Mohammadbagher Forough

Research Associate
Associates are experts in their own field and contractually affiliated with Clingendael. Although associates are not employees of the Clingendael Institute, they comply with all policies that Clingendael staff do.


  • Strategic Foresight
  • Geostrategic risk management
  • New Silk Road


  • Asia

Expertise: geopolitics, geo-economics, security studies, OBOR (B&R), energy security, infrastructure, connectivity, China, Iran.

Dr. Mohammadbagher Forough is an assistant professor (‘universitair docent’) at Leiden University, where he works at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and the department of International Studies. At these two departments, he teaches MA and BA courses and supervises theses on international relations in general and the international political economy of Asia and Middle East in particular. He completed his PhD in International Relations and Security Studies at Groningen University (2015).

Mohammadbagher Forough’s specific areas of expertise include the contemporary International relations and international political economy of China with a focus on the Chinese New Silk Road (NSR) initiative, also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or Belt and Road (B&R). His other area of expertise is the contemporary geopolitics and geo-economics of the Middle East, especially after the lifting of Iranian sanctions. The geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics and rivalries in the region and also the region’s involvement in China’s NSR initiative are the major foci of his research on the region.

As a research associate at the Clingendael Institute, he is one of the two editors of the New Silk Road Forum, which is dedicated to providing a multifaceted analysis of the Chinese New Silk Road initiative. He is also a member in the Clingendael Geostrategic Risks team, which provides the private sector with geopolitical and macroeconomic risk analysis.

My work