Alumni Postdoc Fellow

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: alessandra.cappelletti@spam


Dr Alessandra Cappelletti joined the Centre as a Postdoc Fellow from October 2016 to March 2017. She will be conducted her research under the joint fellowship programme 'Trans-border Cooperation in East Asia at the Regional/Global Interface' by the Institute of East-Asian Studies (IN-EAST) and the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21).

Research Project at the Centre

Cultural Diplomacy Along the Silk Road: Dynamics and Impact in the Obor Countries

Cultural diplomacy (CD) serves as an important aspect of successful bi-lateral and multi-lateral diplomacy. People-to-people bonds is one of the five goals of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative launched in 2013 by the Chinese President Xi Jinping during an official speech ('Promote People-to-People Friendship and Create a Better Future') at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University in the country's capital Astana. The clear emphasis on culture as an increasingly important aspect of international relations, and as a key element in globalization and communication technology, able to reshape power dynamics among social actors, represents a turning point in Chinese foreign policy strategies. My research project is aimed at understanding how CD implemented by Chinese state and non-state actors impacts and influences the knowledge and perception about China among local communities along the New Silk Road Economic Belt, reshaping the balances of power both at the local and regional level. Starting from the assumption that Chinese cultural diplomacy is becoming more and more sophisticated and that the OBOR initiative is potentially at first an intercultural project, and secondly an infrastructural one, the final aim of the research is to get insights on how Chinese CD is reshaping the regional environment in terms of alliances (government to government, non-government to non-government and government to non-government) and to assess the initiative impact in terms of socio-economic development at the local level. As case studies I selected two countries along the New Silk Road Economic Belt: Pakistan and Turkmenistan.      

Research Interests

  • Development Sociology
  • Chinese Foreign Policy
  • Minority Studies
  • Fieldwork Methodology
  • Chinese Culture and Cultural Diplomacy
  • China in Central and South Asia
  • Cooperation of Minority Elites in the State Apparatus

Current Projects

  • 'Agricultural Land Issues and Cooptation Process of Uyghur Minority Élites into the Chinese Party State' (monograph project)
  • 'Metropolis in Asia' (inter-university and inter-faculty project developed by the University of Naples L'Orientale)
  • Think Tanks on China: Centro Studi sulla Cina Contemporanea (
  • Online media on China
  • Study tours and cultural trips to China and to the Chinese Silk Road for university and high school students in collaboration with local universities and media associations


Since 04/2016 Centro Studi sulla Cina contemporanea Research Centre on Contemporary China Milan, Italy
Board of Directors
Since 03/2016 LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, Italy
Working Section International Relations with specialization on China
Teaching Assistant
Since 11/2016, Rome, Italy
President and Member of the Board of Directors
Since 02/2014, Rome, Italy
Management and Editorial Board
Co-founder and Contributor
Since 07/2013 The American University of Rome, Italy
International Relations Program
Adjunct Professor
09/2014-06/2016 Confucius Institute at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Italy
Course of Journalistic Chinese
11/2013-04/2013 University of Naples 'Federico II', Italy
Degree in Project Management of Touristic Systems
02/2009-04/2013 Minzu University of China and University of Naples 'L'Orientale', Italy
Phd course in Eastern and Southern Asian Studies, and in Law with Specialization in Ethno-Sociology (dual degree)
PhD Student
09/2001-07/2002 University of Padua, Italy
Master Student of International Relations
09/1994-06/2001 University of Venice 'Ca'Foscari', Italy
Bachelor and Master Student of Oriental Studies

Selected Publications

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2016): Transformations in Xinjiang Rural Areas: Responses and Reactions by Uyghur Local Communities, in Perspectives Chinoises, special issue 'Entre Adaptation, Contournement et Affrontement: Les Ouïghours Face au Modèle de Modernisation Chinois', Paris: CEFC.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2016): La Strategicità Della Regione Dello Xinjiang e le Sue Complessità (The Strategic Importance Of Xinjiang Region And Its Complexity), in Matteo Bressan (ed.), Eurasia e Jihadismo, Rome: Carocci.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2016): Kashgar And Shihezi: Socio-Economic Disparities and Development Gap, in Anna Hayes and Michael Clarke (eds.), Inside Xinjiang: Space, Place and Power in China's Muslim Far Northwest, London: Routledge.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2015): Developing the Land and the People: Social Development Issues in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (1999–2009), in East Asia 32 (2).

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2015): La Proiezione Cinese in Asia Centrale: Il Caso del Kazakhstan E Dell'affitto dei Terreni Agricoli (Chinese Soft Power in Central Asia: The Case of Kazakhstan and the Agreements on Agricultural Land), in Rivista di politica, Cosenza: Rubbettino.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2014): Ethnicity Reconsidered. Land Acquisition and Power Dynamics in the Kashgar Prefecture, in Dalny Vychod, IV (1), Olomouc: Olomouc University Press.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2014): Social Change in Kashgar: From a Cultural and Religious Oasis along the Silk Road to the 'Dubai of Central Asia', in Proceedings of the 'Social Changes in China' Academic Workshop, Rome: Aracne Editrice.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2014): Land Acquisition Dynamics in the Rural Areas of the Kashgar Prefecture, in Minutes of the XIV Workshop of the Italian Association of Chinese Studies, Naples: Libreria L'Orientale Editrice.

Cappelletti, Alessandra, and Zhang Anfu (2012): Study on the Development of the Tuntian System in Northern Xinjiang during the Qing Dynasty, in Ming Qing STUDIES 2012, Rome: Aracne Editore.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2012): Note on the Mongolian Landscape Map: Exhibition at Terme di Diocleziano, Rome, in Ming Qing STUDIES 2012, Rome: Aracne Editore.

Cappelletti, Alessandra, and Abduresit Jelil Qarluq (2012): Chapter on Uyghur Peoples in the 60-volumes Encycloped 《中国各民族》 'Peoples of China', joint project of Minzu University of China, Ethnic Minority Study Center of China (EMSCOC) and Shanghai Yilin Press.

Cappelletti, Alessandra (2010): Gli Uiguri del Xinjiang: Processi Politici e Dissenso tra Cina e Asia Centrale (Uyghurs in Xinjiang: Political Processes and Dissent between China and Central Asia), in ISPI Analysis 9, ISPI: Milan.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • International Relations of East Asia, Department of International Relations, American University of Rome, adjunct faculty (from July 2013)
  • International Relations with a focus on China, Department of International Relations, University LUISS Guido Carli, Rome, teaching assistant (from March 2016)
  • Journalistic Chinese Confucius Institute at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', adjunct professor (September 2014–June 2016)
  • Interfaculty seminar 'Metropolis in Asia', University of Naples L'Orientale, lecturer (May–June 2014)
  • Seminar on 'Ethnic Identity and Borders: Socio-economic Changes in Peripherical China', degree in Project Management of Touristic Systems, University of Naples Federico II (November 2013–December 2013)

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Consultant for sociological and legal aspects for the Land Allocation Monitoring Mission – Sino-German Poverty Alleviation Program, Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. Financing Agency of the Project: Kfw Entwicklungsbank, Frankfurt, and the Chinese Ministry of Finance (first mission: 20 August–20 September 2011; second mission: 20 August–7 September 2012)
  • Responsible for the Association Cinaforum consultancy project for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. Tasks: monthly reports on Chinese economy and Europe-China business exchanges (since May 2016)
  • Press office and marketing development for the project Interventi Civili di Pace ( aimed at establishing peaceful frameworks of governmental and NGOs cooperation in crises areas (January 2008–September 2009)

Seminars and Conferences

  • Invited speaker at 'The Socio-Economic Impact of the Shift From Long-term to Short-term Agricultural Land Contracts on the Local Communities in the Kashgar Prefecture', talk at Columbia University, New York, the Inner Asia Curriculum Project and the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia, SIPA School of International and Public Affairs, United States (13 April 2016)
  • Invited speaker at 'China-India. Distant Neighbors', lecture for undergraduate students in the framework of the course 'History and Institutions of Contemporary Asia', Department of Asian and African Studies, University of Venice 'Ca' Foscari', Italy (24 November 2015)
  • Selected speaker at 'China's Strategy in Central Asia: The Case of Kazakhstan' at the panel 'Caucasus and the Caspian Regions in the International System', Sgri 2015 (Italian Standing Group on International Relations), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy (25–27 June 2015)
  • Panel chair at 'The New Xinjiang: Towards a Reassessment of the Interpretative Binarisms Center-Periphery and Urban-Rural' at the panel 'Metropolis in Asia: Representations and Reconfigurations of Contemporary Urban Spaces', The Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Meiji Gakuin University, Shirokane Campus, Tokyo, Japan (20–21 June 2015)
  • Invited speaker at 'Plural Identities: The Impact of Socio-Economic Change on Uyghur Population in Contemporary Xinjiang', seminar on research methodology for PhD students, Department of Oriental Studies (ISO), University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Italy (9 June 2015)
  • Invited speaker at ' From the Blog to the Online Journal' and 'Sinological Research in Chinese Border Areas', lectures at the Master in Global Management China, Ca' Foscari Challenge School, Università 'Ca' Foscari' di Venezia, Venice, Italy (10 December 2014)
  • Selected speaker at 'Understanding 'Rule of Law' in Contemporary Xinjiang. Land Acquisition Dynamics and Legality in Han and Uyghurs' Contexts', New European Research on Contemporary China Conference, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and Sino-French Academic Centre (CFC, Tsinghua University), Beijing, China (2–4 July 2014)
  • Invited speaker at 'Dal Piccolo Appezzamento All'impresa Agricola Nella Regione Del Xinjiang' (From Plots to Large-Scale Intensive Agriculture In The Xinjiang Region), SIII 2014–VII edition, interdisciplinary, inter-university and inter-faculty workshop, University of Milan, Faculty of Political, Economic and Social Sciences, Milan, Italy (19–20 May 2014)
  • Selected speaker at 'From "Land as a Common" to "Commodity Land" in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region' at the international workshop on 'Disorder, Action and the "Public Good" in China', University of Lausanne, Switzerland (6–7 December 2013)
  • Selected speaker at 'Elite Co-optation Dynamics in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Uyghur Muslim Officials in Rural Xinjiang', SEG Jahrestagung, panel 'Current Contributions to Chinese Anthropology', Sierre, Switzerland (7–9 November 2013)
  • Selected speaker at 'Ethnicity Reconsidered: The Uyghurs and the Power in China's Muslim Region of Xinjiang', 7th Annual Conference on Cultural and Social Anthropology of East Asia, Art Centre, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic (31 October –2 November 2013)
  • Selected speaker at 'Land Acquisition Dynamics in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: The Impact on Land Patterns and Floating Population', the 11th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS) 'Responsible China', University of Turku, Finland (11–14 June 2013)
  • Panel coordinator for 'Land Acquisition and Land Grabbing in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region—Towards a Sociological Understanding of a Complex Phenomenon' at the National Biennial Conference of the Italian Association for Chinese Studies (AISC), panel title 'The Contribution of The Socio-Anthropological Approaches to the Chinese Studies: Theoretical Perspectives and Outcomes', Università degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale', Procida School of Advanced Studies, Naples, Italy (9–21 September 2013)


  • Italian Association of Chinese Studies (AISC)
  • Italian Association for the Study of Central Asia and Caucasus (ASIAC)
  • Research Center on Contemporary China (CSCC, co-founder and member of the BoD)
  • Cultural Association CINAFORUM (president and founder)
  • Chinese Economic Association (CEA)

Dr Philip Liste

Dr. Blayne Haggart

Prof. Dr Marianne Marchand

Dr Tamirace Fakhoury

Dr Adam Sandor

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Dr Bettina Mahlert

Dr Franz Mauelshagen

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr Ying Shen

Prof. Dr Andreas Thiel

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Micheline van Riemsdijk

Prof. Dr Wouter Werner

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Gerardo Bracho

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Dr Petra Gümplová

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Joe Hoover

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair