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About Dr Xuechen Chen

Dr Xuechen Chen is an Assistant Professor in Politics & International Relations at Northeastern University London and a Visiting Research Fellow at the London Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Science, King’s College London. She is also an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Political Science in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at at Northeastern, Boston (2023-2026). Xuechen received her PhD in European Studies at King’s College London and her MSc in European Studies at London School of Economics. She held visiting teaching and research fellowships at SOAS, University of London (2017 – 2019), the European Institute for Asian Studies (2017-2020) and EU Centre in Singapore (2017). Her research expertise lies at the intersection of International Relations and Area Studies. Her research interests include EU external relations with the Asia-Pacific region, China’s foreign policy, regional integration in East Asia, and norm diffusion in international politics (with a particular focus on cyberspace governance and non-traditional security issues).



BA in French Studies, Beijing Language and Culture University (2013)
MSc in European Studies: Ideas and Identities, London School of Economics (2014)
PhD in European Studies, King’s College London (2020)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2020)

Professional Affiliations:

Member, Global Partnership for Responsible Cyber Behaviour (GP-RCB), Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI)
Honorary member, Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS), University of Kent
Member, Cyber Security Research Group at King’s College London
Member, China in Europe Research Network (CHERN)
Member, LSE-Southeast Asia Early Career Researcher Network
Member, NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern University

Dr Xuechen Chen's Research

Xuechen’s research interests include EU external relations with the Asia-Pacific region, China’s foreign policy, regional integration in East Asia, and norm diffusion in international politics. In 2022, Xuechen was awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant with working title: Understanding China’s role as a norm-shaper in cyberspace governance. In 2023, she was awarded two Tier 1 interdisciplinary research grants from Northeastern University. For more information on her research projects and publications, please refer to her personal website:

Recent publications:

Book project:

Understanding the EU’s Norm and Policy Diffusion in ASEAN through Trade and Security Cooperation Normative or Normal Power? (Routledge, 2024)

Co-edited special issue:

Contesting Western and Non-Western Approaches to Global Cyber Governance beyond Westlessness. (2022) The International Spectator 57:3 (with Dr Yifan Yang).

Peer-reviewed articles:

  1. Pennisi di Floristella, Angela., & Chen, X. (2023) Strategic narratives of Russia’s war in Ukraine: perspectives from ChinaPolicy Studies. Online first.
  2. Chen, X. (2023) Bridging Normative and Market Power Europe: The EU’s Diffusion of Market-related Norms and Policies in ASEANJournal of European Integration. 45:4, pages 593-612.
  3. Pennisi di Floristella, Angela., & Chen, X. (2022) Building resilient supply chains in uncertain times: A comparative study of EU and ASEAN approaches to supply chain resilienceAsia Europe Journal.20, pages 457–475.
  4. Chen, X., & Yang, Y. (2022) Contesting Western and Non-Western Approaches to Global Cyber Governance beyond WestlessnessThe International Spectator57:3, pages 48-65.
  5. Gao, X., & Chen, X. (2022) Role enactment and the contestation of global cybersecurity governanceDefence Studies.22 (4): 689-708.
  6. Chen, X. & Yang, Y. (2022) Different Shades of Norms: Comparing the Approaches of the EU and ASEAN to Cyber GovernanceThe International Spectator. 57:3, pages 48-65.
  7. Chen, X. (2022). Unpacking Normative Power Europe: EU Promotion of Security Norm Cluster in ASEANEuropean Security. 31:2, pages 262-288.
  8. Chen, X., & Gao, X. (2021). Analysing the EU’s collective securitisation moves towards ChinaAsia Europe Journal.20, pages 195–216.
  9. Gao, X., & Chen, X. (2021). Understanding the EU’s changing trade policy strategy towards the Asia-Pacific region from a role-theory perspectiveAustralian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies,13(2).
  10. Chen, X., & Gao, X. (2021). An Analysis of the Perception Gap between the EU’s Connectivity Strategy and China’s Belt and Road InitiativeL’Europe en Formation, (2), pages 78-93.
  11. Chen, X., & Gao, X. (2020). Bridging the Capability–Expectations Gap? An Analysis of the New Dynamics in the EU’s Security Strategy Towards AsiaAsia-Pacific Journal of EU Studies,18(3), pages 9-36.
  12. Yang, Y., & Chen, X. (2021). Globalism or nationalism? The paradox of Chinese official discourse in the context of the COVID-19 outbreakJournal of Chinese Political Science, 26(1), pages 89-113.
  13. Chen, X. (2018). The role of ASEAN’s identities in reshaping the ASEAN–EU relationshipContemporary Southeast Asia, 40(2), pages 222-246.

Book chapters:

  1. Gao, X., & Chen, X. (2023). Beyond the dichotomy of hard and soft power: a case study of the EU’s naval engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. in EU in a Globalized World. Routledge.
  2. Chen, X., & Gao, X. (2022). Comparing the EU’s and China’s approaches in data governance. In Understanding the EU as a Good Global Actor(pages 209-225). Edward Elgar Publishing.
  3. Chen, X., & Gao, X. (2020). Exploring the Dynamic Nexus Between the European Union’s Trade and Foreign Policy Toward East Asia. In Global Politics and EU Trade Policy(pages. 115-137). Springer, Cham.

Policy papers and Op-Eds:

  1. Pennisi di Floristella, A., and Chen, X. Russia’s war in Ukraine: mapping China’s perceptions about the United States, the EU and Russia. UK in a Changing Europe (Dec 2023)
  2. Zhang, C., Yang, J. & Chen, X. Is Sino-European cooperation on counter-terrorism possible in the near future?9DASHLINE (Aug 2022)
  3. Chen, X., & Gao, X. The EU casts itself as security-provider in AsiaECPR The Loop(Apr 2022)
  4. Chen, X., & Gao, X. EU foreign policy is damaging relations with China, and dividing EU member states.ECPR The Loop (Nov 2021)
  5. Pacheco Pardo, R., Avedano-Pabon, M., Chen, X. et al. Preventing the Next Pandemic: Lessons from East AsiaKing’s College London(May 2020)
  6. Pacheco Pardo, R., Avedano-Pabon, M., Chen, X. et al. “Learning and Remembering: How East Asia Prepared for Covid-19 over the Years”, published at Global Policy (May 2020).
  7. Chen, X. (2019) “The EU’s Pivot to Asia and EU-China Relations”, published atInstituto Per Gli Studi Di Politica Internationale (ISPI) (Sep 2019)
  8. Spanakos, A. and Chen, X. (2017) “BRICS: Post Xiamen Summit”, published at East Asian Institute NUS Background Brief(Nov 2017)

Ongoing research projects:

  1. Understanding China’s Role as a Norm-Shaper in Cyberspace Governance
    co-investigator: Dr Xinchuchu Gao(University of Lincoln)

This project is funded by the The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant

  1. Artificial Intelligence to unpack the Dynamic Relationships between Media Narratives, Foreign Policy, and Public Opinion
    (co-PIs: Dr Seoeun YangCSSH & CAMD, Northeastern University & Dr Myojung Chung, CAMD, Northeastern University)

This project is funded by Northeastern University Tier 1 Seed Grant

  1. Reimagining cyberspace governance regimes: a multi-layered approach

(co-PIs: Dr Pablo Calderon Martinez, NU London & Dr Ada Lerner, Khoury College of Computer Sciences, Northeastern University)

This project is funded by Northeastern University Tier 1 Seed Grant

Dr Xuechen Chen's Teaching

At Northeastern University London, Xuechen has taught the following courses:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Societies in Transition
  • International Relations: Theory and Practice
  • The European Union in the World
  • International Organisations: Global and Local
  • Global Politics in the Digital Age
  • Research Methods

PhD supervision:

PhD project: “Creating, regulating and securing cyberspace: from AI governance to norm diffusion”, co-supervisors: Professor Shujun Li (University of Kent), Professor Jason Nurse (University of Kent)
PhD researcher: Ms Danni Zhang