Hello!     你好!



I am a Research Associate at the School of Governance of the Technical University of Munich. I was previously a Visiting Scholar at TUM (Munich), Fudan (Shanghai), FGV (Rio de Janeiro), ITAM (Mexico City), JNU (New Delhi) and UIBE (Beijing); Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Geneva and the University of Lucerne; Guest Professor at Hunan University (湖南大学), and regular lecturer at the World Trade Institute in Bern. I am also part of the research team of the Sino-Swiss Competence Centre of the University of St. Gallen (FIM-HSG). 


My publications include the book Domestic Sources of European Foreign Policy and numerous scholarly articles in renowned academic journals such as New Political Economy (2018 IF 3.085, 8th/91 in International Relations) and Regulation & Governance (2018 IF: 2.792) looking at China and emerging economies’ role in global economic governance. My current research looks at agency slack in international institutions and the transformation of international trade and investment by emerging economies, especially China. 


I completed my PhD in International Relations/Political Science at the Graduate Institute. Before Geneva, I obtained a MSc. in Global Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a licenciatura in International Relations from ITAM University. Since 2007, I have been an associate editor for the Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs. Having lived in both sides of the Atlantic helped me learn several languages which link directly to my research interests amongst which Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Mandarin. In pursuing these interests, I learned and applied both qualitative and quantitative methodologies: combining case study analysis, interview material, with regression analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). 


Work Experience

Selected Publications

New!! Book Chapter 


TRIPS Implementation in Developing Countries: Likely scenarios to 2025


Omar Serrano and Mira Burri

In: The Shifting Landscape of Global Trade Governance

Eds. Manfred Elsig, Michael Hahn and Gabriele Spilker 

Cambridge University Press, 2019

This chapter sketches future scenarios of TRIPS implementation in developing countries by looking at past experience, current trends and by comparing historical and cross-country patterns. The chapter focuses on the three largest emerging economies -Brazil, India and China (BICs), since they are those with the highest potential to shape the intellectual property regime.

New!! Special Issue 


Power Transitions and the Rise of the Regulatory State: Global Market Governance in Flux

Regulation & Governance (forthcoming 2019)

Edited by Sandra Lavenex, Omar Serrano and Tim Büthe 

Analyzing the consequences of the ongoing power transition in the world economy through the prism of the regulatory state, this special issue emphasizes the interplay of domestic and international politics that fuels or inhibits the creation of regulatory capacity and capability and thus emerging countries' transition from rule- takers to rule-makers in global markets.

New Political Economy

New!! The New Architects: Brazil, China and Innovation in Multilateral Development Lending 

 Omar Serrano (2018)

Recent academic works have shed light upon the motives and negotiation dynamics leading to the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). We know less about their day-to-day activities and if (and if so why) they are being innovative in the field of multilateral development lending. This article evaluates novelty in the two banks. It uncovers and suggests an explanation to the puzzle of why the NDB appears more innovative (in terms of institutional design, staffing and lending policy guidelines) than the AIIB by exploring the cases of China and Brazil.

Free Trade Agreements as BRI’s Stepping-Stone to Multilateralism: Is the Sino–Swiss FTA the Gold Standard?

Tomas CasasiKlett & Omar Serrano (2018)

Tomas Casas i Klett (China Competence Center, FIM-HSG University of St. Gallen, Switzerland) and Omar Serrano Oswald (University of Geneva, Switzerland) show how FTAs are used by the BRI as stepping-stones for multilateralism. They propose that China’s FTAs are part of a long- term multilateral approach with the potential to be included in the institutional infrastructure of the BRI. By developing a BRI Initiatives Dynamic Evaluation Framework, they emphasize that initiatives under BRI will be subject to decision and evaluation mechanisms that transcend China proper. This means that rather than being static, FTAs are dynamic. The key element in this iteration is the FTA upgrade, which includes trade impact analyses, business agent surveys, utilization rates, and signaling effects. The Sino–Swiss FTA is evaluated as a case study. 

European Foreign Affairs Review

Special Issue: 

EU and US regulatory power under strain? Emerging countries and the limits of external governance

Edited by Sandra Lavenex and Omar Serrano (2017)

The EU and the US are at the origin of most international institutions and rules for both trade and finance, and both have long exported their preferred policies to the rest of the world. Today, this hegemonic position is increasingly challenged by the rise of new centres of economic power such as China, India and Brazil. This introductory article introduces the ‘supply-and-demand model of regulatory power’ guiding this Special Issue and, drawing on the latter’s contributions, illustrates the interplay between EU/US regulatory outreach and emerging economies’ domestic politics in explaining the embracement or rejection of EU/US trade-related agendas.

New Political Economy
European Foreign Affairs Review
New Political Economy
Recent Activities
Recent Activities
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About Me
Hobbies: Photography

© 2020 By Omar Ramon Serrano Oswald