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Dr. Feroza Sanjana


Politics Department

Visiting Professor

Lansstraße 7-9
Room 210
14195 Berlin

I am a political scientist and policy analyst based in Berlin. My specialisation is in international political economy with a focus on India and South Asia. In the winter term 2021/22 I will be joining the politics department at JFKI as a visiting professor.

I have been a consultant at United Nations Women (UN Women) in areas of women’s economic empowerment and business and human rights.

I am also adjunct lecturer at the Center for International and Comparative Political Economy at the Freie University Berlin and have been an adjunct lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance.

Previously as Thyssen Fellow as well as a Stanford-Freie University Fellow at Stanford University and Dahlem Research School Visiting Researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University Chile, my research and policy inputs have been submitted to several institutions including most recently, to the Indian Embassy in Berlin, the London School of Economics Investment and Human Rights Project, the United Nations (UNFPA) as well as to a parliamentary committee in the Upper House of the Government of India.


Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Freie University Berlin Ph.D. Political Science, 2015-19, Magna cum Laude
Focus: The Politics of the International Investment Regime in the Global South

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
M.A. International Studies and Diplomacy, 2013-14, Distinction

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
M.Sc. Philosophy and Public Policy, 2011-12, Merit

St. Xaviers College, University of Mumbai
B.A. Media and Communications, 2008-11,

Visiting Research

Stanford University, California: Visiting doctoral researcher, Department of Political Science, 2018-19             

Pontifical Catholic University, Santiago, Chile: Visiting doctoral researcher, Department of Political Science, 2018                                                   

Mentoring and Consulting

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Alumni Careers Service, 2021-present
Mentor and Careers Advisor, 4 students, Masters programmes

Junior Expert, Asia Pacific Research and Advice Network to the European Union & ESIWA, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 04/2020-10/2020
Consultant and expert on South Asia – EU foreign policy issues at the Asia-Pacific Research and Advice Network (APRAN) is a tender project begun by leading global think tanks Chatham House (UK), the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS, Germany) and Clingendael (the Netherlands), funded by the European Union.

Professional Experience

Consultant, WeEmpower Asia, United Nations (UN Women), New Delhi, 10/20-present                    Research Coordinator, Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia (ESIWA) Project, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 12/2020-present                                   

Parliamentary Researcher, Office of Prof. Rajeev Gowda MP, Indian National Congress, Parliament of India, New Delhi, 12/2019- 02/2020 

Research Assistant, London School of Economics Investment & Human Rights Project, London, 09/2015-09/2018 (part time)

Research and Communications Officer, Jesuit Refugee Service South Asia, 04/2015-07/2015

Research and Communications Intern, United Nations Information Center for India and Bhutan, New Delhi, 04/2010-06/2010

Scholarships and Awards

2018-19: Stanford Free University Graduate Fellowship: scholarship awarded by Stanford University through a university-wide call for PhD candidates across all disciplines at Freie University, 1 scholarship award (September 2018-April 2019).
2018: DRS FUBright Mobility Allowance for Young Researchers: field work in Chile. 2017: Indo-German Young Leaders Forum, Indian Embassy Berlin.
2017: DRS FUBright Mobility Allowance for Young Researchers: stipend for conducting field work and conference participation in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2017: Voice of Young Scientists (VOYs), Brussels: 1 of 5 early career researchers awarded science communication stipend across all disciplines at Freie University.
2015-18: Fritz Thyssen Doctoral Fellowship (September 2015-September 2019).
2015: Deloitte Global: Analyst, Political Risk Unit, New Delhi (declined offer).

Professional Certifications

UN Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA)Training
UN Fraud and Corruption Awareness and Prevention Course
UN I Know Gender: An Introduction to Gender Equality for UN staff
UN Women Information Security Course
UN Women Learning Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse Of Authority
Ethics and integrity at UNICEF
UN Human Rights Responsibilities Course


John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie University Berlin, Winter 2021/22:

B.A. Programme, VertiefungsseminarInternational Investment and the Global South

MA Programme, Hauptseminar/Seminar, Gender and Foreign Policy 

MA Programme, Hauptseminar/Seminar, Introduction to Theories and Methods                                                               

MA Programme Mastercolloquium Political Science (also for GSNAS)

Center for International and Comparative Political Economy, Freie University Berlin, B.A. Programme, 40 students
Winter 2020-21: Proseminar, The Politics of the International Investment Regime

Hertie School of Governance, Department of International Affairs. M.A. Programme, 20 students
Winter 2020-21: Research Methods Workshop - Case Studies

Winter 2020-21: Research Methods Workshop - Interviews

Winter 2020-21: Research Methods Workshop - Process Tracing

Center for International and Comparative Political Economy, Freie University Berlin, B.A. Programme, 40 students

Summer 2020:  Proseminar, The International Investment Regime: Perspectives from IPE

Hertie School of Governance, Department of International Affairs, M.A. Programme, 20 students

Winter 2017-18: Introduction to Methodology

Center for International and Comparative Political Economy, Freie University Berlin, B.A. Programme, 40 students

Winter 2017-18: Proseminar, Multinationals, Investment Policy and Sustainable Development


Global Economic Governance

What are the techniques by which experts can influence policy making and the formation of international governance regimes? Using the case of the United Nations in the spread of bilateral investment treaties in the Global South, my research demonstrates how international organisations like the UN have been a key source of scientific knowledge in the developing world, and even in a “post-truth” policy environment, continue to play an important role today through agenda setting, issue framing and by influencing the ideas of key decision makers.

South-South Bilateral Investment Treaties

Why did developing countries sign South-South Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with one another despite their long-standing historical opposition to investment rules? The proliferation of South-South BITs in the 1990s and 2000s is an unexplored aspect of the politics of international investment treaties. This is surprising given that South-South BITs form almost forty percent of the BIT universe today. My research provides unique comparative case studies on India and Chile, providing crucial insights into economic decisions of developing countries and a much needed micro-level focus to existing BIT literature.

Emerging Powers and Foreign Policy

This ongoing exploratory project considers the growing role of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a tool for emerging powers to build strategic relations with smaller developing countries. First, it maps using network visualisation countries, particularly in the volatile Indian Ocean Region, which have received investments from India and China. In a second step, using text analysis, it argues that there has been a notable shift in traditional discourse on FDI as having purely economic objectives to instead becoming increasingly linked to a security agenda.


“Investment clauses to leverage for trade? The politics of Chilean FTAs 1990-2009” Paper at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, Toronto, 27 March, 2019
“The politics of investment treaties: A comparative anaylsis of India and Chile”,  International Political Economy Colloquium, Stanford University, 10 January 2019
“International political economy meets social psychology: learning and ‘the wisdom of  crowds’ in international economic governance”,  Paper presented at the Kolleg-  Forschergruppe: The Transformative Power of Europe Colloquium (KFG), Berlin, 14 May, 2018
“International organizations, economic policy and the politics of numbers: UNCTAD and the spread of South-South BITs”,  Paper presented at the European Consortium for Political Science Research, Oslo, 09 September, 2017  
“The relevance of the United Nations for India’s foreign policy”, Invited as Panelist, Videsh Niti Series, Embassy of India, Berlin, 27 February, 2017
“Power-knowledge in the international investment regime,” Annual BTS Colloquium, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Berlin, 05 May, 2015


2021: (under peer review) Mechanisms matter: South-South bilateral investment treaties (BITs) as “multi-purpose” tools in India and Chile, submitted to Review of International Political Economy Journal.
2021: “Could a German Labour Policy Innovation soothe India’s Unemployment Woes amid COVID-19?” South Asia @ London School of Economics, 01 February 2021.  
2020: Principal Author, Report Of The Ad-hoc Committee Of The Rajya Sabha To Study The Alarming Issue Of Pornography On Social Media And Its Effect On Children And Society As A Whole, Presented to theChairman, Rajya Sabha on 25th January, 2020, Parliament of India. 2018: “The urgent need to rethink investment policymaking”. UNCTAD Investment Policy Blog, 16 July 2018 (Contributor).
2017: “How nudge units can aid development” South Asia@ London School of Economics, 21. March 2017.
2016: “Is India's treaty signing strategy increasing FDI?” Offprint Magazine India, 24 Aug. 2016.
2015: “TTIP and its discontents- mapping the way forward for sustainable investment agreements” The Governance Post Magazine Berlin, 11 Nov. 2015.
2014: “Report: Drawing the Line: Creative Freedom versus Gender Sensitivity”, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations. 2014.