Jonas Driedger is a political scientist from Germany, specializing in the foreign and security policies of Russia, Germany, and the European Union. Thematically, he focuses on international security, deterrence, and the causes of armed conflict. Mr. Driedger is a Doctoral Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In his dissertation, he assesses the causes of peace and armed conflict between major powers and nearby states with inferior military capabilities. A College of Europe graduate, he was an Alfa Fellow and Visiting Researcher at the Moscow Higher School of Economics. He taught and did fieldwork in Germany, Italy, Ukraine, and Russia. Apart from his academic publications, Jonas contributed analyses and policy advice in German, Russian, and English, including to the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the Oxford University Changing Character of War Centre, Politico Europe, The National Interest, EUObserver, and EurActiv. His recent article, “Will Russia intervene in Belarus?” was published by the EUIdeas blog.
During his fellowship, Jonas will investigate how the Trump presidency has affected U.S.-German security cooperation toward Russia. Were the bitter exchanges between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel indicative of a rapidly widening divergence on Russia? Trump has expressed sympathy for Russian president Vladimir Putin, while Merkel, upon Trump’s electoral victory, has called for European “strategic autonomy” and made future transatlantic cooperation contingent on adherence to fundamental values. Alternatively, one might well ask whether these bitter public exchanges covered up that, at the policy level and between key mid-tier policymakers, there was little to no change in how the two countries cooperated toward Russia. These questions are particularly urgent, as Russian conduct is unlikely to become less aggressive. Recent constitutional reforms have cemented Putin’s domineering position over Russia and the Kremlin continues assertive policies in Syria, Ukraine, and Western domestic affairs. With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, and France largely focusing inward and toward Africa, the United States and Germany emerge as the key linchpin of effective Western policy toward Russia. Managing this relationship well requires a thorough understanding of how the Trump presidency has affected it, and what the likely effects of the 2020 elections will be.
The DAAD/AICGS Research Fellowship is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office.