Jonathan Holslag On world order and disorder

Jonathan-Holslag-professeur-de-politique-internationale-la-VUB-Some words about my work… I teach international politics at the Free University Brussels. My research focuses on international relations, great power politics and Europe’s position in the changing global order. I am a convinced generalist! It is my belief that the study of international politics is best served by a holistic approach that combines theory with facts and connects the different layers of diplomacy: economics, military force, norms, etc.

I consider myself an old-fashioned academic and love to spend time at home in the Belgian countryside to read, think, and write. As the Italian humanist Francesco Vettori put it: zest one draws from the folly of the crowd, inspiration comes with travelling, sagacity only matures in uttermost tranquillity.

My books include China’s coming war with Asia (Polity and others, 2015), De Kracht van het Paradijs (Bezige Bij, 2014), Trapped Giant (Routledge, 2011), and China and India: Prospects for Peace (Columbia University Press, 2010). Luckily, they were all well received and widely reviewed in news media like The Economist, the Times, the Financial Times and Time Magazine. My academic papers were picked up by journals like Survival, International Spectator, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, etc. Since a few years, I also had the pleasure of reviewing papers for different international publishers and research commissions.

Being based in the capital of Europe, I benefited a lot from exchanges with diplomats, officials, and politicians. I contributed to various study projects organized by European and international institutions. In 2007 and 2008, I was the coordinator of the EU-China Academic Network (ECAN), an academic forum established by the European Commission. In 2007 and 2010, I worked as leader of a multidisciplinary research group that prepared several reports on China’s foreign policy and economic transition for the European Parliament. In 2008, I evaluated the EU’s Asia Strategy for the European Commission. Most interesting were also the opportunities to advise Fortune Global 500 companies on their Asia strategy and to exchange views with board members of these firms.

In 2014, became a Rockefeller Fellow of the Trilateral Commission, a member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, and a Nobel Fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo. I was also nominated into the World Economic Forum and participated in various young leader programmes, including those of South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. In 2015, I was appointed special advisor to European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and became part of the wise men panel of the Belgian Minister of Defence. I founded the Friday Group, a reflection group of young Belgian leaders, supported by the King Baudouin Foundation. I serve as a reservist with the small but brave Belgian armed forces.

Besides academic and policy related work, I like to dive into the public debate. I very much enjoy the challenge of summarizing complex ideas in debates on television channels such as CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, CCTV or Al Jazeera, and to encapsulate my thoughts in punchy analyses that have found their way to newspapers like the Financial Times, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, China Daily, etc. All this has been facilitated with generous funding of the Research Foundation Flanders.Fleuron

Hitting the Silk Road in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM – he Silk Road is popular again, both as a result of growing cultural fascination with Asia and political fascination with the economic opportunities of consumer markets in the West. The Chinese President recently came to Amsterdam and other European capitals to urge for the development of a new trade corridor between the two... read more 1 comment