic-relational approach to post-Soviet ethnopolitical mobilization. Annual conference of the UK Political Studies Association, University of Reading, 4-6 April.
  • 2006 Soviet legacies, the memory of the 1990 conflict and identity transformation in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. 11th annual conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, 23-25 March.
  • 2005 Soviet nationality policies and minority-building in Central Asia, Institute of Middle East,
  • Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS), University of St. Andrews, 21-22 October.
  • 2005 Mobilizing for whom? Uzbeks, legitimacy and the state in Kyrgyzstan, paper delivered at the 5th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, Boston University, 2 September-2 October.
  • 2002 Uzbeks in the Kyrgyz Republic. Impact on state- and nation-building. Association for the Study of Nationalities annual conference, Columbia University, New York (USA), 4-7 April.


  • BBC Radio Scotland
  • The Toronto Star
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  • The Diplomat
  • Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy)
  • YTN (South Korea)
  • World Politics Review
  • Teledifusão de Macau (TDM) (Macau SAR, China).

Matteo is available for comment on the following topics:

  • Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus
  • Geopolitical risk and energy in Eurasia
  • China and South Korea’s role in Central Asia and South-East Asia
  • Conflicts in the post-Soviet space
  • Authoritarianism and political change in Central Asia
  • Myanmar
  • Korean peninsula


  • 2013-2016 Open Society Foundations, Myanmar Initiative/research and teaching capacity-building project
  • 2016 Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, International Visiting Fellowship
  • 2015-2017 Academy of Korean Studies, Korea’s Engagement in the Global South
  • 2012-2014 Korea Foundation Global E-school in Eurasia 
  • 2015-2017 Academy of Korean Studies, Building a Digital Learning Platform in Korean Studies
  • 2013-2016 Open Society Foundations, China Initiative
  • 2011-2012 Open Society Foundations, Afghanistan and Tajikistan Access Program
  • 2009-2012 Open Society Foundations, Teaching excellence in undergraduate education in the post-Soviet space
  • 2006-2009  British Academy, Small Research Grants
  • 2005-2006 Economic and Social Research Council, UK, Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2002-2004 Economic and Social Research Council, UK, Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2002-2003 British Academy, Field Research Funding
  • 2000-2001 Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Post-Graduate Fellowship