Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest

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

Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest

  • Short CV

    • Since 03/2023: Honorary professor at the University of Göttingen
    • 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

    Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest

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

    T. +49 30 25040-986 christian.vonsoest@giga-hamburg.de

    Monograph | Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch | 10/2023

    Sanktionen: Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?

    „Sanktionen“ stellt fundiert, verständlich und anschaulich die Möglichkeiten und Fallstricke dieses zentralen Machtinstruments der internationalen Politik im 21. Jahrhundert vor und gibt einen Blick in die Zukunft: Wie werden Sanktionen künftig eingesetzt? Das Buch stellt Maßstäbe vor, die Europa und Deutschland bei der Verhängung ihrer Strafmaßnahmen in Zukunft leiten sollten.

    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

    Monograph | Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch | 10/2023

    Sanktionen: Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?

    „Sanktionen“ stellt fundiert, verständlich und anschaulich die Möglichkeiten und Fallstricke dieses zentralen Machtinstruments der internationalen Politik im 21. Jahrhundert vor und gibt einen Blick in die Zukunft: Wie werden Sanktionen künftig eingesetzt? Das Buch stellt Maßstäbe vor, die Europa und Deutschland bei der Verhängung ihrer Strafmaßnahmen in Zukunft leiten sollten.

    Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte | 03/2023

    Erfolg und Grenzen der Sanktionspolitik gegen Russland

    Westliche Staaten haben bemerkenswert schnell mit harten Sanktionen auf die Invasion Russlands in die Ukraine reagiert. Nach einem Jahr zeigen sich erste Wirkungen der Zwangsmaßnahmen, die Erwartungen an dieses Instrument sollten aber realistisch bleiben.

    Chapter in Edited Volume | 2023

    The Termination of International Sanctions: Actors, Processes and Consequences

    The termination of sanctions is an important but largely understudied phenomenon within international politics. The chapter conceptualizes the protracted process of sanctions termination and conducts an in-depth analysis of termination patterns of European Union, United Nations, United States and regional-organization sanctions in the post-Cold War era.

    Research Project | 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2026

    The Dynamics of Mass Protests: The Influence of Composition, Demands, and Tactics on Violent Outcomes

    In recent years, the world has experienced an unprecedented number of mass protest events. Yet despite valuable research endeavours, one area that has not been systematically addressed is the conditions under which such protests turn violent. This is a significant limitation, as violent protests have serious detrimental effects: They harm people as well as infrastructure, erode trust between citizens and government, and polarize societies. To address this shortcoming, the Dynamics of Mass Protest (DMP) project will systematically study the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of protests.
    DFG, 2024-2026

    Research Project | 01/06/2023 - 30/11/2025

    Targeting: How the USA and EU Use Individual Sanctions

    Individual sanctions have become a go-to instrument with which Western powers confront challenges to international peace and security. Shaping the trend of individualizing accountability, the USA and the EU as the main bilateral global sanction senders target individuals and entities to hold them accountable for the instigation of armed conflict, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or the violation of human rights. INSA seeks to systematically analyze and compare the listing decisions of the USA and the EU.
    DSF, 2023-2025

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

    Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL): Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft

    The Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL) is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. Its first leg “Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft” 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, 2021-2024

    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

    Radio SRF 1 - "Echo der Zeit" | Interview | 07/02/2024

    Russland-Sanktionen: «Die Erwartungen waren unrealistisch»

    Kurz vor dem zweiten Jahrestag des Kriegsbeginns in der Ukraine bereitet die EU das mittlerweile 13. Paket mit Sanktionen gegen Russland vor. Doch zeigen diese überhaupt die gewünschte Wirkung? Das Gespräch mit dem Politikwissenschaftler und Sanktionsexperten Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest.

    Tagesspiegel | Expert Comment / Guest Contribution | 07/02/2024

    Nach fast zwei Jahren Ukraine-Krieg: Die westlichen Sanktionen wirken besser als viele Kritiker glauben

    Die Kritik an den wirtschaftlichen Maßnahmen gegen Russland wächst. Aber: Wirkungslos sind die Sanktionen nicht. Nur sollten sie verbessert werden. Ein Gastbeitrag von Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest.

    DAS! NDR | Quote | 30/01/2024

    Die kommenden Kriege

    Welche Faktoren führen dazu, dass in einer Krisenregion tatsächlich ein Krieg ausbricht? Warum lässt sich diese Entwicklung mal besser und mal schlechter vorhersagen? Was ist nötig, um Konflikte vor einem Kriegsausbruch zu entschärfen? Einschätzungen von Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest. 

    Workshop | 22/02/2024 - 23/02/2024

    Targeting - How the US and EU use Individual Sanctions

    IBEI-GIGA Workshop Security, Conflict and Peace, IBEI, Barcelona Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest (Speaker), Cecilia Natalie Strom (Speaker)

    This paper analyzes the question: What conditions make it likely that particular individuals and/or entities are being listed by the US and the EU? We introduce a novel dataset on listings by the EU and US from 2021 to 2023 that are aggregated at the monthly level.

    Exhibition | 18/10/2023 - 22/10/2023

    Sanktionen. Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?

    Frankfurter Buchmesse 2023, Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt Prof. Dr. Christian von Soest (Consultant)

    Auf dem Buchmessestand der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung: Alexander Haneke (FAZ) im Gespräch mit dem Autor Christian von Soest zu seinem Buch "Sanktionen. Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?" und den Möglichkeiten und Grenzen von Zwang im Zeitalter der Sanktionen.

    Teaching | University of Göttingen | 2023

    Sanctions and other Forms of Exerting Pressure

    In the 21st century, sanctions have become one of the most commonly used foreign policy tools to address armed conflict, restrictions on democracy, human rights abuses, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism. The seminar aims to discuss in depth the current research on international sanctions.

    Teaching | University of Göttingen | 2022

    Sanctions and other Forms of Exerting Pressure

    University of Göttingen Göttingen Germany

    Seminar at Department of Political Science

    Teaching | Helmut Schmidt University | 2021

    State and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg Germany

    Seminar at the Helmut Schmidt University

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