Mr Peter Braga
Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Politics
- Joined UCL
- 26th Sep 2016
My current research is driven by four related themes: (1) authoritarian persistence; (2) East Europe-China relations; (3) emerging powers; and (4) sentiment analysis. Each theme is briefly discussed below.
Authoritarian persistence refers to the strategies autocratic regimes use to prolong survival and remain in power. In particular, I am working to better understand the international dimensions of authoritarian persistence. This field of study investigates how autocratic regimes use their position within the international system to promote internal stability and non-democratic domestic rule.
Case studies for my research focus on Belarus, Ukraine and Russia’s development of ties with China from 2006–2016. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, which have nondemocratic or backsliding regimes throughout my research timeframe, to varying degrees attempt to use relations with China to maintain their internal support coalitions.
This leads into my second research theme of East Europe-China relations. Understandably, a special area of interest is Chinese bilateral relations with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. There is a great deal of literature on China’s bilateral relations with Russia, but there is scant academic research on China’s foreign relations with Belarus and Ukraine.
A central focus of this research is how post-Soviet states are attempting to take advantage of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as China’s new Silk Road.
Research into the BRI is important. The BRI exemplifies China’s gaining ability to set the global agenda.
As part of my current research, I am writing a book on the “Eurasian” elements of the BRI. The book project is a country-by-country overview of Eurasia’s local responses to the BRI from 2013–2018.
My third research theme is emerging powers. Inevitably, my research also deals with how to best understand China as an emerging power. The question I am interested in is what kind of impact a rising China will have upon international politics and economics.
The fourth research theme is the research method of sentiment analysis. As part of my PhD research, I conducted a Russian-language sentiment analysis on political speeches given by presidents, prime ministers, and ministers of foreign affairs in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The tools and Russian-language corpus I developed for my thesis is publicly available online for non-commercial use at RUB Corpus and Code website.
Taught Modules, 2022–2023, at UCL SSEES
Introduction to Discourse Analysis (SEES0106)
Qualitative Methods (SEES0128)
Understanding Politics II: How Politics Works (SESS0017)
Post-Soviet Politics and Society (SESS0035)
Tutorial Leader, 2022–2023, at UCL SSEES
The Crisis of 1989 and the New Global Revolutions (SESS0050)
International and Regional Politics of Eurasia (SESS0081)
Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, 2016–2022, UCL SSEES
Russian Politics and Society (2016, 2018, and 2021)
Understanding Politics: How Politics Works (2019 and 2022)
Understanding and Analysing Data (an intro to statistics course) (2021)
- Jagiellonian University, Krakow , Poland
- Other higher degree, Magister | 2014
- University of Victoria
- First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 2011
My roots are in Asia—Hong Kong and Macau to be specific. My family on my father’s side is of Portuguese extraction with a long and distinguished history in Hong Kong (S. Braga 2015, 137–164 and 311–342).
I have worked many jobs in as many places. I got my first job when I was 14-years-old flipping burgers at Wendy’s. Until I was 19, I worked mainly minimum wage positions and played in punk/hardcore bands in British Columbia, Canada.
From 20–27, I did three things in tandem: I worked on my undergraduate degree, played music, and taught English as a second language. My degree kept me based in Victoria, BC, Canada (when I was not studying languages in Taiwan, China, and Russia). My bands took me to many places in Canada. My English teaching took me to Finland, Sweden, China, and Poland.
From 27 onward, I have returned to academia and developed my translation skills.
Braga, S. (2015). Making impressions: a Portuguese family in Macau and Hong Kong, 1700-1945. Macau: Instituto Internacional de Macau. Available at: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/10180/2/02Whole_Braga.pdf.