Janika Spannagel

Research Fellow

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Janika Spannagel is a research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. Her research interests revolve around international human rights politics and exploring quantitative methods and data projects in this and related fields. At GPPi, she co-developed a new methodology to assess academic freedom across the world and is now working on its policy application. In a separate project, she is investigating outcomes of reprisal cases against human rights defenders active at the UN. Janika is also currently finalizing her doctoral degree in political science at the University of Freiburg on the topic of human rights defenders’ international protection. In this context, she collaborated closely with the UN Special Rapporteur on defenders, as well as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Together with other GPPi colleagues, she previously worked on an array of humanitarian topics and human rights including political prisoner advocacy, where she explored an original dataset of several thousand prisoner cases.

Before joining GPPi, Janika was a Carlo Schmid Program Fellow at the Geneva headquarters of OHCHR, supporting the Human Rights Council branch and the Middle East and North Africa section. Her professional experience also includes an internship at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tunis in 2011, during the initial period of democratic transition following the Tunisian uprising. She has been an active member of Amnesty International for many years and a participant in the German dialogue forum Junge Islam Konferenz since 2013

Janika completed a master’s degree in political science in a joint program between the University of Freiburg and Sciences Po Aix. The latter awarded her thesis on the Palestinian LGBTQ movement and its ties to transnational advocacy as the best thesis of the academic year. Her doctoral project is funded by the German National Academic Foundation, while previous scholarships for her studies, internships and research have come from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German National Academic Foundation, and the Mercator Foundation.

Languages: German, French, English, Spanish, Arabic

Areas of Expertise

Monitoring & Evaluation
Rights & Democracy
Human Rights Defenders
Quantitative Methods

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Featured Publications

Most Recent Publications by Janika Spannagel