Zhihao Wang was born and grew up in Guizhou Province, which is the one of the less developed regions of China, and earned the opportunity to study in Shanghai, the most modernized city in China. There, he witnessed the great social changes as well as the imbalanced development of China, which led him to explore domestic and international issues of development. As a college student, the political turmoil starting in 2011 among the Middle East and North Africa drew his attention. He was astonished by the distinctive result of democratic transitions in this region. Some countries were settled with the restoration of authoritarian regimes, such as Egypt, others were reduced into the lasting civil war like Syria, while Turkey, under Erdogan’s solid rule, distinguished itself from all other countries of the Middle East by pioneering a new political situation. From then on, Zhihao started to focus on political transitions in the Middle East, especially the case of Turkey. In 2016, Zhihao planned to study Turkish language at the Istanbul campus of IPEK University. However, the military coup attempt occurred at the day that Zhihao should have departed for Istanbul, which gave him great regret, and the university has since been banned by the Turkish government. Recently, the Middle East has been a focus of concern in China’s diplomacy since the One Belt One Road economic initiative plays a dominating role in current China’s foreign policies. Zhihao believes his research can help his peers better understand how China takes responsibility during the process of promoting multilateral economic cooperation and cracking down on terrorism in the Middle East as well as the greater Eurasian region. Academically, Zhihao plans to pursue a doctoral degree. As for future career, he aspires to engage in research and teaching in professional institutes and universities in China in the hope of making contributions to academic development in political science and international affairs in China.
Zhihao is fond of reading history books, and enjoys various sporting events like soccer, baseball and American football. He really loves folk and rock n’ roll music, and he is a big fan of Bob Dylan.
Zhihao Wang has been engaging in the studies of political transition in the Middle East and restoration of authoritarian regimes. In particular, he wants to investigate how neoliberal political and economic strategy impacts the rise of Turkey’s Islamic political parties. He is interested in how democratic transitions occur along with the rise of political Islam in Turkey in the neoliberal era and the authoritarian trend under Erdogan’s ruling. Apart from the Middle East region, Zhihao also interested in Eurasian countries and its integration. He plans to explore these topics through an interdisciplinary approach.