Spotlight on...

"Spotlight on…" Andrew, Regina and Caspar

Get to know three of our new fdoctoral researchers, Andrew, Regina and Caspar, and learn more about their research projects

  • Spotlight on … Andrew Crawford

    After three years working at the GIGA as a student research assistant, I have finally finished my MSc. Politics, Economics and Philosophy at Uni Hamburg and started my PhD. I originally moved to Hamburg from Australia with the goal of becoming a researcher in social sciences and then saw the GIGA as being a good fit in terms of its openness, diversity and global approach.

    My initial position was based at IMES where I assisted with the IDCAR project and then worked to develop, what is now known as, the GIGAset data collection tool. I also assisted Prof. Narlikar with researching her latest book.

    My PhD will explore the political economy of micro-level private finance, such as microfinance, crowdfunding and cash transfers, and their role in poverty alleviation. My years spent working in Cambodia inspired me to research my topic since I saw the prevalence of new financial tools but questioned their effectiveness in achieving their desired ends.

    Back in Australia, I researched and taught finance and economics at Monash University. Since playing Monopoly as a child I have always found money interesting in its ability to provide everything from opportunity to security to power. Aside from economics I am also interested in the topics of civil society, decolonisation, and mechanism design in political theory.

    Outside of my work at the GIGA I am a street art tour guide and produce a community radio show.

    Spotlight on … Regina Schnars

    Dear all,

    most of you probably already know me as I have been working at the GIGA as a research fellow for the past year. I am part of the research project “Research Support to the Special Initiative Training and Job Creation (RéUsSITE)” and my work focuses on job creation in Africa through training as well as foreign direct investment.

    In the first working package, we conduct impact evaluations of training measures implemented within the special initiative in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. In the second working package we aim at creating a new investment database, since currently available data is insufficient.

    Since October, I am enrolled at the University of Göttingen for my PhD and am now officially a member of the Doctoral Programme at the GIGA. My dissertation, supervised by Apl. Prof. Dr. Jann Lay and Prof. Dr. Krisztina Kis-Katos, will be largely linked to my work in the project and will focus on the impact of foreign direct investment on domestic investment and productive employment in Africa.

    Best wishes, Regina

    Spotlight on … Caspar Ziegler

    Dear colleagues,

    My name is Caspar Ziegler and only recently I joined the GIGA DP and moved to Germany’s “pearl of the North”.

    As a doctoral student at the GIGA and the University of Hamburg my research will focus on the changes and adaption in industrial nations’ economic policy making with respect to Foreign Direct Investments into their economies (e.g. Chinese FDI). Through the analysis of multilateral developments from a political and economic perspective in combination with case studies (investment regimes and screening mechanisms) I aim to add to the scientific understanding of (non-) protectionist policy making and international coordination in that regard. The combination of different research methods shall help me to answer my further to be specified research questions (e.g. process tracing, semi-structured interviews). During my doctoral studies Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner will act as my first supervisor together with Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar as second supervisor.

    Following my childhood in Berlin, I acquired my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics studying at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Fudan University Shanghai, and the University of Mannheim. So far my studies focused on political economy, development economics and public economics.

    Having spent longer periods in China, the US and Canada, I am very interested in global politics, economic developments, along with local culture and cuisine. GIGA’s international character therefore appeals to me a lot. In addition to my studies I was able to gain practical experiences in research (student assistant - Chair of Finance and Economics, Prof. Inderst, Frankfurt) as well as in public organizations (KfW, BMF) and the private industry (KPMG, Representative of German Industry and Trade, Volkswagen).

    I am looking forward to valuable discussions, new insights into research and its methods along with getting to know the diverse, international, and interdisciplinary body of GIGA members.


    Caspar Ziegler

    Caspar Ziegler

    Former Doctoral Researcher


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