I am a Senior Research Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) researching Europe-China relations, Chinese foreign and industrial policy including high technology, German-China relations and Hong Kong politics. My current projects focus on China’s growing footprint in technical standardization, the emerging US-China technology rivalry and its implications for Europe as well as the politics of Hong Kong. I am also an associate research at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet, UI).
In all my projects, I strive to understand the people that shape political decisions. Not least through a multitude of interviews and conversations do I try to better grasp China’s evolving role in international relations. In short, I adopt an anthropological approach to international affairs.
Even though I have an interest in purely academic research, most of my work carries direct policy relevance. I provide policy advice to European policymakers. I am an appointed observer to the High-Level Forum on European Standardisation and its Sherpa on digital standard-setting of the European Commission and a member of the China Task Force of the European Standardization Organizations.
Since 2019, I am member of the Management Committee and the Core Group of the EU-funded COST Action “Europe in China Research Network” (CHERN); I am chairman of CHERN’s Working Group “High technology and Innovation”. I am also a participant of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) that I have coordinated in 2018.
I hold a PhD from Frankfurt University with a thesis on sovereign state control in China’s foreign policy. In 2021, I will publish the results of the PhD in a book with Oxford University Press. Before obtaining my PhD, I studied International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research (MA, Frankfurt University and Technical University of Darmstadt) as well as Political Science and Cultural Anthropology (Tübingen University).
In line with my anthropological research approach, I hold a strong interest in societal debates of politics. Previously, I have studied how political issues have been discussed in popular Chinese social media. I actively engage in societal debates appearing in the media, writing blog posts and regularly joining panel discussions including some with high school and university students.
Prior to joining the German Council on Foreign Relations, I was a research fellow at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs and a researcher at the Cluster of Excellence “the formation of normative order” at Frankfurt University. I have been a visiting research fellow to Stockholm University and the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing among other institutions.
I have lived for five months or more in Belgium, China, Germany, Israel, and Sweden.