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Lecturer (Freiburg) & Research Fellow (Stellenbosch), University of Freiburg

Tim Zajontz is a lecturer at the Chair for International Relations since October 2021. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh (UK) and taught courses at the University of St Andrews (UK) and at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He earned a PhD from the School of International Relations at St Andrews where he worked under the supervision of the late Prof. Ian Taylor on the political economy and governance of Chinese-financed infrastructure projects in Africa. His PhD research was funded by the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Zajontz is also a Research Fellow in the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at Stellenbosch University as well as a co-coordinator of the Collaborative Research Group 'African Politics and International Relations' of the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS). He has previously worked in different advisory positions in German and EU politics. He is co-founder of the Germany-based, not-for-profit organisation ‘Freundeskreis Uganda e.V.’

His research centres around Africa’s international relations and political economy, with a particular focus on Southern and East Africa as well as on Africa-China relations. His current research interests are infrastructure politics, especially in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), dynamics of indebtedness and dependency and conceptual questions related to structure-agency dialectics in China-Africa interactions, economic imperialisms, late neoliberalism and the production of space in international relations. Tim Zajontz has conducted research in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


  • 2019–present
    Research fellow, Stellenbosch University
  • 2021–present
    Lecturer, University of Freiburg
  • 2020–2021
    Adjunct assistant professor, University of St Andrews
  • 2020–2021
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2015–2017
    Research associate, Stellenbosch University


  • 2020 
    University of St Andrews, PhD
  • 2013 
    Stellenbosch University, MA in International Studies
  • 2010 
    University of Heidelberg, BA Political Science & Public Law