Frank Maracchione is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Sheffield and recipient of an ESRC White Rose Award in the Security, Conflict and Justice Pathway. His PhD project investigates Chinese global influence through the case study of Uzbekistan. The main purpose of the research is to solve the puzzle of Chinese stable relations with Uzbekistan throughout the last two decades (2001-2021), in a context of a fluctuant Uzbek foreign policy and lack of economic or security dependence on China. Specifically, he is interested in the ideational patterns of Sino-Uzbek relations, which he will investigate through the analysis of foreign policy communication and semi-structured interviews with experts during fieldwork.
Frank is a co-convener of SPERI’s Doctoral Researchers Network. He holds an MA in Social Research from the University of Sheffield, an MA in International Relations from the University of Bologna and a BA in Chinese language, culture and society from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He was also a visiting research student at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, where he conducted research for his MA thesis on counterterrorism in China’s Western Xinjiang region and in Central Asia. He worked extensively as Graduate Teaching Assistant in the University of Bologna and the University of Sheffield. Since 2017 he has written for ISPI – Italian Institute for International Politics, OACC – Observatory for Central Asia and the Caspian Sea, and Eurasian Business Dispatch.
Frank’s area of research includes Chinese normative power, Chinese foreign policy, foreign aid and investment (particularly in Central Asia), together with Central Asian politics and international relations. Furthermore, he is interested in mixed-methods research and quantitative text analysis (Structural Topic Model).