Dr. N. de Graaff

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+31 20 59 86902
faculteit der sociale wetensch ( afdeling bestuurswetenschap en politicologie )
University lecturer


Dr. Nana de Graaff (1973) is Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and Programme director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is Honorary Fellow (2016-2017), at the Department of International Politics, City University of London. Since September 2015 she is boardmember of the Dutch Political Science Association (NKWP, Nederlandse Kring voor de Wetenschap der Politiek).

She obtained her doctoral degree in Political Science (cum laude with distinction at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013, and also received her Master-degree International Relations there. De Graaff has studied political science at the Free University in Brussels.


he main research interests of Nana de Graaff are within International Relations and International Political Economy: the globalization of Chinese firms and elites, US foreign policy and post-Cold War administrations, the geopolitical economy of energy and emerging powers, corporate elite networks, and social network analysis.

She publishes in leading journals in International Relations (European Journal of International Relations), journals within the field of International Political Economy and Sociology (e.g.Global Networks, Globalizations, International Journal of Comparative Sociology) and with highly ranked publishers (e.g. Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Palgrave McMillan).

Nana De Graaff is part of many international research networks such as a project on China’s transnationalizing oil industry sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), directed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing and the International Institute on Asian Studies (Leiden). She is co-investigator in the Corporate Mapping Partnership, a large project to systematically map the structure and influence of the fossil fuel corporate sector in Western Canada led by Prof. William Carroll (Victoria University) and a founding member of the Elite Power Investigation Centre (EPIC), a centre for the study of elites in global politics.

With Bastiaan van Apeldoorn she wrote a blog on the American elections (in Dutch) USA 2016 for Ad Valvas.

New book out in paperback

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn and Naná de Graaff (2016) American Grand Strategy and Corporate Elite Networks. The Open Door and its Variations since the End of the Cold War. London and New York: Routledge.


Nana de Graaff was awarded Best Junior Lecturer (2016) prize of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

She teaches courses at BA and MA level in: International Relations and Global Governance, Transnational Political Economy, Global Political Economy, International Security, Academic writing, Supervision Master theses and research papers.

Nana de Graaff is chair of the Program Committee of Political Science Bachelor and Master programmes.


At the annual International Studies Association Baltimore, USA, 22-25 February 2017, Nana de Graaff convenes a panel on China and the Liberal World with e.g. David Skidmore, Matthew Stephen and Inderjeet Parmar, and contributes to two Roundtables: Ordering the World? Liberal Internationalism in Theory and Practice, with e.g. John Ikenberry, Chris Layne and Doug Stokes, and The Contribution of Critical Political Economy: Past, Present, and Future with e.g. Hermann Schwartz and Alan Cafruny.

Nana de Graaff is awarded the Best Junior Lecturer (2016) prize of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Nana de Graaff presented her work on Chinese elites in Global Energy Markets at Wageningen: Political Ecologies of Conflict, Capitalism and Contestation (PE-3C), July 7, 2016.

Together with Prof. Philipp Pattberg from the Institute of Environmental Studies, Nana de Graaff organized a workshop for the VU Lustrum Governance for Society, Scenarios voor Besturen, on June 17th2016 on the role and influence of companies and private power in public and sustainable governance with the title: Business to the Rescue?

Nana de Graaff held a talk on the War on Terror and US foreign policy with Movies that Matter (Amnesty International), ‘Guantanamo’s Child’, Kriterion Amsterdam, May, 11, 2016.

Nana de Graaff and Bastiaan van Apeldoorn held a book launch at City University of London City University, London, April, 7, 2016, and were invited to speak at the launch of the Centre for International Politics (CIPS) Speaking Truth to Power. City University of London, April 8-9 2016.

Nana de Graaff held a talk at the annual PiP (POliticologie in Perspectief) America: The Greatest Nation on Earth? conference in Leiden, on “China’s rise: implications for American Power and the Liberal world”, April15, 2016, Academiegebouw Leiden.

Nana de Graaff received a 1 year research fellowship (parttime) from Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Nana de Graaff and Bastiaan van Apeldoorn received a nomination for the bi-annual Research Prize of the Faculty of Social Sciences, of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, for their innovative joint research programme on the development of American grand strategy and how this has been influenced by the corporate elite networks to which top foreign policy makers are closely related. The full nomination can be read here (in Dutch): http://www.fsw.vu.nl/nl/onderzoek/fsw-prijzen-onderzoek/fsw-onderzoeksprijs/index.aspx#.VqI5-tJgWUk

Together with Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, Nana de Graaff convenes a Roundtable on their recently published book American Grand Strategy and Corporate Elite Networks, and a panel on Sino-US Relations and Liberal World Order: Contending Elites, Colliding Visions?, at the International Studies Association 57th Convention, 16-20 March, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia.


Google citations


For full list of publications: Metis


EPIC aims to foster international and cross-disciplinary research on elite po wer and disseminate its findings among scholars, teachers, journalists, NGOs, trade unions, political parties, activists and anyone else interested in how power works in the contemporary world: http://www.elitepowerinvestigations.com

Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nana_Graaff
Routledge Featured Authors: http://www.routledge.com/authors/i14077-nana-de-graaff

Blog USA 2016, Ad Valvas: http://advalvas.vu.nl/user/4172

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities
Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017