My path

My path started in the town of Geislingen in the South of Germany where I went to school and, early on, began to engage in youth work and local politics.

After high school I moved to Berlin to do my community service in a youth club and hostel. Before going to university, I visited East Africa for the first time – a “safari” with a lasting legacy. Together with my friend Thomas Bopp, I founded the not-for-profit organisation Freundeskreis Uganda e.V. It partners with projects in the social and health sectors in Uganda and, in the meantime, counts more than 100 members.

In Heidelberg and Leuven, I studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Law. By the time I graduated, I had been involved in politics for ten years. Facing the decision to enter politics full time, I decided to do a postgraduate degree in International Studies instead. For my Master’s my path led me first to Oslo, then to Stellenbosch in South Africa. This time of my life was very formative – both personally and in terms of my political thought.

After my Master’s, I returned to Europe and worked in the European Parliament in Brussels. In 2015, I embarked on PhD studies in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. Under the supervision of the late Professor Ian Taylor and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, I researched the political economy of Chinese-funded transport infrastructure in Tanzania and Zambia.

Currently, I am Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy at the University of Freiburg. I am also Research Fellow in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at Stellenbosch University and Research Associate in the Second Cold War Observatory. I have previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ERC-funded African Governance and Space (AFRIGOS) project in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. I have taught courses on Global Political Economy, the political economy of the Global South, South-South cooperation, Africa-China relations, as well as on International Relations, international organisations, non-state actors, interdisciplinarity and Africa’s international relations, at Dresden, Freiburg, St Andrews and Stellenbosch.

My personal interests include kind people, good food, travelling, reggae and yoga.