BTI blog authors

To BTI blog

On the BTI blog, BTI experts and journalists provide insights into current democracy and governance issues in developing and transition countries.

Alex Vatanka

Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.

Alison Singer

Alison Singer is a freelance writer for environmental organizations such as the Worldwatch Institute and the Climate Institute. Currently, she is PhD candidate in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

Amal S. Obeidi

BTI Country Expert Libya
Associate Professor, University of Benghazi, Libya

Anna Hengge

Heidelberg University
Anna Hengge is pursuing an MA in Political Science with a special focus on polarization and democratic backsliding. She is part of Professor Aurel Croissant‘s research team at the Institute of Political Science at Heidelberg University.

Aurel Croissant

Heidelberg University
Professor of Political Science
Aurel Croissant is Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Political Science, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg.

Awol Kassim Allo

Keele University
Lecturer in Law
Awol Allo is Lecturer in Law at Keele University, Great Britain. Before, he was Fellow in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Carolina Moehlecke

School of International Relations, Fundação Getulio Vargas
Adjunct Professor

Christian Achrainer

Independent consultant, analyst and lecturer

Christina Maags

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Claire Elder

Doctoral Candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford
Claire Elder is currently a doctoral candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. She is also a consulting political analyst, having worked previously for International Crisis Group (ICG) on Somaliland/Somalia.

Claudio Fuentes

School of Political Science, Universidad Diego Portales
Claudio Fuentes, Ph.D. political science, is a professor at the School of Political Science at the Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) in Santiago de Chile. He is a coordinator of the UDP Constitutional Lab.

Craig Willy

Craig James Willy is a Brussels-based EU affairs writer.

Dalia Ghanem

Carnegie Middle East Center
Resident Scholar

Damin Jung

The Korea Times
Politics & Defense reporter
Damin Jung is Politics and Defense reporter at The Korea Times.

Dane Taleski

Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz
Visiting Fellow

Eduardo Mello

Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
Assistant professor of politics and international relations
Eduardo Mello is an assistant professor of politics and international relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil. His research interests include governance, poverty reduction, the political economy of education, electoral clientelism, the provision of public goods, and political corruption. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Elham Manea

University of Zuerich
Associate Professor

Eromo Egbejule

West Africa editor of The Africa Report magazine

Eva Seiwert

Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS), Freie Universität Berlin

Fabian Stroetges

Durham University
Doctoral Researcher
Fabian Stroetges is a Doctoral Researcher at Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs and BTI country expert for Tunisia.

Falk Hartig

Goethe University Frankfurt
Postdoctoral Researcher and Journalist

Filip Reyntjens

Emeritus Professor of Law and Politics, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB), University of Antwerp

Gabriel Salvia

Center for the Opening and the Development of Latin America

Hans-Joachim Spanger

Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Executive Board’s Commissioner for Knowledge Transfer

Iryna Solonenko

BTI Country Expert Ukraine
Researcher, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder

Jan Claudius Völkel

Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow 2017-2019
Jan Claudius Völkel is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Regional Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa for the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI).

Jil Kamerling

Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University

Jonathan Fisher

University of Birmingham

Julia Renner

University of Koblenz-Landau
Lecturer and research fellow
Julia Renner works as a lecturer and research fellow in the Department for International Relations at the University of Koblenz-Landau.

Konstantin Krome

Heidelberg University
Konstantin Krome pursues an MA in Political Science, focusing in area studies of the Middle East. He is part of Professor Aurel Croissant's research team at Heidelberg University.

Leonid Litra

New Europe Center Kiev, Ukraine
Senior Research Fellow

Lloyd M. Sachikonye

Institute of Development Studies

Ludwig Schulz

Ludwig Schulz is head of the Turkey department of the German Orient Institute Berlin and project manager at the Center for Applied Policy Research (C.A.P.) Munich.

Maja Bovcon

Senior Analyst, Verisk Maplecroft

Marco Bünte

Dr. Marco Bünte is Associate Professor of Politics at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. He is one of 250 country experts who worked on the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index, BTI 2016.

Mark Turner

Mark Turner is a visiting professor at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. He is one of 250 country experts who are currently working on the forthcoming edition of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index BTI 2016 which will be released at the end of February 2016.

Martin Plaut

Journalist and Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Michael Gahler

European Parliament, European People's Party
Michael Gahler has been a Member of the European Parliament of the German CDU in the European People's Party since 1999 and is Vice President of the European Movement Germany. He is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spokesman for the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

Nic Cheeseman

University of Birmingham
Professor of Democracy and International Development
Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy and International Development at the University of Birmingham.

Nick Ross

Australian National University
Researcher, PhD-student
Nick Ross is a PhD student at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. He works as researcher for the Association for Inclusive Peace, and has consulted with or advised the United Nations, national governments, civil society, and non-state armed groups in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia.

Pablo Nemiña

Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO - Argentina)
Research Fellow

Paul Esber

Phd-Candidate at the University of Sydney
Phd Candidate at the University of Sydney

Pavin Chachavalpongpun

Associate Professor, Kyoto University

Piotr Buras

Director, Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations

Rabi Karmacharya

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal
Executive Director

Raphael Bossong

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Senior Associate

Rasheed Draman

African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs
Executive Director

Richard R. Dion

Governance and Communications Consultant
Richard R. Dion is a governance and communications consultant based in Germany. Formerly a Regional Director at the EITI International Secretariat, he has evaluated the EITI in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea for the GIZ.

Rolf J. Langhammer

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Senior Fellow
Rolf J. Langhammer is Senior Fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Senior Policy Fellow for China in the Global Economy at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). He is member of the BTI Board, an interdisciplinary group of transformation and development experts.

Sandra Weiss


Sean Carey

School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Shamil Shams

Shamil Shams works as a reporter and editor for Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany.

Sophia Boddenberg

Freelance Journalist

Stephan Giersdorf

Research Fellow at the University of Heidelberg
Dr. Stephan Giersdorf is a research fellow at the University of Heidelberg. His research interests include democratization studies, authoritarian regimes, civil society studies and quantitative conflict research. His regional focus is on South and South East Asia.

Sylvia Croese

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town
Sylvia Croese is a research fellow at the African Centre for Cities and at the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. She conducts research on urban governance and development in Africa. She is also a contributor to

Tanja Eschenauer-Engler

Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University
Tanja Eschenauer is a researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Heidelberg University. Her work focuses on civil-military relations, armed forces in autocracies, and military coups. From 2015 to 2019, she worked in the „Dictator's Endgame“ project. Together with Jil Kamerling and Prof. Aurel Croissant, she co-created the The Political Roles of the Military (PRM) dataset.

Thomas Kalinowski

Ewha Womans University
Associate Professor
Thomas Kalinowski is an associate professor at Ewha Womans University’s Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul and a long-time BTI expert of South Korean society, economy and corruption.

Tilman Lüdke

BTI Country Expert Turkey
Senior Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute

Tsedale Lemma

Addis Standard
Tsedale Lemma is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard, an English publication that reports critically on domestic and foreign sociopolitical and socioeconomic current affairs impacting Ethiopia.

Ulad Vialichka

Transformation Thinker, Belarus

Una Bergmane

Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics and Baltic Sea Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia
Una Bergmane is a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics and Baltic Sea Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.