RESEARCH

My research interests include natural resource governance, political violence, and EU Foreign Policy. In my work, I often combine these different areas of research.

In my first research line, I study the EU’s foreign policy, in particular, with respect to natural resources that fund violent conflicts. I have analyzed the EU´s actions in the so-called Marange crisis about diamonds from Zimbabwe in the Kimberley Process and the EU´s policies with respect to conflict minerals. In another article I discussed more broadly the emergence of a “foreign accountability norm” to hold companies accountable for their socially or environmentally harmful behavior abroad (with Lena Partzsch).

My second research line looks on the prevention and mitigation of (violent) conflicts. Here I am particularly interested in the public opinion with respect to these policies and work with survey experiments. In two papers I have looked how external threats/incentives can influence domestic preferences. We looked at Catalonia and Scotland and found that neither an EU membership perspective (or the absence) influenced domestic support for secession (with Diego Muro), nor the perspective of international recognition changed substantially the degree of support for a unilateral declaration of independence (with Diego Muro and Guillem Vidal). In a recent project, I have looked at the side of the sender and showed with survey experiments in the United States and Germany what factors influence public support for conflict resolution policies (conference paper at 2021 ECPR Virtual Joint Sessions of Workshops).

My third, and newest, research line looks at the negative implications of the ecological transition for the stability in resource-rich countries. With Dominique Schmid I have studied how ecologically motivated land investments in the global south can contribute to violence. In a geospatial data analysis of forest protection projects in Colombia, we discovered that these environmental projects were associated with more violence against local community leaders (conference paper at 2021 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association).

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