Dr. Sebastian Sons

Senior Researcher

Sebastian Sons works as senior researcher for CARPO. Previously, he served as an advisor for the Regional Programme “Cooperation with Arab Donors” (CAD) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. He holds a Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin with a thesis on media discourses on labor migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia.

He studied Islamic Studies, History and Political Sciences in Berlin and Damascus. Prior to that, he was trained as journalist in print, TV and radio media at the Berlin School for Journalists (Berliner Journalisten-Schule). After finishing his studies, he worked as Head of Research and Editor-in-Chief of the academic magazine Orient at the German Orient-Institute from 2009-2014 and as a project researcher at the Program Near East and North Africa at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. From 2018-2019, he was Senior Researcher at CARPO.

As a political analyst, he is consulted by German and international political institutions as well as by international journalists to provide expertise on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Among many other articles and analyses on Saudi Arabia, he published the book Built on Sand: Saudi Arabia – A problematic Ally (in German) in 2016. In September 2022, his new book Human rights are not for sale. Why the World Cup in Qatar also has to lead to a new political approach (in German) was released. He has been traveling to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council frequently since 2009.


sons [at] carpo-bonn.org