Mischa Hansel leads IFSH’s research on "International Cybersecurity" (ICS) since February 2021. Previously, he spent several years outside academia, as a program and media officer at the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Between 2013 and 2018, he worked as postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in International Relations at RWTH Aachen University and the University of Giessen respectively. Mischa Hansel studied political science, history, and German language and literature at the University of Cologne, where he completed his PhD with a thesis on conflict and cooperation in the field of international cybersecurity.  He also worked as a visiting fellow at George Washington University, the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Leiden University.

Research Profile | Current Projects

Mischa Hansel's research focusses on international cybersecurity and global efforts to contain internet-based sabotage and surveillance. Key aspects of his work are global cyber norms for states and companies, as well as international strategies and institutions to support their implementation and compliance worldwide. Drawing on past projects in foreign policy analysis, he also focuses comparatively on international cybersecurity strategies and how they contribute to stabilizing or destabilizing international peace. Furthermore, he is interested in strategies of de-escalation and new cooperative relationships that could limit the effects of great power rivalries and contribute to the continued advancement of the global cybersecurity architecture. Of particular interest are relations between Europe and democracies in the Global South, as well as cross-border cooperation in the private sector.

Selected Publications

  • Hansel, Mischa. 2023.
    Great Power Narratives on the Challenges of Cyber Norm Building.
    Policy Design and Practice DOI: 10.1080/25741292.2023.2175995.
  • Zettl, Kerstin, Sebastian Harnisch, Mischa Hansel, ed. 2022.
    Asymmetrien in Cyberkonflikten. Wie Attribution und der Einsatz von Proxies die Normentwicklung beeinflussen.
    Außenpolitik und Internationale Ordnung. Baden-Baden: Nomos. DOI: 10.5771/9783845238609.
  • Hansel, Mischa, Sara Nanni. 2018.
    Quantitative Rüstungsanalysen im Zeichen von Digitalisierung und Automatisierung.
    ZIB Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen 25 (1): 211-220. DOI: 10.5771/0946-7165-2018-1-211.
  • Hansel, Mischa, Max M. Mutschler, Marcel Dickow. 2018.
    Taming cyber warfare: lessons from preventive arms control.
    Journal of Cyber Policy 3 (1): 44-60. DOI: 10.1080/23738871.2018.1462394.
  • Hansel, Mischa. 2018.
    Cyber-attacks and psychological IR perspectives: explaining misperceptions and escalation risks.
    Journal of International Relations and Development 21 (3): 523-551. DOI: 10.1057/s41268-016-0075-8.