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New research project: Autocrats in times of COVID19

The Chair of Middle East Politics and Society has launched a new research project funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. Within the framework of the call “Corona Crisis and Beyond – Perspectives for Science, Scholarship and Society”, the project proposal on “Global autocratic collaboration in times of COVID19: Game changer or business as usual in Sino-Gulf Relations?” was approved. Together with project partners Julia Gurol (Universität Freiburg) and Tobias Zumbrägel (CARPO Bonn), the project builds on the premise that COVID19 acts as a booster for processes of global autocratization in which autocratic protagonists present themselves as more effective role models in fighting the pandemic. This is particularly observable in Sino-Gulf relations that challenges Europe’s and Germany’s international alliances and partnerships. Using tracing apps and surveillance technologies as examples, we look at the transregional corridors of exchange between China and the Arab Gulf States to examine how the Chinese narrative of a more powerful governance model diffuses.