SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Daniel Thumpston

BA (Leicester), MSc (Manchester)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Daniel Thumpston
Department of Politics and International Studies

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Daniel Thumpston
Email address:
Thesis title:
Legitimacy in China’s foreign policy: Reception of the "Belt and Road Initiative" in the European Union, 2013-2020 (working title)
Year of Study:
4 (PT)
Internal Supervisors


Dan is a PhD candidate in the department of Politics and International Studies. He has an MSc in Chinese Business and Management and a BA in English and he speaks and reads Mandarin and French. Prior to his doctoral studies he worked in consulting roles in the UK and China and previously worked as an English teacher in China.

PhD Research

Dan researches the politics and international relations of China, looking at legitimacy in Chinese foreign policy and the politics of trade. He uses EU-China relations and China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” as case studies, using official Chinese, EU and EU member state texts to analyse themes and changes in policies and discourses. His research looks at the internationalisation of China’s economic and political norms through the lens of legitimation, and how this challenges and is challenged by the EU’s own norms and values.



  • Politics & International Relations of China
  • Political Economy
  • Politics of trade and investment
  • Legitimacy and power
  • Discourse