My research focuses on International Political Economy with a particular emphasis on the resource curse and the governance of natural resources. It is often argued that well-functioning institutions can reduce patronage and codfdrruption in resource-rich countries. In my research, I focus specifically on how transparency reforms affect the relationship between natural resources and development. My published work analyzes the causes and consequences of transparency reforms in all resource-rich countries (with a special focus on Eurasia and the Middle East) using both qualitative and quantitative methods, combining comparative case studies with statistical analyses. I find that transparency reforms can often be misleading, a phenomenon I call ‘mock transparency’. My results show that governments carry out transparency reforms selectively in order to maintain and attract foreign direct investment while leaving embedded corruption networks intact. On this topic, I published refereed journal articles in Energy Policy (Impact Factor: 4.039), Resources Policy (Impact Factor: 2.695), Europe-Asia Studies (Impact Factor: 0.842), Eurasian Geography and Economics (Impact Factor: 1.104), Communist and Post-Communist Studies (Impact Factor: 0.722), and most recently in Extractive Industries and Society (Impact Factor: 1.312).

My current research focuses on a book manuscript named ‘The Transit Curse’. In this book, I am developing a new theoretical concept called ‘the transit curse’, which explores the largely ignored geopolitical dynamics of the resource curse and highlights the increased vulnerability of energy transit countries in Eurasia. On this topic, I have recently published a research article in Geopolitics (Impact Factor: 1.852).

I have recently been awarded an Open Research Area (ORA) funding for my collaborative project titled ‘Frames in Production: actors, networks, diffusion’ (FRAMENET) (2021-2024). I am a Co-Investigator for the project in a team comprised of six colleagues (Özlem Atikcan from Warwick, Philip Leifeld from Essex and Kerem Öge from Aston, Anna Holzscheiter from Dresden in Germany, Jean Frédéric Morin and Yannick Dufresne from Laval in Canada). The project is funded jointly by the ESRC in the UK, DFG in Germany, and SSHRC in Canada. The total budget including all three countries is around £1,000,000. The project will seek to trace the origins of communication frames globally in six issue areas: trade, immigration, health, environment, and transparency. It will look particularly into the networks of frames and how they diffuse, using discourse network analysis (an application of social network analysis).