Research Area I

Grand strategy

We define grand strategy as an organising principle that is consciously held and used by decision makers to guide foreign policy. It represents the highest level of long-term political, diplomatic, military and economic statecraft and sets the parameters for day-to-day policies and responses to crises and contingencies. It clarifies which threats and challenges should receive the most resources, which allies and international institutions are most reliable, which battles one might and perhaps should fight, and which ones to avoid at all costs.

Our research at the Centre for International Security focuses, in particular, on the various grand strategic postures Europe (and Germany) can adopt in an era shaped by increased great power competition and the weakening of long-standing alliances. 

We address the following key challenges:

  • How does Europe respond to a potential US retrenchment or withdrawal from the continent?
  • How to navigate an ever-intensifying confrontation with Russia?
  • What's the stance on looming tensions in the Asia-Pacific between the United States and China?
  • How to address the escalating chaos in the Middle East and North Africa and the persistent threat of terrorism?

In summary, we're exploring:

  • What should be Europe's key interests and objectives in international politics for the near future?
  • What force structures and defence budgets are required to meet these aims?
  • What are the ideal institutional umbrellas to encapsulate these efforts?