Mihaela Papa

Mihaela Papa

160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

Negotiation strategy and forum shopping; BRICS/rising powers in global governance; Climate change, sustainable development; Globalization of law and legal profession; Evolution of global governance


  • Ph.D., International Relations, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • M.A., Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • B.A., Economics (Trade), University of Zagreb


Mihaela Papa is a Co-Investigator on the Rising Power Alliances research project and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Sustainable Development and Global Governance. She specializes in negotiation strategies, coalition building and complex multiparty negotiations, especially in the context of environmental regulation and rising power diplomacy. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Law School, she examined India, China and Brazil in international dispute settlement, spent six months in China as a visiting researcher at Fudan’s Center for BRICS Studies and embarked on a BRICS-focused research agenda. She has published on rising powers and sustainable development diplomacy and taught at Brandeis University, Boston University and Fudan University. 

Mihaela is also an active practitioner with extensive experience advising institutions on global strategies and managing international collaborations. In this capacity she has worked at MIT and the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as consulted for the U.S. government, the European Commission, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Originally a trade economist with a BA from Croatia, she completed her MA in Law and Diplomacy and PhD in International Relations at The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Areas of expertise

Globalization & Trade
International Environment & Energy
International Law & Organizations
Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

Courses taught

Selected Publications and Presentations

Brazilian Alliance Perspectives: Toward a BRICS Development-Security Alliance? (with Zhen Han), Third World Quarterly (forthcoming) 

Can BRICS De-Dollarize the Global Financial System? (with Zongyuan Zoe Liu), Elements in the Economics of Emerging Markets Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Transformation of Alliances: Mapping Russia’s Close Relationships in the Era of Multivectorism. (with Ecaterina Locoman) Contemporary Security Policy, published online, November 2021.

BRICS amidst India-China Rivalry (Introduction to the Special Section co-edited with Raj Verma), Global Policy 12(4): 509-513, 2021.

Scenarios for BRICS Evolution in Light of the India-China Conflict (with Raj Verma), Global Policy 12(4): 539-544, 2021.

India's Multi-alignment Management and Russia-India-China (RIC) Triangle (with Frank O’Donnell) International Affairs 97(3): 801-822, 2021.

Alliances in Chinese International Relations: Are They Ending or Rejuvenating? (with Zhen Han) Asian Security 17(2): 158-177, 2021.

Rethinking Alliances: The Case of South Africa as a Rising Power (with Christopher Williams) African Security 13(4): 325-352, 2020.

Sustainable Global Governance? Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle International Institutions. Global Environmental Politics 15(4): 1-20, 2015.

BRICS' Pursuit of Multipolarity: Response in the United States. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(3): 363-380, 2014.

Deconstructing the BRICS: Bargaining Coalition, Imagined Community or Geopolitical Fad? (with Christian Bruetsch) Chinese Journal of International Politics, 6 (3): 299-327, 2013.

Emerging Powers in International Dispute Settlement: From Legal Capacity Building to a Level Playing Field? Journal of International Dispute Settlement 4(1): 83-109, 2013.

A Mutual Gains Approach to a Successful Climate Treaty: The Role of Universal Access to Clean Energy Services (with William Moomaw). Climate Policy 12(4): 505- 520, 2012.

Major Emerging Powers in Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Assessing Their Leadership Potential (with Nancy Gleason) Global Environmental Change 22(4): 915-924, 2012

Globalization, Lawyers and India: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis of Globalization Studies and the Sociology of the Legal Profession (with David Wilkins), International Journal of the Legal Profession 18(3): 175-209, 2011

Rethinking Conflict Prevention in South Eastern Europe: An Emerging Environmental Security Agenda. Journal of South Eastern and Black Sea Studies, 6(3): 315-333, 2006.


Global Environmental Governance: A Reform Agenda (with Adil Najam and Nadaa Taiyab). Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2006


Environmental Foreign Policy: Crossovers among Multiple Levels of Governance. In: Routledge Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, ed. P. Harris, London: Routledge (forthcoming, revised and updated from 2013 edition)

Rising India in Investment Arbitration: Shifts in the Legal Field and Regime Participation (with Aditya Sarkar). In: The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society (pp. 705-733), eds. D. Wilkins, V. Khanna and D. Trubek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

BRICS as a Gobal Legal Actor: From Regulatory Innovation to BRICS Law? In: The BRICS Group in the Spotlight: An Interdisciplinary Approach, ed. L. Scaffardi, University of Parma: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2015.

BRICS as Agents for Change in Global Governance: The Case of Investment Arbitration. In: Global Governance: Critical Legal Perspectives, eds. G. De Burca et al. Portland: Hart Publishing, 2014.

Environmental Foreign Policy: Crossovers among Multiple Levels of Governance. In: Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, ed. P. Harris, London: Routledge, 2013.

The Rise of the Corporate Legal Elite in the BRICS: Implications for Global Governance (with David Wilkins) 54 Boston College Law Review 1149, 2013

Environmental Foreign Policy: Towards a Conceptual Framework. In Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice, ed. P. Harris. London: Routledge, 2009.


The Anti-Dollar Axis (with Zongyuan Zoe Liu) Foreign Affairs, March 7, 2022 

Can BRICS Lead the Way to Sustainable Development? In: SDGs: From Promise to Practice, UNA-UK, March 20, 2017.