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Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Director of China-Indonesia Desk, Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS)

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is a researcher deeply engaged in exploring the political economy of the China-Indonesia-Middle East relations.

Currently, he serves as the Director of the China-Indonesia Desk at the Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS). Additionally, he maintains affiliations with esteemed institutions globally, including the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics' IDEAS, and the Korea Institute for ASEAN Studies at Busan University of Foreign Studies.

Previously, Zulfikar served as a visiting professor at Bina Nusantara University and Universitas Paramadina.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Zulfikar engages in advisory roles for a diverse array of organizations, including Oxfam, Wikistrat, Gulf State Analytics, Freedom House, Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, Grapevine Asia Partners, Doublethink Lab, and Dialectica, among others. His insights are frequently sought after and he is a regular contributor to esteemed publications such as The New York Times, South China Morning Post, Nikkei Asia Review, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, and Radio Free Asia.

Zulfikar is the recepient of the 'Outstanding Research' award from the Qatar National Research Fund in 2015, and the 'Most Productive Author' award from The Conversation Indonesia in both 2020 and 2022.


  • 2021–present
    Associate faculty member, Binus University
  • 2019–present
    Assistant professor, Universitas Islam Indonesia
  • 2022–present
    Research professor, Busan University of Foreign Studies
  • 2021–present
    Researcher, Center of Economics and Law Studies
  • 2019–2023
    Research associate, Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF)
  • 2021–2021
    Visiting lecturer, Universitas Paramadina


  • 2018 
    The University of Manchester, Ph.D in Politics
  • 2015 
    The University of Manchester, M.A. in International Politics
  • 2014 
    Qatar University, B.A. in International Affairs


  • 2022
    The Political Economy of China-Indonesia Relations in 2021, INDEF
  • 2021
    Neo-Gramscianism and China's Roles in Indonesia, IPB Press
  • 2021
    Islam and China's Diplomacy towards Muslims in Indonesia, Pustaka Pelajar
  • 2021
    The Political Economy of Indonesia-Gulf Relations, Pustaka Pelajar
  • 2020
    The Political Economy of China-Indonesia Relations in 2020, INDEF
  • 2019
    China’s Efforts to Legitimize the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Arabian Gulf, KFRCIS


The Most Productive Author 2020 (The Conversation Indonesia)