Our new PhD students

Our new PhD students

Ayodele Stephen Owolabi

Embedding Human Security into Free Trade Agreements in Africa



BA in Philosophy from the University of Uyo

LLB in Law, University of Buckingham

LLM in International and Commercial Law, University of Buckingham

MA in United Nations and Diplomatic Studies, University of Buckingham

Research Interests

Human Security, Trade Agreements in Africa, Law and Politics of Regional Organisations in Africa

PhD Project

Ayodele’s research is on how community (in)security affects Free Trade Agreements in Africa, with a focus on the problem of implementation, as well as the success and failures of the ECOWAS and SADC to embed community security into their trade agreements.


Dr Debora Malito (XJTLU)

Dr Obert Hodzi (UoL)

Dr Michael Connors (XJTLU)

Professor David Dolowitz (UoL)

Fuqin Pan

Learning to read in Suzhou: the social and cultural implications of reading clubs for preschool children


BA in Business English, East China University of Technology

MLitt in English Language Teaching, the University of Dundee

MS in Media and Communication, University of Liverpool

Research Interests

Children’s reading clubs, values, attitude, interaction, rural-to-urban migrant families

PhD Project

Fuqin’s project mainly explores how preschool children (2-7 years old) in Suzhou learn to read in public and private children reading clubs through observations and interviews. It also studies children’s reading life in rural-to-urban migrant families in an ethnographic approach.


Dr. Nicole Talmacs (XJTLU)

Prof. David Goodman (XJTLU)

Prof. Josie Billington (UoL)

Silence Masiya

Zimbabwe’s conflict watersheds: challenges for peacebuilding


BA in History, Economic History and War and Strategic Studies, University of Zimbabwe

BA Special Honours in War and Strategic Studies, University of Zimbabwe

MA in War and Strategic Studies, University of Zimbabwe

Research Interests

Conflict, peace, politics, terrorism, human and state security and strategic studies.

PhD Project

Silence’s research is focused on continuity and change in approaches to peacebuilding and post-conflict negotiations. He is particularly interested in the recurrence of politically motivated violence, raising questions about what underpins the continuities and what facilitates changes in political, economic, social, and cultural spheres.


Dr. Debora Malito (XJTLU)

Dr. Diana Jeater (UoL)

Dr. Michael Connors (XJTLU)


EU’s digital public diplomacy in China during the Covid-19 pandemic


BSc in Software Engineering, Hebei Normal University

MA in International Relations, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Research Interests

Digital diplomacy, Public diplomacy, EU-China relations, European Foreign Policy.
PhD Project

Xiangdong’s research focuses on the EU’s digital public diplomacy in China during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study aims to demonstrate the practice, nature, and strategy of the EU’s digital public diplomacy from a processual perspective.


Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Dr Ceren Ergenc

Dr Franco Zappettini

Dr Evangelos Fanoulis