Xinyu YUAN

Doctoral Researcher
Spoken languages
English, Chinese
Areas of expertise
  • International organisations, UN
  • Global order, norm contestation
  • Civil society, social movements and NGOs
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • East Asia
  • Eastern Europe and Russia



Xinyu Yuan is a PhD candidate in Political Science/International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and is a research assistant of the SNSF-funded project “Coherence or Contestation: Chinese, Japanese and Russian Approaches to the Transformation of Peacebuilding Practices” at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP). Before joining CCDP, Xinyu worked for the project “Explaining International Organizations’ Mission Creep: How international Bureaucrats Shape Bioethics” at Global Governance Center affiliated to IHEID.

Xinyu holds a Master's Degree in International Politics from Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China. During her master’s study, she was offered an exchange programme by Erasmusas Mobility Project and studied at University of Trento in Italy for six months. She was the president and editor of a student-organized magazine which conducts massive researches on marginalized groups in the campus as well as in Hangzhou, China. Besides, she translated two chapters of the book “The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations” (by Barry Buzan and George Lawson) into Chinese, which will be published by Zhejiang University Press in 2018. She was also a research assistant of the project “13th Five-Year Plan for Zhejiang Civil Administration Culture”, Funded by Civil Affairs Bureau of Zhejiang Province, China.

Xinyu did a few internships at local grassroots NGOs in China, including Social Enterprise Research Center (SERC) and GreenZhejiang, during which she was involved extensively in policy research and implementation of environmental initiatives. Since her working experience in NGO sector, she developed a strong interest in the interactions between state, civil society and international actors. Her current PhD project looks into the various mechanisms that external players employ to empower local civil society in authoritarian countries.