Sebastian Biba

Post-Doctoral Fellow


Dr. Sebastian Biba is a DAAD Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC and currently on leave from his position as a lecturer/research fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. His research interests lie in the areas of China’s foreign relations, Asia-Pacific security, and US-China-Europe triangular relations. At SAIS, he focuses on analyzing processes of great power responsibilization in connection with non-proliferation and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 

Dr. Biba has earned his PhD in Political Science from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, and his MA in Chinese Studies, Political Science and Law from the same institution. He also holds a BA in Chinese Studies from the University of Vienna, Austria. In the past, he was a visiting fellow at the School of International Studies of Peking University in Beijing, China, and at the Institute of Asian Studies of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, Germany.

Prior to and during his PhD, Dr. Biba lived and studied in Greater China (mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) for more than three years. He has also conducted numerous research trips to China, the Mekong countries and Singapore. In addition, he has been interviewed on topics related to China’s foreign policy and East Asian international relations in German television and radio broadcast. His major publications have appeared in various high-ranking peer-reviewed journals from the fields of International Relations, Area Studies, Development Studies, and Water Resources Management.



Selected Publications




Forthcoming (2020): Europe in an Era of Growing Sino-American Competition: Coping with an Unstable Triangle, London and New York: Routledge (Co-editor with Reinhard Wolf).


2018: China’s Hydro-politics in the Mekong: Cooperation and Conflict in Light of Securitization Theory, London and New York: Routledge.


Book Chapters


Forthcoming (2020): “China’s Hydro-Hegemony in the Mekong Region: Room for Improvement”, in Jean-François Rousseau and Sabrina Habich-Sobiegalla (eds.), The Political Economy of Hydropower in Southwest China and Beyond, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


2020: “China-India River Conflicts: Towards a Solution through Launching a Cooperation Spiral”, in Kanti Bajpai, Manjari Chatterjee Miller and Selina Ho (eds.), Routledge Handbook on China-India Relations, London and New York: Routledge, 209-24.


Journal Articles


2020: “Ganging Up on Trump? Sino-German Relations and the Problem with Soft Balancing against the USA,” Journal of Chinese Political Science (SSCI), online first.


2018: “China’s ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Mekong River Politics: The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation from a Comparative Benefit-sharing Perspective,” Water International,43:5, 622-41.


2016: “It’s Status, Stupid: Explaining the Underlying Core Problem in US-China Relations,” Global Affairs, 2:5, 455-64.


2016: “Global Governance in the Era of Growing US-China Rivalry: What Options Exist for Europe?” European Foreign Affairs Review, 21:3/1, 47-64.


2016: “From Securitization Moves to Positive Outcomes: The Case of the 2010 Mekong Crisis,” Security Dialogue (SSCI), 47:5, 420-39.  


2016: “The Goals and Reality of the Water-Food-Energy Security Nexus: The Case of China and Its Southern Neighbours,” Third World Quarterly (SSCI), 37:1, 51-70. 


2014: “Desecuritization in China’s Behavior Towards Its Transboundary Rivers: the Mekong River, the Brahmaputra River, and the Irtysh and Ili Rivers,” Journal of Contemporary China (SSCI), 23:85, 21-43. 


2012: “China’s Continuous Dam-building on the Mekong River,” Journal of Contemporary Asia (SSCI), 42:4, 603-28.


Online Contributions


2019: “China’s Hegemonic Choice in the Mekong Region,” East Asia Forum, 30 August.


2017: “North Korea Conflict: It’s All about Security Interests” (in German), guest contribution for Zeit Online, 23 September.


2017: “China in the G20: A Narrow Corridor for Sino-European Cooperation,” GIGA Focus Asia (May) (with Heike Holbig).

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© 2015 The Foreign Policy Institute

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
The Johns Hopkins University