Regional Coordinators

With their extensive regional expertise and their outstanding academic standing, the regional coordinators contribute to the measurement and review process and the analysis of the BTI-results in a major fashion. In consultation with the BTI-team, they select their region’s country experts, guide, comment and coordinate the preparation of the country reports, calibrate the indicator scores for their respective region and have a most important role in conducting the interregional calibration of the BTI-results. They are also the authors of the regional reports, which form an essential part of each BTI-publication.

  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Regional Coordinator West and Central Africa

    Tel. +49 40 428 25 517


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  • Dr. Martin Brusis

    Regional Coordinator East-Central and Southeast Europe

    Tel. +49 1577 414 6776


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  • Prof. Dr. Aurel Croissant

    Regional Coordinator Asia and Oceania

    Tel.: +49 6221 542883


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  • Prof. Dr. Siegmar Schmidt

    Regional Coordinator South and East Africa

    Tel. +49 6341 280 38 413

    Mail: schmidts@uni-landau-de

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  • Dr. Hans-Joachim Spanger

    Regional Coordinator Post-Soviet Eurasia

    Tel.: +49 69 95910427


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  • Dr. Peter Thiery

    Regional Coordinator Latin America and the Caribbean

    Tel. +49 6221 54 2876


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  • Dr. Jan Claudius Völkel

    Regional Coordinator Middle East and North Africa


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Matthias Basedau is Lead Research Fellow at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, adjunct Professor at Hamburg University and also an external affiliate of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Besides studying democracy and political parties, he focusses on peace and conflict studies. In particular, he investigates the role of ethnicity, political institutions, natural resources and religion as determinants of conflict. His regional focus is sub-Saharan Africa. He received his PhD from Heidelberg University with a thesis on the conditions of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa.

Martin Brusis works as an advisor, author, lecturer and researcher on issues of democratization and governance in different East European states and is Associate Professor at the Faculty for European Studies at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He participated in several research and advocacy projects that were realized at the universities of Berlin and Munich, including cooperation with Bertelsmann Stiftung. From 2010-2015 he coordinated a multi-disciplinary project network studying institutions and institutional change in the post-Soviet region. He received his Ph.D. for a study on Hungary's privatization from Free University of Berlin.

Professor Aurel Croissant teaches Political Science at Heidelberg University. He is co-editor of the journal Democratization as well as member of the Academic Advisory Board of the German Association for Asian Studies (DGA), and the “Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings”-Research Program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His research interests are documented in about 200 scholarly publications, and include the comparative analysis of democracies and autocracies, the role of the military in politics, party systems and civil society, as well as the relationship of political violence and political order. His empirical research focuses on Asia-Pacific. His ongoing research projects examine questions of civilian control of the military in new democracies, military behavior in ‘dictator’s endgames’, civil society in non-democracies, and the relationship of elections, regime types and stateness.

In 1999, Siegmar Schmidt became Professor for international relations and Comparative Government at the University of Koblenz-Landau (Germany), Campus Landau. Previously he had worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Trier and the University of Mainz. He held the Willy Brand-Chair of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2003/04. His research interests and a wide range of publications focus on African politics and development issues.

Hans-Joachim Spanger holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Goethe University Frankfurt. He is the Executive Board’s Commissioner for the Research Department "Information and Knowledge Transfer" at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). His academic interests include European security, democratization and democracy promotion; his regional interest has predominantly been Russia.

Previously he worked as Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. From 2007 until 2011 he was chairman of the Advisory Board on Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building of the German Foreign Ministry. He is the founder of the Schlangenbad Talks, an annual German-Russian conference series on foreign and security policy, jointly organized by PRIF and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Peter Thiery is a senior researcher at the Institute of Political Science at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on democracy, the rule of law and transformation processes in Latin America. Since 2002, he has contributed to the development of the Transformation Index (BTI) and has been the regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He received his Ph.D. for his thesis on Transformation in Chile from University of Mainz, where he also completed an M.A. with a thesis on democratization in Spain. He also participated in several research projects at Universities of Munich and Würzburg, and was fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg. His numerous publications include the co-authored Defekte Demokratie vol. 1 & 2 (2003; 2006).

Jan Claudius Völkel is currently Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for European Studies in Brussels where he focuses on his research project on “The role of national parliaments in the Arab transformation processes". Prior to that he was DAAD long-term lecturer for Political Science in the Euro-Mediterranean Studies Programme at Cairo University. His teaching and research interests deal with the current transformation processes in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as the Mediterranean relations of the European Union. He is member of the advisory board of the “ArabTrans” project at the University of Aberdeen ( and fel-low of the Arab German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities ( He researched and lectured at the universities of Freiburg, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Duhok (Iraqi Kurdistan), al-Quds (Palestine) and at the Royal Scientific Society in Amman. He was a visiting researcher at the universities of Montreal, Istanbul (Bahçeşehir) and Dundee.