Friso Stevens is a China and East Asian affairs specialist at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, and a fourth-year doctoral scholar at the Leiden University Institute of Security and Global Affairs. Friso studies the relationship between China’s bureaucratic and elite politics, and changes in its foreign policy, operating on the nexus between international security studies, strategy, and China studies.
His primary research agenda pertains to the debate on the resurgence of China, its strategic implications for the broader Asia-Pacific, and how China’s quest for “national rejuvenation” is driven by socio-historical factors. Well-versed in contemporary Chinese politics, and autocratic popular mobilization, Friso has a knack for deciphering the intricacies of CCP propaganda and organizational doctrine.
Other research interests include US foreign policy; the changing global power configuration and world order; Dutch and European economic security; and Southeast Asian regionalism.
From 2017-2020, Friso was a lecturer in Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where he taught qualitative research courses involving Dutch politics, representative democracy, and populism. In addition to lecturing on the regional diplomacy of the South China Sea disputes, he supervised Bachelor and Master’s theses on China and East Asia.
In 2018, Friso joined that year’s cohort of the Pacific Forum Young Leadership program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Prior to commencing his Ph.D. program at Leiden University, Friso spent two years in Beijing studying Chinese politics and foreign policy at Peking University’s School of International Studies as a Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Scholarship student and Prince Bernhard Culture Fund fellow, earning a Master’s degree in International Relations.
Friso started his academic career at the Law Faculty of the Vrije Universiteit, where he obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Law. He completed half of the latter degree at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, where he specialized in international and humanitarian law.
Subsequently, Friso completed the interdisciplinary Master in Law and Politics of International Security, also at the Vrije Universiteit, in the course of which he conducted foreign policy research at its Political Science Department and at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.