Dr Volker Perthes

Dr Volker Perthes

Executive Board
Senior Advisor


1 October 2005 - 30 September 2020 Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and Executive Chairman of the Board of SWP

2016-2018 Chairperson of the Ceasefire Task Force (CTF) of the International Syria Support Group

2015-2016 UN Assistant Secretary General, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria

2006-2019 Professor, Humboldt University Berlin

1992-2005 Senior Research Associate at SWP, Head of Middle East and Africa Division up to March 2005

1999 Habilitation, Duisburg University

1991-1993, Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut

1990 PhD, Duisburg University

Areas of Expertise:

German and European Foreign and Security Policy; Geopolitics and International Relations; International Organizations; Regional dynamics in the Middle East

SWP Publications (selection):

Volker Perthes

What Trump will be leaving behind if he leaves

Should Joe Biden win the election, he will not turn the wheel of history back to the Obama era. Europe must help the United States to regain its lost reputation, says Volker Perthes.

Point of View, 15.09.2020
Barbara Lippert, Volker Perthes (eds.)

Strategic Rivalry between United States and China

Causes, Trajectories, and Implications for Europe

SWP Research Paper 2020/RP 04, April 2020, 53 Pages


Barbara Lippert, Nicolai von Ondarza, Volker Perthes (eds.),

European Strategic Autonomy

Actors, Issues, Conflicts of Interests

SWP Research Paper 2019/RP 04, March 2019, 39 Pages


Volker Perthes

Syria: Too Fragile to Ignore

Military Outcomes, External Influence and European Options

SWP Comment 2019/C 07, February 2019, 4 Pages


External Publications (selection):

Wibke Hansen, Volker Perthes

Why Sudan’s Democratic Transition Depends on Stability in Darfur

in: World Politics Review (WPR), 17.03.2020 (online)
Volker Perthes

Middle East: Shifting Geometry, Simmering Conflicts

in: Survival, Volume 60, May 2018, Issue 3, pp. 95-104 (SWP Preprint of an external publication)

In the Media/ »Point of View« (selection):

Volker Perthes

The Corona Crisis and International Relations: Open Questions, Tentative Assumptions

International responses to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to have turned the world upside down. But are these changes lasting or transient? SWP Director Volker Perthes takes a first look at the implications for international politics.

Point of View, 31.03.2020
Volker Perthes

America, China and the complexity of their rivalry

in: The Security Times, Februar 2020 (online).
Volker Perthes

Toward a New Iran Nuclear Deal

in: Project Syndicate, 14.02.2020 (online).
Volker Perthes

Toward European Strategic Autonomy

Far from being an abstract concept, European strategic autonomy has huge practical implications, especially in military and economic terms. Realizing this goal will make Europe more prosperous, secure, and influential in a rapidly changing world.

in: Project Syndicate, 04.04.2019 (online)
Volker Perthes

Sustaining Europe’s Security Trio

Credible joint initiatives by France, Germany, and the UK will have a greater international impact than a common European position emanating from a debate in the EU’s Political and Security Committee. Fostering deeper collaboration among the EU's "big three" must therefore remain at the top of the agenda before and after Brexit.

in: Project Syndicate, 28.08.2018, (online)