Naná de Graaff

Naná de Graaff

My research has two major foci: One is on the (geo)political economy of energy and how the rise of emerging economies such as China impact upon power structures and governance in the energy industry and politics. The other – in close collaboration with Bastiaan van Apeldoorn  - is on US foreign policy since the end of the post Cold War, looking at the domestic and social origins of this strategy and the corporate elite networks in which key foreign policy makers are embedded. In my dissertation, for which I recently received the Faculty Dissertation Prize 2013:, I focused on the rise of non-Western state-owned oil companies and their impact on corporate elite networks and governance at the top of the global oil and gas industry. In current and upcoming projects I look more specifically at Chinese firms and the Chinese business model and shift my view towards the renewable energy industry and the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

I am currently involved in a Chinese-Dutch research project (2013-2017) on The Transnationalization of China’s Energy Industry, funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), co-directed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden University).  I am Member of the Management Committee of the EU COST Action on The Emergence of Southern Multinationals and Their Impact on Europe (, and Vice Chair of the Amsterdam Research Centre on International Political Economy (ARCIPE, based at the VU University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration. I am member of an inter-disciplinary research group titled The Critical Corporation Project, led by City Law School, City University of London (

Main research interests / specialization

Within the sub-disciplines of Political Science, International Relations and International Political Economy, my particular research interests are:

Geopolitics and Political Economy of Energy, State Capital and State Owned Enterprises, Emerging Economies (BRICS), China, US Foreign Policy, Corporate Elite Networks, Social Network Analysis, Power Structure Research.


I teach the following courses at the BSc and MSc level:

Global Political Economy

Politics of International Security

Transnational Political Economy

Workshop International Relations

Capita Selecta Political Science

Bachelor working group (academic and professional skills, Model UN).

Nominated Best lecturer 2012-2013:


Selected recent key publications:

Van Apeldoorn, B, de Graaff, N and Overbeek, H (eds) (2014). The State-Capital Nexus in the Global Crisis (Rethinking Globalizations). London and New York: Routledge,

De Graaff, N (2012) Oil Elite Networks in a Transforming Global Oil Market. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 53(4): 275-297.

Van Apeldoorn, B and De Graaff, N (2012) Corporate Elite Networks and US Post-Cold War Grand Strategy from Clinton to Obama, European Journal of International Relations, Online first, June 22, DOI:10.1177/1354066111433895

De Graaff, N (2012) The Hybridization of the State-Capital Nexus in the Global Energy Order. Globalizations, 9 (4): 531-545.

Van Apeldoorn, B, De Graaff, N and Overbeek, H (eds.) (2012) The Rebound of the Capitalist State: The Rearticulation of the State-Capital Nexus in the Global Crisis, Special Issue of: Globalizations, 9(4).

De Graaff, N (2011) A Global Energy Network? The Expansion and Integration of non-triad National Oil Companies. Global Networks, 11 (2): 262-283.


Winner Faculty Dissertation Prize 2013:

Chairing and organizing Roundtable: US Grand Strategy, Think Tanks and the Asia Pivot, International Studies Association 55th Annual Convention 25-29 March, 2014, Toronto, Canada, with: Stephen Walt, Joseph Nye, Christopher Layne, Inderjeet Parmar, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn.

Organising Panel Series: Elites in Global Politics, at International Studies Association 55th Annual Convention 25-29 March, 2014, Toronto, Canada: Chinese Elites in a Multi-polar World: Strategies, Interests, and Challenges and Transnational Elite Networks and the Transformation of Global Governance.

Invited speaker at City University of London Workshop: Elites and American Power, organized by Obama research network, 28 February 2014, London, UK. 

Invited talk: Energy Security in the 21st Century: Conflict or Collaboration?, SIB Leiden (Studentenvereniging voor Internationale Betrekkingen), 29 January 2014 Leiden University.


Amsterdam Research Centre for International Political Economy (ARCIPE):

EU COST Action Networks ‘Emergence Southern Multinationals’:

The Critical Corporation Project:


Please download Naná de Graaff's CV here

Contact details

Naná de Graaff
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department Political Science
De Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Room Z-327
Telephone:+31 20 5986902

Visit Naná de Graaff's departmental website >