Dr. Omar Ramon Serrano Oswald   (欧山)

Research Associate
School of Social Sciences and Technology
Technical University of Munich




TUM School of Governance | Richard-Wagner-Straße 1, 80333 Munich

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Hello!     你好!



I am a Research Associate at the Chair of European and Global Governance, School of Social Sciences and Technology, Technical University of Munich, where I lead (as principal investigator) the DFG project: "The Rules of the Road? An Evaluation and Analysis of Chinese Investors’ Overseas Direct Investment Practices and their Global Impact." Besides, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the bidt project: “Learning from the “Frontrunner”? A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Chinese Social Credit System and its Impact on Germany.” I was previously a Visiting Scholar at TUM (Munich), Fudan (Shanghai), FGV (Rio de Janeiro), ITAM (Mexico City), JNU (New Delhi) and UIBE (Beijing); Research Associate at the Sino-Swiss Competence Centre of the University of St. Gallen (FIM-HSG); Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Geneva and at the University of Lucerne; Guest Professor at Hunan University (湖南大学), and regular lecturer at the World Trade Institute in Bern. 


Over the past few years I have produced fourteen publications, which include my book Domestic Sources of European Foreign Policy and numerous scholarly articles in renowned academic journals such as New Political Economy (2020 IF 4.681, 6th/146 in International Relations) and Regulation & Governance (2020 IF: 5.400, 13th/294 in Political Science) looking at China and other emerging economies’ role in global economic governance (Scopus h-index: 4). I have also published several chapters in edited volumes in well known international publishers such as Cambridge University Press, Palgrave Macmillan and Springer. Besides English, I have published in Portuguese (Editora UFPB) and Mandarin (Nanjing Press Company). My current research looks at regulatory politics and the transformation of global economic governance by China, especially through global investments (both by state owned and private firms) & its evolving Social Credit System. 


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/International Political Economy 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, Italian 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). 


New!! Introducing our Special Issue 


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

Regulation & Governance (2021)

Edited by Sandra Lavenex, Omar Serrano and Tim Büthe 

bidt WerkstattDigital

Volle Kontrolle? Chinas Sozialkreditsystem & seine Auswirkungen auf Deutschland 

Moderation: Lea Deuber, China-Korrespondentin der Süddeutschen Zeitung

Munich, Germany and Beijing, China

17. Februar, 2021

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07/2018 – to date 

Research Associate, School of Governance, Technical University of Munich

04/2008 – to date 

Associate Editor, Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, Taiwan 

06/2017 – 02/2018 

Research Associate, China Competence Centre, University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland

Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Senior Researcher and Lecturer, University of Lucerne, Switzerland 

Visiting Scholar, Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

10/2010 – 4/2015 
09/2014 – 07/2018 


Visiting Scholar, Center for BRICS Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai China

09/2017 – 10/2017 

Guest Professor, Hunan University (湖南大学), Hunan, China 

12/2016 – 09/2018 

10/2017 – 06/2018 

Visiting Fellow in Global Transformations, Bavarian School of Public Policy (HfP), Technical University of Munich

07/2014 – 08/2014 
04/2014 – 05/2014 

Visiting Scholar ITAM University, Mexico City, Mexico 

01/2014 – 02/2014 

Visiting Scholar, Centre for International Trade and Development (CITD) Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India 

06/2013 – 10/2013 

Visiting Scholar, University of International Business & Economics (UIBE), Beijing, China 

Work Experience

Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies. Geneva, Switzerland 

Topic: ‘The Domestic Sources of European Foreign Policy: Defence and Enlargement’

Advisor: Cédric Dupont. Readers: Urs Luterbacher and Frank Schimmelfennig





London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE. London, UK

Dissertation: ‘Two-Level Games, Regional Integration and Referenda Strategy. Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland: a Case Study’

Advisor: Mathias Koenig-Archibugi 

ITAM University. Mexico City, Mexico

Dissertation: ‘The Internal Effects of EU Conditionality on Turkey’ 

Advisor: Stephan Sberro 



2008 – to date

Mandarin Courses. Geneva, Switzerland & Beijing China

University of Geneva, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) & private tutor 

Selected Publications
(full publication list here)
Wortmarke mit Zusatz rechts 2 pos bidt.p
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New!! Short Article


Schau, trau, dem

Akademie Aktuell (2021)

Omar Serrano and Doris Fischer 

Seit Jahren baut China ein sogenanntes Sozialkreditsystem auf, mit dem nicht nur die Kreditwürdigkeit von Unternehmen und Personen, sondern ebenso deren Verhalten erfasst wird – alles öffentlich zugänglich.
Auch in der Corona- Pandemie kommt es zum Einsatz.

New!! Special Issue 


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

Regulation & Governance (2021)

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.



India, Brazil, and Public Health: Rule-Making Through South-South Diffusion in the Intellectual Property Rights Regime?

Regulation & Governance (2020)

Omar Ramon Serrano Oswald and Mira Burri

This article analyzes the domestic drivers of regulatory state formation in India and Brazil and its consequences for the global rules governing pharmaceutical patents. We look into two key domestic regulatory initiatives: India’s Section 3(d) and Brazil´s prior consent requirement. These case studies provide two key insights. Firstly, the transition towards regulatory states in emerging countries is a bulky road and does not progress in linear ways. Secondly, once regulatory capacity and capability have been solidified, domestic policy innovations can become internationally influential. This needs not work through the traditional channels of multilateralism, but can also occur horizontally through policy-diffusion to other jurisdictions. 


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 Political Economy

 Teaming Up? China, India and Brazil and the Issue of Benefit-Sharing from Genetic Resource Use

Valbona Muzaka & Omar Serrano (2019)

In this article, we focus on an area that has not been systematically addressed but is of crucial importance to China, India and Brazil: The global governance of genetic resources. All three countries are rich in biodiversity and, ever since biotechnology promised to turn DNA into gold, have been significant players in the regime complex that governs genetic resources. Shortcomings notwithstanding, the establishment of a new access and benefit-sharing regime constitutes a rare instance where emerging countries have succeeded in becoming rule-makers of sorts. We analyse the ways in which these three countries have sought to pursue their interests in this area. 


 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

 Rising Economies in the International Patent Regime: From Rule‐Breakers to Rule‐Changers and Rule‐Makers

Morin, JF, O. Serrano, M. Burri, S. Bannerman (2017)

Rising economies face a crucial dilemma when establishing their position on international patent law. Should they translate their increasing economic strength into political power to further developing countries’ interests in lower levels of international patent protection? Or, anticipating a rising domestic interest in stronger international patent protection, should they adopt a position that favours maximal patent protection? Drawing on multiple case studies using a most-similar system design, we argue that rising economies, after having been coerced into adopting more stringent patent standards, tend to display ambivalent positions, trapped in bureaucratic politics and caught between conflicting domestic constituencies. We find that the recent proliferation of international institutions and the expansion of transnational networks have contributed to fragmentation and polarisation in domestic patent politics. 

European Foreign Affairs Review

Exporting Intellectual Property Rights to Emerging Countries: EU and US Approaches Compared

Ivo Krizic & Omar Serrano (2017)

This article focuses on the EU’s and the US’s relationship with Brazil, India and China (BIC) in the area of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The comparison of EU and US approaches yields the interplay between hierarchical (coercive) and horizontal (network-based) strategies used by both sides to advance a maximalist IP agenda vis-à-vis the BIC. We furthermore find the EU taking inspiration (i.e. ‘learning’) from the US in the process of strengthening its external IP policy. Switching the angle to the ‘demand-side’ of emerging countries, China comes out as the most accommodative among the BIC in terms of aligning its IP (especially patent) legislation and enforcement practices with standards promoted by the EU and the US. India and Brazil, on the other hand, have shown more signs of contestation, not only in domestic implementation but also in terms of opposing and seeking alternatives to EU- and US-induced global IP norms


Usufruindo das Flexibilidades do Acordo TRIPS: Implementação e Difusão dos Regimes de Licenciamento Compulsório no Brasil e na Índia

Omar Serrano & Mira Burri (2017)

A Saúde Global é uma das áreas entre as quais os países emergentes têm desempenhado um papel importante no que se refere à ordenação das regras internacionais. No período pós-Trips, a Índia e especialmente o Brasil continuaram a liderar coalizões de países em desenvolvimento com o objetivo de limitar e calibrar o impacto das mudanças acarretadas pelo acordo Trips. Dada sua importância, os esforços multilaterais dos países em desenvolvimento na garantia de uma interpretação equilibrada do acordo Trips são bem documentados. Por sua vez, as iniciativas domésticas que complementam e dão lastro a essas iniciativas internacionais receberam bem menos atenção. Este capítulo investiga uma das praticas domésticas mais importantes e sua evolução no cenário pós-Trips em dois dos países em desenvolvimento mais influentes ao longo das negociações do Trips – o licenciamento compulsório. Ao analisá-los procuramos entender até que ponto esses dois países têm aprendido com ou emulado as experiências um do outro e se a coordenação para a implementação das flexibilidades do Trips têm acontecido.

New Political Economy

China and India's insertion in the intellectual property rights regime: sustaining or disrupting the rules?

Omar Serrano (2016)

This paper looks at the insertion of China and India in the contested and highly legalised regime of intellectual property rights (IP). In doing so it pays particular attention at two dimensions, the internal adoption of this regime and external endorsement/contestation of international IP norms. Much has been written about whether emerging countries will challenge or support the maintenance of an open rules-based multilateral trade system. In this context, the differentiated integration of these two countries in the IP regime is notable. Domestically, China despite much criticism for widespread IP infringement has followed a maximalist interpretation of TRIPS. India, on the contrary has followed other emerging countries in pursuing a more critical, minimalist understanding. These positions have also been visible at the multilateral arena. 

促进民主的安全目标: 欧洲外交政策中的‘内外’矛盾 

Omar Serrano, Nanjing Press Company (2015) 

本章研究的目标是构建欧盟外交政策对国内政治进程和民意的影响􏰀同时通过这一研究􏰀对通过推进内部改革以实现地区安全的欧盟政策进行 评估􏰁􏰁 本章聚焦决策者􏰂和民意􏰃安全关注的不协调状况􏰀在对外交政 策相关问题􏰂来自国内选区􏰃的关注中也出现了类似的情况􏰀这些都不断 对过去十年中的􏰇"宽容共识"􏰈􏰂􏰀􏰁􏰃进行着侵蚀􏰁􏰆 在许多欧盟成员国􏰂􏰆(MS)􏰃内部都存在着对于扩大􏰇"四个自由􏰈􏰂" (资本􏰌劳动力􏰌商品和服务) 的反对声音, 力而后者是欧盟扩大和新睦邻战略的主要推动。

Book: The Domestic Sources of European Foreign Policy

Omar Serrano, Amsterdam University Press/ University of Chicago Press (2013)

This timely study considers the challenges of developing a foreign policy for a union of 27 states while taking national political processes into account. Serrano analyses the relevance of domestic political processes for the EU's common policies and examines the democratic deficit in the EU foreign policy, thereby highlighting what is unique about it and reflecting on its possible evolution. As the EU continues to face difficulties in formulating common policies, this volume offers a unique insight into the complexities of enhancing the EU's common policies by assessing domestic political debates and the role of actors who legitimise or constrain support for common policies

Recent Activities
Recent Activities
  • February 2021 - bidt WerkstattDigital: Volle Kontrolle? Chinas Sozialkreditsystem & seine Auswirkungen auf Deutschland,  Munich, Germany and Beijing, China

       Moderation: Lea Deuber, China-Korrespondentin der Süddeutschen Zeitung

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  • September 2020: bidt Sprint Review, Project: Learning from the “Frontrunner”? A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Chinese Social Credit System and its Impact on Germany,  Munich, Germany


Photo credit: Klaus D. Wolf


Photo credit: Klaus D. Wolf


Photo credit: Klaus D. Wolf

  • October 2019: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization Workshop on the Role of Economic Diplomacy Today, Istanbul, Turkey

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  • June 2019: Interview with Deutsche Welle on Chinese investments in Germany

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  • September 2018: Evaluation of the Sino-Swiss FTA. A research-based assessment of the Sino-Swiss trade agreement. Behind this work is a team of academics of the Sino-Swiss Competence Center (SSCC) from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, Nanjing University, and the University of St.Gallen (HSG). Kantonsratssaal St. Gallen, Switzerland 

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  • May 2018: Presentation at the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Forum, Shanghai, China 

  • May 2018. Shanghai Forum Roundtable: The role of multilateral development banks in Asia and Emerging Countries post 2008 crisis. From left to right (bottom to top), Prof. Dr. Luciano Coutinho (former president of the Brazilian development bank BNDES), Prof. Dr.  Justin Yifu Lin (former World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President), Prof. Dr. L.C. Bresser-Pereira (former Finance Minister of Brazil), Mmakgoshi Lekhethe (Executive director of the AfDB), Dr. Joachim von Amsberg (Vice-President of the AIIB), Dr. Ronaldo Lemus (Columbia University), Lucas Dib (NYU Shanghai), Sergio Suchodolski (Director of Strategy, NDB), Farid Masmoudi (formerly ISDB), Dr. Omar Serrano (Technical University of Munich). Shanghai, China

  • November 2017: Emerging Economies Forum and China Society of Emerging Economies Annual Conference, Guangzhou, China 

  • September 2017: Symposium on New Development Assistance (NDA). Emerging Economies (EEs) and the New Landscape of Development Assistance. Organised by Fudan University and the London School of Economics, Shanghai, China 

  • September 2017: Second International Symposium on Development and Governance in the BRICS, Fudan University, Shanghai, China 

  • July 2017: Final ESRC conference: Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures. University of Manchester

  • July 2017: Roundtable The Belt and Road Initiative in the Current Trade and Integration Context organised by ICTSD and CCIEE, Geneva, Switzerland

  • May 2017: Signing Ceremony Sino-Swiss Competence Center. HSG-FIM and UIBE, Beijing, China

Sino-Swiss Competence Center
  • May 2017: Launching of Sino-Swiss Competence Center. University of St. Gallen and UIBE, Beijing, China

Sino-Swiss Competence Center
  • November 2016: Presentation at CASS Forum, G-20 from Hangzhou to Hamburg, Guangzhou, China 

CASS Forum 2016
  • November 2016: Best Paper Award Ceremony (Second Prize) from the China Society of Emerging Economies, Guangzhou, China 

Emerging Economies Forum 2016
  • November 2016: Joint workshop University of Geneva- Fudan. Emerging Powers and New Development Institutions. The AIIB and the NDB, Geneva, Switzerland

  • August 2016: ICTSD Workshop on G-20 Trade and Investment Outcomes. Beijing, China

ICTSD Workshop on G-20
Shanghai Institute of International Studies
About Me
Omar Ramon Serrano Oswald
Fluent in English, Spanish, German (& Swiss-German), French and Portuguese; intermediate Mandarin (over 1000 characters) and Italian 

International Political Economy

China & Global Economic Governance

Rising Powers (China, India and Brazil, CIBs/BICs)

Regulatory Politics

European Foreign Policy 

International Relations

Hobbies: Photography