Universiteit Leiden

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Ruben Gonzalez Vicente


Dr. R. Gonzalez Vicente
+31 71 527 2727

My work lies at the intersection of political economy, political geography, development studies, and critical geopolitics. I am particularly interested in South-South relations, China’s global footprint (with a specific focus on China’s engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean), conflict around natural resources and development, and the transformation of politics under late capitalism.

More information about Ruben Gonzalez Vicente


The broad focus of my research is South-South relations, although I am critical of statist understandings of the ‘South’ that ignore the many problematic power relations that characterize the ‘rise of the South’ under late capitalist and post-colonial conditions. My research has paid particular attention to the developmental patterns that emerge out of China’s engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean. From this vantage point, I have engaged debates on issues such as the internationalization of Chinese capital, China’s foreign policy, the developmental impacts of Chinese investments and development cooperation, and the role of natural resources in contested processes of development. More recently, I have also written a number of articles on the contemporary transformation of politics following decades of neoliberal globalization.


I am willing to supervise MA students on projects concerning South-South relations and development cooperation (with a particular interest in China); the politics of international development; natural resources and development; neoliberalism and state transformation; and the contemporary rise of nationalism and populism in a context of neoliberal globalization. For PhD projects, I welcome enquiries from prospective applicants interested in topics related to my own research, including China’s relations with the Global South (in particular Latin America and the Caribbean); the role of natural resources in processes of development; and the transformation of politics under late capitalism.

Research interests

  • Global Political Economy
  • Critical Development Studies
  • Critical Geopolitics
  • South-South Relations
  • China's Relations with Latin America and the Caribbean

Curriculum vitae


2009 - 2012: PhD in Geography, St. John's College, University of Cambridge.
2007 - 2009: MPhil in Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong.
2006 - 2007: Diploma in Chinese Language, Peking University.
2003 - 2007: BA in Chinese Studies, Autonomous University of Madrid.
2000 - 2005: BA in English Philology, University of A Coruña.

Appointments held

2017: University Lecturer, LIAS, Leiden University
2012 - 2016: Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong 


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS China


  • Firetree Foundation Hong Kong Director - advising on funding decisions
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