Dr. Christian von Soest

Lead Research Fellow | Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"


  • Short CV

    • Since 05/2015: Head of GIGA Research Programme 2 "Peace and Security"

    • 08/2014 - 04/2015: Acting Head of the GIGA Berlin Office

    • 09/2013 - 08/2014: Transatlantic Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

    • 2009 - 2015: Spokesperson, Research Team 4 "Causes and Effects of Sanctions", GIGA Research Programme 2

    • Since 2009: Member of GIGA Berlin Office

    • 05/2007 - 12/2007: Visiting researcher, Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin

    • Since 2005: Research Fellow at GIGA Institute of African Affairs, responsible for Southern Africa and East Africa, particularly South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe; Kenya

    • Doctoral thesis "The African State and the Capability to Raise Revenue", University of Leipzig. PhD (summa cum laude); PhD Price from Research Academy Leipzig and Junior Scientists Award from the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD)

    • Education: Study of Journalism (Communication Science, Political Science, Public Law), University of Munich, University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), and University of Cape Town, South Africa. Training at the German School of Journalism (DJS)

    Current Research

    • International sanctions and interventions

    • Authoritarian regimes

    • Legitimation of political regimes
    • Foreign policy and development policy

    Countries and Regions

    • Southern Africa and East Africa

    • South Africa

    • Botswana

    • Zambia

    • Zimbabwe

    • Kenya

    Research Programmes


    Memberships

    • High Level Review of United Nations Sanctions, External expert, 2013 - 2015
    • German Political Science Association, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, since 2010
    • Midwest Political Science Association, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, since 2010
    • International Studies Association, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, since 2009
    • Association for African Studies in Germany, Membership in region-specific association or network, since 2008
    • American Political Science Association, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, since 2007
    • African Studies Association, Membership in region-specific association or network, since 2003

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-590christian.vonsoest@giga-hamburg.de

    Democratization | 11/2022

    Praising the Leader: Personalist Legitimation Strategies and the Deterioration of Executive Constraints

    In contrast to much current concern, this article shows that liberal democracies seem to largely escape the negative repercussions of government discourses that increasingly stress the uniqueness of the ruler.

    Lennart Brunkert

    Leuphana University of Lüneburg

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Perspectives on Politics | 06/2022

    Why Do We Speak to Experts? Reviving the Strength of the Expert Interview Method

    The paper offers suggestions for making the most effective and reflective use of qualitative expert interviews. It puts forward concrete advice addressing this technique’s inherent challenges of selecting experts, experts’ personal biases, and the systematic capturing of evidence.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    European Political Science Review | 02/2021

    Claiming the Right to Rule: Regime Legitimation Strategies, 1900 to 2019

    Marcus Tannenberg

    Dr. Michael Bernhard

    Dr. Johannes Gerschewski

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Anna Lührmann

    Elgar Handbooks in Development | 12/2022

    Neopatrimonialism: A Critical Assessment

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Democratization | 11/2022

    Praising the Leader: Personalist Legitimation Strategies and the Deterioration of Executive Constraints

    In contrast to much current concern, this article shows that liberal democracies seem to largely escape the negative repercussions of government discourses that increasingly stress the uniqueness of the ruler.

    Lennart Brunkert

    Leuphana University of Lüneburg

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    W+F Wissenschaft und Frieden | 11/2022

    Wirtschaftlicher Zwang für politische Ziele: Boykotte und Sanktionen als Instrumente der internationalen Politik

    Oft verbinden Politiker*innen und die Öffentlichkeit übersteigerte Erwartungen mit Sanktionen: Sie sind nur eines von mehreren außenpolitischen Instrumenten, das immer im Zusammenspiel mit Diplomatie sowie unter Umständen militärischer Gewalt wirkt.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Perspectives on Politics | 06/2022

    Why Do We Speak to Experts? Reviving the Strength of the Expert Interview Method

    The paper offers suggestions for making the most effective and reflective use of qualitative expert interviews. It puts forward concrete advice addressing this technique’s inherent challenges of selecting experts, experts’ personal biases, and the systematic capturing of evidence.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    GIGA Focus Africa | 2/2022

    Home Alone: South Africa’s Regional Predicament

    South Africa finds itself in a severe crisis that has serious implications for its neighbours. The regional hegemon has largely been unable to engage in regional crises in a meaningful way. As a result, we see a worrying downward trend in Southern Africa, traditionally a haven of stability.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft

    “Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft” is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It focuses on how digitalisation offers new opportunities, challenges, and instruments for foreign policy. It will identify the options and (security) threats of digitalisation to develop timely responses of (digital) diplomacy.
    FFO, 2021-2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2025

    Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS), Cluster of Excellence / Universität Hamburg

    The Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS), based at Universität Hamburg, is guided by the overarching question: "Which climate futures are possible and which are plausible?" The GIGA contributes to the cluster in the central synthesis project and with its research on climate governance, the social construction of climate futures, and the interactions between climate change and conflict.
    DFG, Excellence Strategy, 2019-2025

    Research Project | 01/07/2014 - 30/06/2019

    International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes - IDCAR-Network

    In politics and political science alike, the increasing international influence of authoritarian regimes has become a central concern around the globe. From 2014-2019, the IDCAR network brought together some of the most renowned scholars in the field to produce high-level research and, based on this, policy advice and public outreach.
    Leibniz Association, 2014-2019

    Research Project | 01/03/2012 - 28/02/2017

    Anti-Corruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption

    Which factors promote or hinder the development of effective anti-corruption policies? This was the guiding question of the ANTICORRP consortium, led by the University of Gothenburg. In this framework, the GIGA comparatively analysed country cases in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and studied patterns and trends of corruption within each of the four regions.
    EC, FP7, 2012-2017

    ARD-Mittagsmagazin | Quote | 24/01/2023

    Die neue Afrikastrategie des BMZ

    Insbesondere im Aufbau von Energiesystemen gibt es großes Potential für die wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit mit afrikanischen Ländern, kommentiert Afrika-Experte Dr. Christian von Soest im Mittagsmagazin der ARD die neue Afrikastrategie des BMZ.

    Tagesspiegel | Quote | 15/01/2023

    Sanktionen gegen den Iran: Zaudern vor der roten Linie

    Reagiert die Außenministerin hart genug auf das Abschlachten von Demonstranten? Um die Aufnahme der Revolutionsgarden auf die Terrorliste gibt es Streit.

    WDR5 Politikum | Interview | 22/12/2022

    Afrikapolitik: Zu sehr aufs Klima fokussiert?

    Die Afrikapolitik der Ampelregierung setzt einen Schwerpunkt auf Klimaschutz. Und das findet Afrikaforscher Christian von Soest auch ganz richtig. Die Wirtschaftszusammenarbeit mit dem Kontinent kommt ihm aber derzeit zu kurz.

    Consultant | 22/11/2022

    Vortrag: "Das Ende der Apathie? Die neue US-Afrikapolitik unter Joe Biden"

    In vier zentralen Themenbereichen wird sich entscheiden, ob die neue US-Administration die Erwartungen wirklich erfüllt. Über diese Themenbereiche und die aktuellen Entwicklungen werden wir mit Dr. Soest sprechen.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Consultant | 27/07/2022

    The War in Ukraine: Are Sanctions against Russia Ineffective?

    Presentation for fourth cohort of the New Bridge Program, Atlantik Brücke, in collaboration with the Brunswick Group

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Consultant | 30/06/2022

    Afrika und der Ukraine-Krieg

    Die Reaktion afrikanischer Staaten auf den russischen Krieg gegen die Ukraine fiel gemischt aus. Welche Interessen stecken hinter der zurückhaltenden Haltung vieler afrikanischer Staaten? Was bedeutet diese für das Verhältnis mit Europa und den USA? Welche Rolle spielt Russland heute in Afrika?

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Teaching | Helmut Schmidt University | 2021

    State and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg Germany

    Seminar at the Helmut Schmidt University

    Teaching | Helmut Schmidt University | 2020

    State and Politics and Sub-Saharan Africa

    Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg Germany

    Seminar, Center for Interdisciplinary Study Components

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2020

    State and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg Germany

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