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Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is an academic focusing on the political economy of China-Indonesia-Middle East trilateral relations.

He is presently affiliated with the Jakarta-based Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics' IDEAS, Center of Economics and Law Studies, and Korea Institute for ASEAN Studies at Busan University of Foreign Studies.

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

Besides carrying out consulting work for various organisations, including Oxfam, Wikistrat, Gulf State Analytics, Freedom House, Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, Grapevine Asia Partners, Doublethink Lab, Dialectica, among others, he is also regularly quoted in major leading newspapers, including New York Times, South China Morning Post, Nikkei Asia Review, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, Radio Free Asia, and others.

Zulfikar received the 'Outstanding Research' award from Qatar National Research Fund in 2015 and the 'Most Productive Author' award from The Conversation Indonesia in 2020 and 2022.


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