Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Francesca Ghiretti received her PhD from War Studies, King’s College London where she was awarded the Leverhulme Scholarship as part of the project ‘Interrogating Visions of a Post-Western World: Interdisciplinary and Interregional Perspectives on the Future in a Changing International Order’. At KCL, she is also a fellow at the Centre for Grand Strategy.

Currently, Francesca is an analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) where she covers EU-China relations, economic security, China's engagement in the Global South, China's footprint in Southern Europe and UK-China relations. Francesca is also a Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Before joining MERICS, she worked as a Research Fellow Asia at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome leading a project on the Belt and Road Initiative in Italy. Previously, she also worked as a geopolitical analyst for CQS, a London-based hedge fund and as assistant to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Secretary General of NATO.

Research Interests

  • EU- China
  • Foreign direct investments
  • Securitization
  • UK-China
  • Italy-China
  • Economic security



The securitization of Chinese foreign direct investments in the EU

The phenomenon of foreign direct investments (FDI) originating from China and flowing into the European Union has been receiving growing attention, particularly in light of the implications Chinese FDI carry that transcend economy. This research seeks to give its contribution to the state of the art by looking at the phenomenon through the lens of the theory of securitisation of non-traditional security issues (NTS). Rather than measuring the nature, scope and impact of Chinese FDI in the EU, this project seeks to understand why the EU and two states, Italy and the UK, have begun to view Chinese FDI as a security threat and thus, transformed an economic matter into a security concern.


Dr Nicola Leveringhaus

Dr Jan Knoerich