Dr. Giulia Garbagni

Giulia Garbagni is a diplomatic historian of modern East Asia, with a focus on Japan and its postwar foreign policy.

Giulia Garbagni joined the Centre for Grand Strategy at KCL as a Ax:son Johnson Post-doctoral Research Fellow in September 2023, after completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral dissertation, titled ‘Presidential, Post-Imperial and Personal: Envoy Diplomacy in Japan, 1960s-1980s’ investigated the role of special envoys and executive agents in postwar Japanese diplomacy, drawing on research in Japanese, British, American, and South Korean archives. During her PhD, she was a AHRC IPS Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, in Washington DC; a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow at the University of Tokyo; and a Korea Foundation Fellow at Sogang University in Seoul.

At the Centre for Grand Strategy, while turning her PhD dissertation into a book manuscript, Giulia will start working on her second book project: ‘Thinking like an “Aid Great Power”: Postwar Japan and Global Development’, which will examine Japan’s history as one of the world’s leading aid providers. Looking at the evolution of Japan from ‘unorthodox’ aid donor to champion of the international liberal order in Asia, Giulia aims to write a new diplomatic history of Japan’s aid model, highlighting its clashes with, and contributions to, global aid paradigms during and after the Cold War.

Giulia holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Bologna; a double MSc in International Affairs from Peking University and the London School of Economics; and a MSc in Modern Japanese Studies from the University of Oxford. Her research has been published in Cold War History, Nations and Nationalism, and The Journal of Burma Studies.