Working Group 2016-2017

The Working Group of the 2016-2017 Academic Think Tank consists of five postgraduate students/early-stage researchers that will apply various theoretical and methodological approaches to improve our understanding of the ‘Role of Politics in Humanitarianism’, as part of the 2017 IAPSS Annual Theme ‘The Meaning of Politics’.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of further questions or inquiries at thinktank@iapss.org.

Nino Rusidze

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Nino is 26 years old, from Georgia. She holds her BA degree in Business Administration (Georgia), MA degree in International Relations and Communications (Hungary) and currently is PhD candidate at Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary). Her research interest is Political Marketing Strategies and State Brand Building, researching increasing importance of political marketing tools in diplomacy for EEC. During her MA studies she has been fully funded by International Visegrad Fund and her PhD studies is fully supported by Tempus Public Foundation. Nino is fluent in Georgian, English, Russian, and speaks French on intermediate level.

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Nino Rusidze

Nino Rusidze

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Kamila Suchomel

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Kamila is an alumna of the International Relations and Diplomacy graduate program at Anglo-American University in Prague, and is currently also working at her alma mater as an administrator. She wrote her master's thesis on visual representation in humanitarian imagery, analyzing discourse and power relations contained therein from a critical interpretive stance. Kamila's main interests include the rights-based approach to development for which she manifested a passion during her undergraduate program in International Development Studies at Mendel University in Brno. She is a proponent of critical scholarship and education in order to develop unconventional ways of viewing international relations and thus enrich research and policy-making especially in the spheres of development and humanitarianism.

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Kamila Suchomel

Kamila Suchomel

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Michelle DeFreese

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Michelle completed her MA in International Studies with a specialization in History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland and a BSc with a double major in Anthropology and Administration of Justice at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. Trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Michelle’s research interests include political economy, natural resource governance, foreign policy, and geopolitics. Currently serving as an International Research Fellow (Africa Region) for the Young Professionals for Foreign Policy (YPFP), Michelle has lived in seven different countries and has previously held positions with UN permanent missions, security sector think tanks, and research institutions.

Michelle has spent the past year working in Tanzania as a Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellow as one of 11 emerging leaders in the area of international development, food security, and poverty alleviation. A contributing author to the book, The World in Acceleration, Michelle was selected for the GLOBSEC Young Leaders Forum in Bratislava, Slovakia to write a policy brief on the conflict in Syria and as a participant in the Preparing Global Leaders Forum in Moscow, Russia. She has also served as a consultant for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) and has been trained in international electoral observation at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice,  Italy.

Michelle joins the International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS) as an Academic Think Tank member addressing the ‘The Role of Politics in Humanitarianism’ as part of the IAPSS annual theme ‘The Meaning of Politics’. Her current research focuses on multidimensional poverty analysis, newly independent states, violent non-state actors, African politics, and the security-development nexus.

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Michelle DeFreese

Michelle DeFreese

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Matsiko Samuel

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Matsiko Samuel is a lawyer by profession and a human Rights advocate with a keen interest in international law, international criminal justice, human rights and international politics. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Uganda Christian University and co-founder of the African digital academy for international law. He is a member of the international law association and a recipient of the prestigious 2016 Tilburg University Young African scholars for international law award. Samuel previously worked in the legal department at the International Justice Mission and served as a reporter for the Oxford law reports in International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) - an online project of the Amsterdam Center for International Law and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Uganda Christian University and completed an LLM as an African Excellence DAAD scholar from Humboldt University Germany and the University of the Western Cape.

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Matsiko Samuel

Matsiko Samuel

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Jordan Shapiro

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Jordan’s main expertise is in is in conflict resolution, and democracy building through sub-state fragmentation, more specifically, using ethnically run, sub state governments as a means to resolve conflicts between an ethnic group and the state, Russian foreign relations and language, British politics from a Welsh perspective, and American politics.
She wrote her master’s dissertation in a comparative framework using the Welsh substate as a model for conflict resolution in the Kurdish region of Turkey, arguing that if the Kurds were given representation in the Turkish Parliament and also had an opportunity to have a state government and power to legislate over certain subjects such as education, language, and whatever other powers matter to the Kurds that the Turkish government would be willing to give away.
Professionally, she has worked for Senator Bernard Sanders and currently she is working for an environmentally focused youth empowerment organization that addresses environmental leadership for students in high schools in California, Ecuador, and Nicaragua by addressing environmental literacy and cultural exchange through international service trips that create grass roots international contacts between young people from these three areas.

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Jordan Shapiro

Jordan Shapiro

Member of the Working Group 2016-2017

Charlotte Hammer

Academic Think Tank Coordinator
thinktank@iapss.org

Charlotte was born 26 years ago in Cologne and holds a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Bonn University (Germany) as well as a Masters in Risk and Security from Durham University (UK). She is a PhD candidate at Cardiff University (UK) investigating pandemic prepardness. Her research interests revolve around Global Health, Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Action. Charlotte holds PhD studentship from Cardiff University and has previously been funded by Aberystwyth University and the German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes e.V.). Her extracurricular interests include first aid, outdoor sports and travelling. Charlotte is fluent in English, German and French and speaks Spanish and Danish at beginner’s level.

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Charlotte Hammer

Charlotte Hammer

Academic Think Tank Coordinator

Working Group 2015-2016

The theme of the Working Group 2015-2016 is ‘Challenging Democracy’. Democracy is at the heart of political science and practice in the 21st century. The topic seeks a broad engagement with the practices, challenges and theories of democracy. The Think Tank aims at finding critical and imaginative answers to some of the core questions in current democracy research and investigates the values and norms of democracy as well as threats to democracy and democratization processes. Thereby, it also questions and challenges democracy, democratic practices and democratic legitimization and their role in shaping the world in the 21st century.

Nick Vlahos

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Nick is a PhD student in the political science department at York University in Toronto. His dissertation is on the relationship between the partisan (de)centralization of state institutions and the (re)design of democratic authority in Britain over the post-WWII period, Related interests are linked with a desire to see participatory forms of civic engagement more integrated into democratic decision-making in Canadian municipalities. He is currently engaged with the revamp of participatory budgeting in Ward 2, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, serving on the steering committee and acting as an education coordinator.

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Nick Vlahos

Nick Vlahos

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Max Lüggert

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Max Lüggert is currently a PhD student at Bonn University in Germany. He holds a Master's degree in political science, his dissertation deals with the changing political role of the European Central Bank in the wake of the current crisis.

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Max Lüggert

Max Lüggert

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Asyura Salleh

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Asyura is a former government political analyst and current PhD Candidate with S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Tecnhnological University at Singapore. She has a specialised research interest in the impact of conflicting worldviews on US democracy promotion policies towards transitioning countries.

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Asyura Salleh

Asyura Salleh

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Paula Gomes Moreira

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Paula is a PhD Candidate in International Relations with University of Brasilia (UnB). Her main areas of study comprises international and compared politics. She has been dedicated to investigate the contribution of international electoral observers to good democratic governance in elections, especially in Latin American and post-conflict countries. She is currently finishing her PhD and aims to apply for a post-doc.

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Paula Gomes Moreira

Paula Gomes Moreira

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

Li-chia Lo

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. My doctoral thesis is about deliberative democracy and participatory budgeting in China with special interest in formations of related knowledge and local experiments in Chinese cities.
My broader areas of interest include critical theory, political theory, democratic theory, post-strucutralism, China studies, Taiwan studies, and democratization in East Asia.
Following my thesis and areas of interest, for my mid-term project, via ethnographic methods and discourse analysis, I plan to compare the different developments of deliberative democracy and participatory budgeting in China and Taiwan. For my long-term project, I put special emphases on the reflection of democratic theory through the empirical experiences in China and Taiwan.
In the meantime, I am extremely open to all forms of participation, deliberation and democratic experiments around the world.

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Li-chia Lo

Li-chia Lo

Member of the Working Group 2015-2016