Sebastian Sons joined CARPO as a researcher in March 2021. Prior to that 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. He has been traveling to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council frequently since 2009.
Fokus & Topics: social and political developments in the societies of the Gulf Cooperation Council; foreign policy of Saudi Arabia and social transformation; South-Asian migration to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council; political and economic engagement of the Gulf states in Africa; development policy of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
- & Cinzia Bianco (2021): “Domestic Economic Plans and Visions in the GCC and Opportunities for Cooperation with Europe“, in: Colombo, Silvia, Abdul Ghafar, Adel (ed.): The European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Towards a New Path, Palgrave MacMillan. Available online.
- (2020): “Arbeitsmigration nach Saudi-Arabien und ihre Wahrnehmung in Pakistan: Akteur*innen und Strategien der öffentlichen Sichtbarmachung”, Ph.D. Thesis, CrossAsia. Available online.
- (2018): “In Dire Need for a New Social Contract: Saudi Arabia’s Socioeconomic and Political Challenges in Times of Changing Energy Dynamics“, in: Westphal, Kirsten, Jalilvand, David (eds.): Changing Dynamics of Energy: Political and Economic Challenges for the MENA-Region, Routledge, 125-143. Available online.
- & René Rieger (2017): “Saudi Arabia’s Regional Policy Since 2011“ in: Mason, Robert (ed.): Reassessing Order and Disorder in the Middle East, Rowman & Littlefield, 61-86. Available online.
- (2016): “Auf Sand gebaut. Saudi-Arabien – Ein problematischer Verbündeter”, Propyläen. Available online.