Christopher Herwig, Reuters

From Trinkets to Values

China’s Engagement in Africa Also Has an Ideological Dimension

China’s engagement in Africa attracts both enthusiastic proponents and vehement critics. Does Beijing have a master plan for subjugating the entire African continent? What is certain is that Africa is part of China’s global strategy, in which disinformation and propaganda appear to be as important when it comes to protecting Chinese interests as trade relationships and naval bases.

Invisible Enemies

Why Viruses and Bacteria Constitute a Security Policy Issue

Diseases are hardly a thing of the past. In fact, it is quite the contrary, as the risk of rapid spread of infectious diseases is greater than ever before. For this reason and because of their drastic socio-economic consequences, epidemics and pandemics are increasingly being assessed through the prism of security. This makes health a matter of national security –and some people are still not happy with this idea.

Is Islam a Part of Eastern Europe?

Thoughts on History, Religion, and National Identity in the Eastern EU Countries

The refugee crisis revealed lines of division in the EU that hadpreviously been hidden, especially with respect to the easternmember states. The discussion in Germany often fails to takesufficient account of the variety of experiences and perspectivesin these countries. One significant explanatory factor forthe reaction to the reception of refugees from Islamic countriesis the historic understanding of national identity.

Jordan and the Jihadist Threat

How Stable is Germany’s Ally in the Middle East?

Jordan is widely considered to be an “anchor of stability” in a crisis-ridden region. That is why Germany is also seeking to extend its strategic partnership, not least noticeable through their relocation of its Bundeswehr Tornado jets from Turkey to Jordan. It should be noted, however, that Jordan is currently facing some immense economic and domestic challenges. These include a jihadist scene, in which recent developments suggest that the country is still at risk of terrorist attacks, necessitating innovative approaches for preventing extremism.

Symbiotic Interactions

On the Connection between Drug-Trafficking, the Legal Economy and State Power in Brazil

The illegal drug trade in Brazil might not be as separated from the world of state power as one would like to believe. Rather, based on historical developments, a significant number of socio-politically entrenched, symbiotic interactions can be traced between the two. A focus on four aspects of this relationship illustrates how both sides seem to benefit from this arrangement.

“There Are Good Reasons for Talking of a New Insecurity”

An interview with Dr. Patrick Keller, Coordinator for Foreign and Security Policy at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Der letzte Friedenskaiser?

Anmerkungen zu Japans Monarchie und dem schwierigen Umgang mit der Vergangenheit

Wenn der japanische Kaiser Akihito 2019 zugunsten seines Sohnes, Kronprinz Naruhito, zurücktritt, wird das das erste Mal in über 200 Jahren sein, dass ein Kaiser noch zu Lebzeiten abdankt. Der Rücktritt Akihitos, der „überall Frieden“ bei Amtsantritt zu seiner Regierungsdevise gemacht hatte, fällt in eine Phase, in der sich Japan zunehmend von seiner pazifistischen Identität entfernt. Zeit die Vergangenheit ruhen zu lassen?


Will we work only a few hours a week one day because robots and algorithms do most of our work for us? How will digitalisation change our interactions, political decision-making processes, and geopolitical contexts? Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. Nevertheless, the contributions to this issue do not limit themselves to the current state of digitalisation, but venture a look into the digital future.

How to Combat the Causes of Refugee Flows

The EU-Jordan Compact in Practice

The 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London heralded a decisive paradigm shift in European development cooperation in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. In the process, not only were new sources of finance mobilised, but development policy focus was also shifted to long-term strengthening of initial host country resilience. In light of the EU-Jordan Compact, this article shows the extent to which the promising approach of a Compact has proven itself in practice.

Humanity Will Not So Swiftly Replace Itself


Terms such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have triggered a wave of expectations, full of both hopes and fears. Hopes that we are on the brink of finding solutions to the great problems of humanity are tempered by fears, most commonly that of being made redundant. A sober look at the facts.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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