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GIGA Researcher Recognised for Thesis on the Political Consequences of Development Projects

GIGA Doctoral Programme graduate Dr. Felix Haaß has been awarded two junior-researcher prizes for his dissertation on the impact of development projects on the emergence of democratic institutions.

Dr. Felix Haaß, a research fellow and Doctoral Programme graduate at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), has received two awards for his outstanding dissertation "Buying Democracy? The Political Economy of Foreign Aid, Power-Sharing Governments, and Post-Conflict Political Development." The German Economic Association Verein für Socialpolitik and the KfW Development Bank awarded him the third junior-researcher prize for excellent, practice-relevant development research. The University of Greifswald awarded him its doctoral prize for one of this year's top five dissertations.

In his dissertation, Felix Haaß investigates the influence of development projects on the emergence of democratic institutions in the aftermath of civil conflicts. Using detailed statistical analyses, he shows that two mechanisms play a key role: external funders’ demands for democracy and the interest of ex-rebels within power-sharing governments in benefiting financially from any post-conflict deal. The findings of Felix Haaß’s dissertation contribute to a better understanding of the political consequences of development projects following civil conflicts and advance the theoretical debate on the conditions under which democracies emerge.

Each year the German Economic Association and the KfW Development Bank recognise four young scholars for dissertations that are practice-relevant and offer constructive perspectives on development. On 1 July 2018 the University of Greifswald honoured five researchers with its doctoral prize.

Felix Haaß is a research fellow in the research project "The Political Economy of Power-Sharing" at the GIGA and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg.

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