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Francesca Mercurio is a joint-International Relations PhD student with King's and the Institute of International Relations of the University of São Paulo (USP).

She hold a BA in Political Science and International Studies (University of Bologna, Italy) and in 2016 she concluded her MA in International Relations (University of Minho, Portugal), receiving a Faculty's Scholarship for Merit. Two months later, she started her PhD in International Relations at the University of São Paulo, funded by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).

During her time at King's, she has received a Santander Scholarship for International Mobility. At USP, she is also a researcher at the Centre of Research in International Relations (NUPRI).


Thesis title: 'Brazil's African policy in the South-Atlantic: Between the solidarity of south-south cooperation and power competition'

Francesca's research focuses on Brazil's African policy in the new millennium, emphasising the strategic role of the South Atlantic Ocean and the cooperation in maritime and energy security between Brazil and some African countries (precisely Angola, Cabo Verde, Ghana and Nigeria). Her research aims to demystify, or at least resize, the concept of solidarity of emerging powers in their South-South relations.

Her main research interests are very diversified and extend in the fields of security studies, Brazilian foreign policy, colonialism/ post-colonialism, global south, south-south cooperation, emerging powers, and international relations of Africa and African security architecture. 

PhD supervision

Further details

See Francesca's research profile