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Cornelius Adebahr

Dr. Cornelius Adebahr was a Visiting Fellow at AICGS from October to December 2013. During his fellowship, Dr. Adebahr analyzed the transatlantic partners‘ current approach toward Iran and the country’s disputed nuclear program. Following a two-year stay in Tehran, he assessed the latest openings made by Iran’s newly elected president, Ayatollah Rouhani. In addition, he looked at ways how the United States—particularly Congress—could support a potential agreement that would see a gradual phase out of the current international sanctions. Ultimately, a compromise would have to see both sides giving up some of their more extreme demands in order to settle for the common ground around their respective core interests.

Dr. Adebahr is a political scientist and entrepreneur; he lives in Washington, DC, and Berlin, Germany. Since the end of 2000, he has been the owner of Wirtschaft am Wasserturm, a political consultancy firm. Among his clients are major company-affiliated foundations as well as not-for-profit associations and European institutions. In addition, Cornelius Adebahr has been affiliated with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) since January 2006, and is currently an Associate Fellow. He is also a columnist with the Global Policy Journal published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

As a fellow of the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung from 2009 to 2011, Dr. Adebahr headed two research teams on “geopolitics and the financial crisis” and “raw materials strategy.” He has taught at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at Erfurt University and the Faculty for World Studies of Tehran University. Furthermore, from 2003 to 2011, he was a member of Team Europe, an experts’ network of the European Commission.

Cornelius Adebahr was a scholar of the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Program of the Volkswagen Foundation, Compagnia di San Paolo, and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond as well as of the Postgraduate Program in International Affairs by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the German National Merit Foundation. He studied International Relations, Philosophy, Public Law, and International Economics in Tübingen and Paris and earned his PhD at the Free University Berlin.

Cornelius Adebahr's Archive

Of Omnipotence and Mistrust

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The recent developments in the spying scandal in Berlin raised feathers only slightly with policymakers and pundits in DC. True, it may be a very self-centered German view to assume that the allegations that the CIA recruited a German agent—and the lack of any meaningful American explanation—are indeed a sign of a… Read more >

Open for Business?: Why Western Business Eyeing Iran is a Good Thing

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Iran may be continuing its global charm offensive, but the U.S. government is still having trouble selling changes in Iran policy to an American audience. The latest example came late last month, following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Davos, Switzerland. During his appearances at the World Economic Forum, Rouhani invited gathered… Read more >

Enlargement and Estrangement in Brussels

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Miles’ Law of Administration, “Where you stand depends on where you sit“, seems to take a new twist when it comes to the EU’s Enlargement policy. Given the physical relocation of the European Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Enlargement from a central location to a spot at the fringes of the city’s EU… Read more >

Avoiding the “Nuclear Option”: The Costs of Saving Face and Faith in Compromise at Home and Abroad

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The two major headlines from the past weekend—Democrats use the “nuclear option” by changing the Senate’s filibuster rules, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry secures a deal temporarily halting the Iranian nuclear program—appear to be unrelated despite an obvious word. One is a partisan issue of mostly domestic, including constitutional, relevance;… Read more >

The Case of Iran Teaches the EU a Lesson in Global Leadership

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After a decade of nuclear talks, a deal between Iran and the international community may finally be in sight. However, what if the compromise found at the negotiation table falls through domestically on either the Iranian or the American side? In the end, the EU will have to pick up the tab… Read more >

Why the EU needs a Special Representative to Respond to the Arab Spring

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The European Union and its member states continue to struggle to find a response to the Arab Spring, write former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Almut Möller and Cornelius Adebahr. Past policy approaches had little impact on the area’s regimes, if anything doing more to support them than reform them. In this report for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the authors argue that the EU should reorient its policies and utilize one of its established and successful foreign policy instruments and name an EU Special Representative for North Africa.