Mohammad Salman

Pleinlaan 9 (5th level-MARCOM) - 1050 Brussels
Office Hours: 
Consultation by appointment

Mohammad SALMAN, Ph.D. International Relations, is Policy Advisor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and senior researcher at Department of Political Science. His research interests centre on the great powers’ politics under unipolarity, China-Middle East relations, China-U.S. relations, and the development of 'Strategic Hedging' as a new theory in International Relations. He has published his research in a number of journals, including Asian Politics & Policy, Chinese Political Science Review, and China Report. He is also a reviewer for several international academic journals such as International Political Science Review, Pacific Review, Third World Quarterly, and International Journal of Emerging Markets.

He is also a head of academic project 'Welcome Student-refugees Program' at VUB to help refugee students. This programme aims to put highly educated refugees on the fast track to a better future. He has been invited as an expert and a moderator in several conferences and seminars to discussion the role of public authorities in easing access to higher education to refugee students and staff and how universities can organize themselves on the ground.

Invited Talks:

2017, Invitation from The Jonge Academie (Young Academy of Belgium) to participate as a speaker in "Meeting refugee scholars, scientists, students & artists", on 17 March 2017, Palace of the Academies, Brussels.

2017, Invitation from The European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation to participate as a speaker in the Science4Refugees (S4R) workshop "European Research with a view to integrating refugees" from 15-16 March 2017 in Brussels.

2017, Invitation from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate as a speaker in the workshop "Perspectives for Syrian Students: Higher Education Scholarships for Refugees", 31 January 2017 in Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, Rue Jacques de Lalaing 8-14, 1040 Brussels.

2016, Key note speech at the 3rd UNICA EduLab Conference, the presentation entitled "Higher education in times of crisis – Integration of refugees in universities: The case of Vrije Universiteit Brussel".  Given at the third UNICA EduLab 15-16 December 2016. Hosted by Roma Tre University in cooperation with Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.

2016, Invitation by the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) to attend the project of Middle East Research and Innovation Dialogue (MERID). This event will serve to discuss the obstacles in cooperation between the EU and the Middle Eastern countries and in particular, how to develop a framework for strengthening the STI enabling factors. Hosted by the CNRS (at its premises Jnah, Beirut), 1-2 December 2016.

2016, Presentation of needs seen from staff for ‘Hosting refugees and threatened academics on campus’, Given at the ACADEMIC REFUGE project workshop 17-18 Oct 2016, Oslo.

2016, a speaker in the closing panel of the seminar about crisis management, its international aspect, and how universities can best respond to or prepare for crises. Given at ‘ACA European Policy Seminar - Crisis management in international higher education', Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), 13 October 2016 in Brussels.

2016, Key note speech about a new challenge for European Universities, “Discussion: What is the role of public authorities in easing access to higher education to refugee students and staff? How can universities organise themselves on the ground?”. Given at the third policy dialogue on higher education with Southern Mediterranean countries (European Commission), in Brussels, 12-13 July, 2016.

2016, Key note speech about the question of recognition of qualifications held by refugees “Access and integration of refugee students. The case of Vrije Universiteit Brussel”. Given at the annual meeting of all recognition centres of the national administration in Europe (ENIC and NARIC centres), in Amsterdam, June 19-21, 2016.

2016 “Description of the University Task Force Coordinating Refugee Support at VUB: background, aims, activities, achievements & milestones so far, expected future outcomes,” Given at European University Association (EUA) webinar: Access and integration of refugee students in European higher education, March 23, 2016.

2016 “Conflicts in Syria from an International Law and Political Science perspective,” Given at the Day of Light, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), March 18, 2016.



Mohammad  Salman (a PhD researcher in Vrije Universiteit Brussel) has been in charge of supervising for bachelor students in writing their bachelor theses and supervising for master students in writing their MA thesis during academic years 2013,2014,2015,2016, and 2017.

Research Themes


A full list of publications can be found here.



  • SALMAN, MohammadPIEPER, Moritz GEERAERTS, Gustaaf (2015). Hedging in the Middle East and China-U.S. Competition, Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 7, No, (4):pp. 575-596.
  • SALMAN, Mohammad & GEERAERTS, Gustaaf (2015). Strategic Hedging and China's Economic Policy in the Middle East, China Report, Vol. 51, No, (2): pp. 102-120.
  • SALMAN, Mohammad (2015). Strategic Hedging and Unipolarity's Demise: The Case of China's Strategic Hedging, paper presented at the Conference "Power: Back to the Future?", April 29, Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
  • SALMAN, Mohammad (2015). Strategic Hedging and Balancing Model under the Unipolarity, paper presented at Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA 2015), April 16-19, Chicago, USA.



  • SALMAN, Mohammad & GEERAERTS, Gustaaf (2013). The Impact of Strategic Hedging on the Foreign Politics of Great Powers: The Case of Chinese Energy Strategy in the Middle East, Paper presented at 7th China Goes Global Conference, September 25-27, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • SALMAN, Mohammad & ZAHID, Farhan (2013). Turkey Faces Security Challenges and Political Dilemmas in the Syrian Conflict, The Jamestown Foundation/TM, Vol. 11, No. 22