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Veronica Barfucci

PhD Candidate


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Asia Institute


Recipient of the Chancellor's International Scholarship from the Doctoral College of the University of Warwick, I am a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies. I'm supervised by Professor Chris Hughes and Doctor Chris Browning.

I hold a BA with Honours in East Asian Languages, Markets and Cultures from the University of Bologna (2017) and a MA with Honours in International Relations, also from the University of Bologna (2019).

I am a Visiting Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Japan (September-December 2023)

Research interests

My research project discusses aspects of status anxiety and ontological (in)security in the Japanese government’s social media representation of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) deployed overseas, focusing on the illustrative case of security operations in the African continent. My research navigates the complexities of Japan’s quest for status in the international system, which I argue is sought concurrently through projecting military power and the image of a responsible and peaceful member of the international community. Drawing from feminist ontological security and feminist military studies, I focus on how status and Japan’s role in the world have been ‘masculinised’ and ‘feminised’, and how this can be seen in the representation of the SDF operating abroad, which I consider as the ‘physical manifestation’ of Japan’s security engagement overseas.

In general, I'm interested in critical security studies and post-structuralism, particularly in the work of Jacques Derrida.


In 2022/2023, I am Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant for PO131: World Politics

In 2023/2034, I am Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant for PO131: World Politics (Terms 2&3)

Awards and scholarships
  • James Thomas Memorial Prize Winner (October 2023 - Annual award presented to the most outstanding paper by a postgraduate student at the Media & Politics Group Annual Conference)
  • Chancellor’s International Scholarship (Doctoral College, University of Warwick, 2021-2025)
  • Merit Award for Deserving Student (University of Bologna, years 2019, 2017 and 2015)
Edited volume

La nuova era di Xi Jinping. Assertività e contraddizioni della politica estera cinese. (Edifir - Edizioni Firenze, 2022). With Lorenza Scaldaferri.

Conference Presentations

"Gendering the Military on Social Media: (Re)Defining Masculinity, Femininity, and Ontological Security". Presented at the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group Conference, Portsmouth (England, attended online), 27th of October 2023

"Seeking Status from Outside and Within: (Re)Presenting the Self-Defense Forces Deployed in the African Continent." Presented at the European Association of Japanese Studies Conference, Ghent (Belgium), 20th of August 2023

"Geopolitics of Nation Branding: Reading Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy Through Ontological (In)Security." Presented at the British International Studies Association Conference, Glasgow (Scotland), 21st of June 2023

Freelance contribution

Outside academia, I am Vice-Director of Lo Spiegone, an online news outlet dealing with international politics, as well as Chief-Editor of its Asia-Pacific Editorial Board. I have also written several contributions for AffarInternazionali, the online news outlet of Istituto Affari Internazionali, a leading Italian think-tank in international politics.

  • Click here to read my contributions to Lo Spiegone (in Italian)
  • Click here to read my contributions to Affari Internazionali (in Italian)
Other activities