Sanne van der Lugt

Former 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.


  • Europe in the World
  • Asia
  • Trade and Globalisation
  • New Silk Road


  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Sub Saharan Africa

Dr. Sanne van der Lugt joined Clingendael in 2019-2021 as a Research Associate. Her research is aimed at the consequences of China’s re-emergence as a global power for Europe, with a special focus on China’s economic activities in Africa and China’s position in the fourth industrial revolution.

Prior to joining Clingendael Institute she worked for (among others) the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University and Profundo – a Dutch not-for-profit research center on sustainability. She conducted fieldwork in various African countries for projects commissioned by Oxfam, WWF and the European Commission regarding the social and environmental impacts of Chinese investments.   

Sanne van der Lugt has an MSc in Culture, Organization and Management from the VU Amsterdam and an MA in International Studies from Stellenbosch University – in cooperation with the Peace Research Institute Oslo. In 2018 she obtained her PhD degree at the University of Bremen based on a dissertation on Chinese investments in Africa, including a case on Chinese telecom infrastructure companies in Nigeria.  

Sanne van der Lugt is also a freelance policy advisor and intercultural competence trainer and trains and advises senior managers of European and Chinese firms about doing business in respectively China and Europe.

Expertise: China-Africa relations, Chinese outward investments, Digital Silk Road, 5G and Smart cities. Read Sanne's article 'The 5G political power game'

My work



Europe in the World

A 'smart' Smart City plan

07 October 2019 - 17:17