Steve Szabo

Stephen F. Szabo

Senior Fellow

Resident Fellow

Dr. Stephen F. Szabo is a Senior Fellow at AICGS, where he focuses on German foreign and security policies and the new German role in Europe and beyond. Until June 1, he was the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy, a Washington, DC, based forum for research and dialogue between scholars, policy experts, and authors from both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to joining the German Marshall Fund in 2007, Dr. Szabo was Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and taught European Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as Professor of National Security Affairs at the National War College, National Defense University (1982-1990). He received his PhD in Political Science from Georgetown University and has been a fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the American Academy in Berlin, as well as serving as Research Director at AICGS. In addition to SAIS, he has taught at the Hertie School of Governance, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Virginia. He has published widely on European and German politics and foreign policies, including. The Successor Generation: International Perspectives of Postwar Europeans, The Diplomacy of German Unification, Parting Ways: The Crisis in the German-American Relationship, and Germany, Russia and the Rise of Geo-Economics.

Recent Content


The Past Shapes the Future: The German Constitution at 70

The Federal Republic of Germany celebrates its 70th  birthday this year. Much has changed since 1949. Today, the FRG encompasses all of Germany and not just the West, as it …

A Germany Alone?

Those trying to hold the transatlantic relationship together now not only have to contend with the tweets and erratic policies emanating from the White House, but with the actions and …

The German Strategic Debate Gets Serious

As the annual Munich Security conference convenes this weekend, the debate on how Germany and Europe should respond to the Trump administration’s positions on NATO and the European Union (EU) …

Judy Asks: Is NATO Deterrence a Paper Tiger?

Far from it. Deterrence rests on risk calculation and doubt. The costs of challenging the deterrent have to be just high enough to discourage risk taking. While Putin was surprised …

Does Germany Need a Plan B?

Thomas Bagger is one of the most thoughtful diplomats of his generation.  Currently the Director of Foreign Policy in the Office of the Federal President, he has previously served as …

What We Learned about German Politics In 2018 and What It Means for 2019

2018 was a chaotic and transforming year in German politics.  It marked the beginning of the end of the Merkel era’s thirteen-year run.  The graphic below, published in the Politbarometer …

Remembering George H. W. Bush and Germany: A True Partner in Leadership

The death of former president George H. W. Bush will be mourned in Germany as well as in his home country.  He was, along with Harry Truman, the most consequential …

Berlin Is Not Bonn—But Also Not Weimar

Today marks the end of a political era with Angela Merkel’s announcement not to seek reelection as party chair of the Christian Democrats in December. In the influential 1956 book …

Germany’s Charlottesville Moment

The protests and violence that took place last week in Chemnitz have brought home the depths of the western revolt against the liberal order which has been the norm in …

Germany and Russia:  A Reset?

Angela Merkel’s meeting with Vladimir Putin this past weekend in Meseberg is a sign of the beginning of a reset in the German relationship with Russia.  Putin arrived after having …

How Germany became Donald Trump’s European punchbag

“Germany and its leadership are far from blameless for this state of affairs,” Senior Fellow Stephen F. Szabo tells the Financial Times in this article from August 2, 2018.

Germany in Trump’s Crosshairs

After the most recent visit to Washington by Chancellor Merkel in April, a German diplomat came away from the brief working meeting with the president with the clear conclusion that “Trump views Germany as the enemy.”

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