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. From 1 November 2023 to 31 July 2024, I am seconded to the European Commission working at IDEA, the advisory of the President, as a China Fellow. My current projects focus on China’s growing footprint in technical standardization, the emerging US-China technology rivalry - including in the wireless sector -, its implications for Europe, the realignment of German-Chinese relations as well as the politics of Hong Kong. I am also an associate researcher at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet, UI).
I am the founder of the Digital Power China (DPC) research consortium that brings together European engineers and China scholars from nine European countries to carry policy-relevant research on the PRC's growing digital technology footprint and its implications for Europe.
In 2022, my book "China's Foreign Policy Contradictions. Lessons from China's R2P, Hong Kong, and WTO Policy" was published by Oxford University Press.
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 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. 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 orders” 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 am also the founder of China Digital Analytics, where I offer China-related analysis tailored at the specific needs of my customers.
I have lived for five months or more in Belgium, China, Germany, Israel, and Sweden.