Dr. Christian von Soest is a Lead Research Fellow and Head of the Research Program “Violence and Security” at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. In 2013/14, he was a Fritz Thyssen Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs. In 2007, he was seconded to the Federal Foreign Office’s Policy Planning Staff in Berlin. Christian von Soest holds a PhD from the University of Leipzig, studied at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and the Universities of Cape Town and Natal-Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) and attended the German School of Journalism (DJS) in Munich, Germany. His research focuses on international sanctions, persistence and change of authoritarian regimes, foreign policy, limited statehood as well as corruption and its effects on political regimes.