Simone Franzi's Webpage

Simone Franzi

Political Analyst

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Political observer, Swiss-Italian native, analyzing, writing, and commenting on domestic and international political developments.


I am doctoral student and researcher focused on the political economy of trade and finance. Currently, I work at the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience, an initiative of Virginia Tech with the aim to facilitate conversations on regional development, with an emphasis on examining the evolution and adaptation of cities to flows of capital, resources, people, and ideas. My research at the Global Forum and at the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) analyzes the co-evolution of capitalism and democratic political institutions with a focus on trade agreements, global cities, intergovernmental financial organizations, and financial technologies. Around this latter research area, I am interested in the impacts of technological innovations to political institutions, i.e. I study the regulatory aspect of blockchain technology. I also write and lecture about the Swiss political system, Swiss education, and Swiss-US relations. In my blog, I comment and reflect on the United States democratic institutions from a Swiss perspective.


Graduate Studies Public and International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2019

Graduate Studies Urban Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2017

MA Political Science (minor in Geography), University of Bern, 2015

BA Social Science (minor in Geography), University of Bern, 2013

Research areas

  • Globalization and the history of international cooperation
  • Political economy of trade and global economic governance
  • Democracy and political behavior
  • Finance: between regulation, innovation and resilience
  • Urban studies, global cities, and real estate

  • Publications

    Working Papers

    Franzi, S. (2018). "An Analysis of Regional Political Revival: The Impact of Preferential Trade Agreements to Subnational Governance." Presented at the International Studies Association Northeast Regions Annual Conference 2018.
    Franzi, S. (2018). "Review Essay on the Political Economy of Trade Agreements." Presented at the International Studies Association Northeast Regions Annual Conference 2018.
    Franzi, S. (2017). “Creating Markets, Building Institutions: The Institutional Consequences of Preferential Trade Agreements.” Presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting 2018.
    Bieri, D.S., Franzi S. and D. Simundza (2018): “Regulatory Networks in the US Blockchain Ecosystem,” GFURR Working Paper, Blacksburg, VA.
    Bieri, D.S., Franzi S. and D. Simundza (2017): “Mapping Innovation Networks in the Financial Industry: Geographies of Blockchain Consortia,” GFURR Working Paper, Blacksburg, VA.

    Technical Reports

    Bucher D, Bürgi Bonanomi E, Dey P, Elsig M, Espa I, Franzi S, Gelb SR, Giger M, Holzgang M, Rist S, Wehrli J, Wettstein F. (2015). “The Commodity Sector and Related Governance Challenges from a Sustainable Development Perspective: The Example of Switzerland – Current Research Gaps.” CDE WTI IWE Joint Working Paper No. 1. Bern and St. Gallen, Switzerland: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), World Trade Institute (WTI), and the Institute for Business Ethics (IWE).

    Book reviews

    Franzi, S. (2019). – Nicholas A. Phelps “Interplaces: An Economic Geography of the Inter-urban and International Economies.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Urban Studies.. DOI: .
    Franzi, S. (2019). – Daniel Gorman “International Cooperation in the Early Twentieth Century.” London: Bloomsbury Academic Press. New Political Science , DOI: 10.1080/07393148.2019.1631578.
    Franzi, S. (2019). – Alexandra Guisinger “American Opinion on Trade: Preferences Without Politics.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Global Labour Journal, 10(1): pp. 98-101. DOI: 10.15173/glj.v10i1.3792.
    Franzi, S. (2018). – Donald McNeill “Global Cities and Urban Theory.” London: SAGE Publications, 2017. The Journal of Urban Affairs. 40(8): 1188-1190. DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2018.1446606.
    Franzi, S. (2018). – Richard Baldwin “The Great Convergence. Information Technology and the New Globalization.” Cambridge MA: Belknap, 2016. The Journal of Politics 80(1): e23-e24. DOI: 10.1086/695294.
    Franzi, S. (2017). – Christof Dejung. “Die Fäden des Globalen Marktes. Eine Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte am Beispiel der Handelsfirma Gebrüder Volkart 1851-1999.” Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 2013. Itinerario 41(2): 419-420. DOI: 10.1017/S0165115317000535.

    Blogs and informational press

    Franzi, S. (2019). "Politiche ambientali tra stato e mercato." Opinione Liberale No. 22, 14 giugno 2019, p. 13.
    Franzi, S. (2019). "Diagnosi post-elettorale della politica ticinese." La Regione Ticino, 7 Maggio 2019.
    Franzi, S. (2019). "Digitalizzazione del terziario." Opinione Liberale No. 7, 1 marzo 2019, p. 2.
    Franzi, S. (2019). “Macroprudential Regulation and the Politics of Delegation in Financial Governance.” RE: Reflections and Explorations. 7 February 2019.
    Franzi, S. (2018). “The Political Economy of Trade Agreements.” RE: Reflections and Explorations. 13 September 2018.
    Repetti, M.; Bieri, D.; Franzi, S. and Camacho, L. (2018). "La monnaie, moyen de redistribution sociale?" REISO Revue D'Information Sociale. 26 April 2018. [Published also on DeFacto – plus que des opinions. ]
    Franzi, S. (2017). “Trade Agreements and Democracy.” RE: Reflections and Explorations. 16 November 2017.
    Franzi, S. (2015) "STIB e Pro Ticino, due associazioni sorelle." In: 100 anni Pro Ticino Berna. 1915-2015. A cura di Andrea Tognina. Pp. 30-31.


    To my personal blog: "La Democrazia in America"

    Teaching and Talks


    Bachelor level courses: "Principles of Real Estate" (UAP/REAL 2004, Virginia Tech, Spring 2017).

    Guest lectures:
    "Higher Education in Europe and Switzerland" (GRAD 5104, Virginia Tech, 03/2019, 03/2018, 03/2017);
    "The Educational Landscape of Italian-Speaking Switzerland" (NEUR 4984, Virginia Tech, 02/2019);
    "The Resilience of the International System: The Case of Trade Agreements" (CAUS Virginia Tech, 11/2018);
    "The Regions of Democracy in America" (Liceo Cantonale Bellinzona, 12/2018).


    Reportage: "Explaining the Swiss and European Higher Education Systems to Virginia Tech Graduate Students", on RSI Rete Uno, Swiss-Italian Public Radio Station, 15-04-2019.

    Interview: "Gli Espatriati", Interview to RSI Rete Uno, Swiss-Italian Public Radio Station, 1-12-2017.

    Conference Presentations

    International Studies Association-Northeast Region, Annual Conference 2018, Baltimore, MD. November 2018. Participant in the panels: Foreign Policy in Populist Times & The Political Contexts of Development.

    Southwestern Social Science Association, Annual Meeting 2018, Orlando, FL: October 2018. Participant in the panels: Regional Politics and Foreign Policy & Twenty-First Century Concerns.

    7th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures. New network structures: decentralization, prosumers and the role of online platforms. Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute, June 2018.

    Southern Political Science Association, Annual Meeting 2018, New Orleans, LA: January 2018. Participant in the panel: Globalization and domestic politics.

    Regional Studies Association, Annual Conference 2017, Dublin, Ireland: June 2017. Participant in the panel: The Geographies of FinTech.

    Tweets by @simone_franzi