Apart from its other activities, the Foundation strives to endorse the broadest possible range of political science related topics and to promote young scientists by granting dissertation stipends. The projects of supported PhD students were selected because they specifically address tangible problems of political practice.

Jeremy Stöhs

Europe’s Naval Forces since the End of the Cold War: Strategy, Technology, and Operations

The dissertation project deals with the development of European naval forces since the end of the Cold War. The defense policies and strategic framework of the respective European states, as well as the technical and material aspects of the most important European naval forces are examined. In addition, the analysis of the countless missions at sea during the past twenty-five years allows for an assessment of the roles and capabilities of each navy. As naval forces are a largely underestimated tool of national and international policy, recommendations for action on strategic, operational, and structural level will be provided.

Johannes Mohr

The strategic impact of Chinese foreign investment in Europe

What are the consequences of certain European companies being taken over by investors from China? This question is increasingly being discussed in Europe. However, the few studies conducted on this issue barely offer clear answers. My research wants to answer whether Chinese foreign investments have a strategic impact on Europe. Secondly, I want to identify the factors which indicate a strategic relevance of Chinese investments for Europe. The analysis of the policy objectives of the Chinese government, as well as the linkages between state and economy in China shall help to distinguish baseless suspicion from legitimate caution towards Chinese investors.

Curti Covi

Russia and Islam: Imperialism and Jihad

This dissertation deals with the relationship between the Russian state in its various incarnations and its Muslim peoples from the 19th century to today. The focus of the work is on the recent Chechnya wars and the emergence of a radical Islamist underground within the Russian Federation. The result will be a first-ever story of this conflict, which is closely intertwined with the rise of a new Russian empire under Vladimir Putin, as well as the question of how old and new Russian imperialism is responsible for the emergence of radical islamist movements in Russia and abroad.

Peter Eitel

Dealing with Strategic Surprise

The Ph.D. project examines whether the theoretical insights into the phenomenon of strategic surprise during the Cold War are still of explanatory value in a changed international context, or require adaptation. The case the theory is tested against is the 2014 annexation of Crimea, with Russia as the surpriser, and Germany, as a key-actor in the Ukraine-crisis, as the surprisee. Besides testing the hypothesis on strategic surprise developed under the threat of mutually assured destruction, the project seeks to develop guiding questions and methods, that may contributed to decreasing the vulnerability to strategic surprise.