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Gert Hilgers

Gert Hilgers is a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick. He has been working as an associate tutor at PAIS since 2014 and has previous experience as a sessional teaching fellow at the Warwick Business School. Furthermore, he is part of the Residential Life Team on campus, currently in the role of Sub Warden.

Gert holds an MSc in International Political Economy from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and an MA in International Relations from the University of Warwick. Previously, he completed a BSc Economics degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, which included studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK, and the University of Cologne, Germany. He was awarded a full scholarship by the German Hans-Böckler-Foundation for both his Bachelor and Masters studies.

Gert worked with the European Commission's Social and Demographic Analysis unit in Brussels and the German Organisation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Bangkok. He also spent considerable time volunteering, for instance as the leader of a project team integral to the successful establishment of the student organisation AIESEC in Tehran, Iran. Prior to his studies, he became a certified Management Assistant in Office Communication in Germany.


PhD thesis title: Germany's Contemporary Relations with China - Economic Interest, Ignorance, and Trust

The thesis assesses the Germany-China relations from 1998 to 2017. It focuses on the foreign policy decision-making process and the question how and why the relations developed the way they did, making use of a Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) framework for the analysis of sub-state-level actors.

The preliminary findings suggest that the German government largely reacted to external events instead of setting its own agenda, and that the wider political sector lacked significant China expertise beyond an operational level.

This research project is being supervised by Professor Shaun Breslin and Dr James Brassett.

(Further) Research interests include:

  • Foreign Policy Analysis & International Political Economy
  • The trilateral political and commercial relations between the United States, Germany/EU, and China
  • The role of expert knowledge in foreign policy decision-making processes & intercultural (mis-)communication
  • Political risk and its strategic considerations

Teaching (AY 2019/20)

Modules taught: PO102: Political Research Methods in the 21st Century

Advice & Feedback Hours: Mondays from 9-10 & 12-1 in room D2.09 (term-time only, excluding reading weeks)


Modules taught previously:


Department of Politics and International Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Gert Hilgers

Gert Hilgers

G dot Hilgers at warwick dot ac dot uk