Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations

Merkel & the Refugees: a Case Study in Leadership

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI


Registration is closed
Speaker:  Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin

This event is Co-Sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for German and European Studies and the Madison Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany

German chancellor Merkel’s decision in the late summer of 2015 to open Germany’s doors to (mostly Muslim) refugees unwanted elsewhere in Europe presents a fascinating case study in leadership. Why did Merkel take the decision? What have been the key drivers of her policy since? What traps of political communication has she found herself in?
Thorsten Benner is director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, an independent non-profit think tank he co-founded in 2003 inspired by his experience in the US. His areas of interest include peace and security, digital and technology policy as well as the interplay of the US, Europe and rising powers in the making of global (dis)order. Prior to co-founding GPPi, he worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, the UN Development Program in New York and the Global Public Policy Project in Washington, DC.

His commentary has appeared in DIE ZEIT, the International New York Times, LA Times, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His publications include The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace? (Oxford University Press 2011). He is an adjunct faculty member at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He is also a member of the advisory board of Zahnräder Netzwerk, a platform for Muslim social entrepreneurs.

He studied political science, history and sociology at the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of York (UK) and the University of California at Berkeley. From 2001-2003 he was a McCloy Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he received a Master in Public Administration.

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We would like to give special thanks to our Institutional Member, the UW Division of International Studies.

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