The German Institute for International and Security Affairs of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) is an independent scientific establishment that conducts practically oriented research on the basis of which it then advises the Bundestag (the German parliament) and the federal government on foreign and security policy issues. The analyses and publications produced by SWP researchers and their participation in national and international debates on key issues help to shape opinion in their respective domains.
The SWP Council (Stiftungsrat) is SWP's highest supervisory and decision-making body. It appoints the Institute's management, approves broad outlines for its research and guarantees its independence. All important decisions are taken by a two-thirds majority of SWP Council members, who include leading scientists, economists and other public figures as well as representatives of various federal ministries and parties in the Bundestag.
The Research Advisory Board advises the Institute on all topical and interdisciplinary questions related to its research program.
SWP was set up in 1962 by private initiative in Ebenhausen, near Munich, and given the legal status of a foundation. Late in 2000 its headquarters moved to Berlin, which has been SWP's new home since January 2001. Since January 1965, when the Bundestag unanimously backed the establishment of an independent research centre, the Institute has been federally funded. This support is supplemented by contributions from other research sponsors.
There are currently more than 130 staff working at SWP's German Institute for International and Security Affairs. SWP has eight Research Divisions employing more than 60 scholars.
- Volker Perthes
Scientific policy advice and foreign policymaking - Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs
in: Justus Lentsch / Peter Weingart (eds.), The Politics of Scientific Advice, Cambridge University Press, June 2011, pp. 286 - 294