Research team

Meet our current research team:

Daniela Stockmann

Team leader

Danie Stockmann is the Principal Investigator and Team Leader of the project. Stockmann is currently a Professor of Digital Governance at the Hertie School of Governance. She was previously an Associate Professor of Political Science at Leiden University.  She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.  Her research focuses on Chinese politics, public opinion and political communication, comparative politics, and research methods.  Dr. Stockmann’s book Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (Cambridge University Press, 2013) explores the effects of media marketization on the production of news and public opinion in China, placing China within a broader comparative context. In 2015, the book won the Goldsmith Book Prize for the best academic book on media, politics, and public affairs from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University.

Ting LUO

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ting Luo is a Senior Lecturer of Political Communication at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Her current research focuses on the impact of digital development on governance and political participation in authoritarian regimes. Her research interests include comparative politics, digital politics and media, elections and democratisation, and Chinese politics. She holds a PhD in government and a Master of Science in public policy and administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

Felix Garten

Research Assistant

Felix Garten is a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Global and Transregional Studies and a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Digital Governance at the Hertie School. He received his Master of International Affairs from the Hertie School and a Bachelor of Arts in China Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. Previously, he worked at the German Council on Foreign Relations, the German Bundestag (Parliament) Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Policy Planning Staff of the German Federal Foreign Office. His research interests include geopolitical and social implications of digitalisation in Europe and China.

Paxia Ksatryo

Research Assistant

Paxia Ksatryo is a 2022 Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate and Research Assistant at the Hertie School, as well as Young Professional at the German development agency GIZ. Raised in Seoul, South Korea and Jakarta, Indonesia, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences at Sciences Po Paris with a regional focus on Europe and Asia. She has experience in public relations and previously worked at the United Nations University (UNU-FLORES). Her research interests include navigating power dynamics in platform regulation as well as intersectional approaches to systemic inequalities.

Pranav Deshpande

Research Assistant

Pranav Deshpande is a 2021 Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate and Research Assistant at the Hertie School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering from PESIT, Bangalore in India, and is an experienced analytics professional, previously having worked with Amazon and Mu Sigma Inc. His research interests include comparative politics and empirical migration studies.

Meet our former research team:

Keri Hartman

Research Associate

Keri Hartman is a Research Associate at the Hertie School. She holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Hertie School with a focus on quantitative policy analysis and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and German Studies from Harvard University. Her research interests include digitalisation, social inequality and social cohesion, and comparative policy analysis. Previously, she worked as an energy market analyst, freelance proofreader and translator, as well as a secondary school English teacher.

Kira Messing

Research Associate

Kira Messing is a Research Associate at the Hertie School. She holds a Master of International Affairs (MIA) from the Hertie School and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Islamic Studies from the University of Tübingen. Previously, she researched the societal implications of algorithms, open data and data governance at the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung e.V. in Berlin, and is currently working on the organisation’s cyber security project. Her research interests include Islamist radicalisation and communication as well as the societal impact and transformation processes of digitalisation.

Allison Koh

Research Assistant

Allison Koh is a Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate and Research Assistant at the Hertie School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Asian Studies from Tulane University. Previously, she worked at Open Society Foundations in New York and served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia. Her research interests include quantitative methods in social science research and the construction of identities and communities in East and Southeast Asia.

Yuxi NIE

PhD Candidate

Yuxi Nie is a PhD candidate in the Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University and is involved in the project for web administration, research assistance and communication. She received her Master of Arts in TV Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Xi’an International Studies University. She was also a visiting student at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include communication, social media, discourse analysis and research methods. Her PhD project intends to investigate the relationship between Micro-blogging and media policy in China and how digital media shape the communication strategies of the PRC’s official news agency Xinhua.

Vincent Bakker

Master’s Student

Vincent Bakker is a second-year Research Master student in the two year master’s programme, Research Master Political Science and Public Administration at Leiden University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (with a focus on economics) from Leiden University and hopes to obtain his Master of Science by summer 2017. He is involved in the project through the preparation and analysis of (survey) data. His main field of interest concerns comparative political economy. His research interests thus relate to varieties of capitalism, welfare state arrangements and social policy, with a particular focus on labour market institutions. As a Student Assistant at the Institute of Public Administration he is also involved in teaching and the preparation and moderation of two newly introduced Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs).

Zheng LI

PhD Candidate

Zheng Li is a PhD candidate in the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University and involved in the project as young researcher assisting with the project’s communication, web administration, and research. She received a Master of Science in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies – Television Production from the University of Westminster. Her research interests include audience studies, media commercialisation and politics in China. Her dissertation focuses on the production of reality TV and audience perceptions of its entertainment, as well as the socio-political and cultural aspects, with a focus on legal mediation broadcasting in Shanghai.

Zhongyuan WANG

PhD Candidate

Wang Zhongyuan is a PhD candidate in the Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University and involved in the project as young researcher, assisting with the project’s data management and research. He received his Master of Arts in Political Science from Fudan University and his Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Public Administration from Xiamen University. He was also a visiting student at the National Taiwan University. His research interests include comparative authoritarianism and political transition, local politics and governance, contemporary Chinese politics and media, as well as the politics of Taiwan. His PhD project is about elections under authoritarian regimes, focusing on the conditions and mechanisms that contribute to stabilising or destabilising authoritarian rule in mainland China and Taiwan under KMT rule.

Jing ZHANG

PhD Candidate

Jing Zhang is a Visiting Researcher in the Cognitive Psychology Unit of Leiden University and a PhD candidate at Zhejiang University, China. She received an MEd in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Hangzhou Normal University and a BE in Computer Science and Technology from Hangzhou Dianzi University. Her research interests include human understanding, embodied cognition and consciousness. Her dissertation focuses on sense of agency and sense of ownership, as well as how the two senses interact with each other to build an integrated sense of self and how the environment might be affected by this unified sense which is very important to human self-consciousness.