Nicholas Ross Smith is an Assistant Professor of International Studies at the University of Nottingham’s Ningbo campus in China. His main research areas include geopolitics in Eastern Europe (and more broadly, regional settings), EU foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, democratisation, and International Relations theory. He has published a number of journal articles, essays and commentaries on these topics (and others) and also has published a book which looks at EU-Russian relations and the Ukraine crisis (with Edward Elgar).
Nicholas has four main areas of specialisation: foreign policy analysis, especially EU foreign policy and Russian foreign policy; geopolitics & geoeconomics, especially Eastern Europe but also Asia-Pacific; international relations theory, especially neoclassical realism but also constructivism; democracy & democratisation, especially Athenian democracy & post-Soviet democratisation.
Nicholas’ has three main current research interests at the moment. One research project concerns the perils of hedging for smaller states in geopolitically-charged regional security complexes. Of particular interest is Ukraine’s failed hedge of the EU and Russia from 2010 to 2013 but also historical examples, such as Yakub Beg’s foreign policy-making during the Dungan Rebellion.
Another research project examines the limitations of the external promotion of democracy and the crucial role elite factions within a democratizing state play in determining whether democratic reform is successfully undertaken or not. Research on the cases of Hungary and Ukraine has been undertaken.
The last research project considers how cryptocurrencies might affect international politics through challenging the United States’ financial hegemony. The research looks at both independent cryptocurrencies and state-backed ones and postulates how this rapidly evolving technology might be a game-changer.