The project team is based at the University of Freiburg and the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, Germany. The project has two Principal Investigators, Sandra Destradi and Johannes Plagemann, who lead a team of early career researchers.
Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi holds the Chair for International Relations at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Before moving to Freiburg in 2020, she was a Professor of International Relations and Regional Governance at Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg and head of the research programme ‘Power and Ideas’ at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) (2016-2020). Earlier, she held several positions at the GIGA (Research Fellow 2009-2014, Senior Research Fellow 2014-2016) and during the academic year 2014-15 she was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute (EUI).
Sandra Destradi holds a Dr. phil. from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and completed her studies in International and Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Trieste, Italy.
Sandra Destradi’s research interests include the impact of emerging powers of global governance, regional security dynamics in the Global South, India’s foreign and security policy, and the impact of populism and democratic backsliding on foreign policy and international politics. She has published the monograph Indian Foreign and Security Policy in South Asia: Regional Power Strategies (Routledge) and articles in journals such as the European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Democratization, Foreign Policy Analysis, Third World Quarterly, and Asian Survey.
Dr. Johannes Plagemann is a political scientist and research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies since 2010. At the GIGA he acts as the spokesperson of the research team Ideas, Actors and Global Politics and coordinates the research project Legitimate Multipolarity (2018-2022) funded by the DFG. In 2019/20 he was Deputy Professor for Political Science with a Focus on Area Studies China/East Asia at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt.
In 2016/17 he served as an External Policy Analyst at the Political Directorate-General of the German Federal Foreign Office. He was a member of the Hamburg International Graduate School for the Study of Regional Powers (2010-2013) and holds a Dr. phil from Kiel University.
Johannes Plagemann works on the intersection of Foreign Policy Analysis, International Relations, and Comparative Politics. His research interests include rising powers in international politics and especially Indian foreign policy, the legitimacy of international organizations in a multipolar world, and small states’ foreign policy in between major power rivalries. He is the author of the monograph Cosmopolitanism in a Multipolar World (Palgrave). His work has been published in, amongst others, Review of International Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Studies Review, International Relations of the Asia Pacific, The Pacific Review, and Publius.
Alyssa Santiago is a Ph.D. candidate at the Chair of International Relations at the University of Freiburg. Her knowledge of International Affairs is a product of both her academic training in Public Policy and Political Science, and her three-year professional experience as a researcher and technical staff in the Philippine government; with the most recent one being at the Political and Economic Section of the Philippine Embassy in Germany. Given the populist zeitgeist, she intends to explain foreign policy behavior through the lenses of individual political leadership.
Vihang Jumle is a graduate public policy student. He previously worked with Ikigai Law and later with the World Wide Fund for Nature in India. He takes an interest in political economy and diplomacy and has written on it for different publications. Vihang pursued his bachelors in IT engineering at Mumbai University. He tweets @vihangjumle.
Ronald Schleehauf is a graduate student in the German-French joint master’s program Applied Political Sciences at University of Freiburg and Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence. During the preceding bachelor’s program at the same universities, he worked as an intern to the political department of the German Embassy in Rome as well as at the Studio Rome of German television broadcaster ZDF. To pursue his passion for Italian politics he dedicated his bachelor’s thesis to an analysis of the changes to Italian electoral law in 2005 as a determinant of party-system change. He supports the project team by collecting and analyzing data on the case of Italy.
Carlos Heras Rodríguez graduated from his master’s in Political Science at El Colegio de México in 2021. He focuses on political parties, party systems and populism in Latin America and Southern Europe. He is currently based in Bolivia, where he has previously worked as a journalist.