Call for Fellowship Applications: 2015-2016 Russia and the West

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Call for Fellowship Applications: 2015-2016 Russia and the West

Call for Proposals
The Transatlantic Academy is seeking candidates to serve as resident Fellows from September 2015 – June 2016 to examine the research theme “Russia and the West.” A joint project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Transatlantic Academy is located at the GMF office in Washington, DC. Each year, the Academy brings together scholars from Europe and North America to work on a single set of issues facing the transatlantic community. The Academy is an interdisciplinary institution which is open to all social science disciplines, the humanities, and the natural sciences. For more information on the Academy please visit our website at

Following several years examining the future of liberal order in both domestic and international contexts and the role of religion in foreign policy, the Academy will turn its attention to the troubled relationship between Russia and the West. It is our goal to use the Academy’s unique format bringing together multidisciplinary groups of scholars from Europe and North America to produce policy suggestions for how the transatlantic partners should move forward regarding Russia following its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Russia’s actions in the territory of neighboring Ukraine, including occupying and annexing Crimea and fomenting an insurgency in eastern Ukraine, have created an acute challenge to the international and particularly the European liberal order. These actions followed the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia and an assertive Russian policy regarding the preservation of the Assad regime in Syria. President Putin’s actions in Ukraine have reopened all the assumptions behind Western approaches to Moscow as well as the understandings that have shaped the post-Cold War order in Europe. They have also created fissures within and between countries in Europe and North America, as Europe has deeper business and energy ties to today’s Russia, while security concerns about Russia loom larger in countries such as Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia compared to in Germany, France, Italy, and others.

The Academy invites research proposals from academics which can deepen interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship between Russia and Europe and the United States since the end of the Cold War and link this knowledge to a range of issues, policy communities, and wider publics through interaction with shorter-term practitioner fellows as well as through a series of workshops in Washington, Berlin, and other cities.

Research Themes
The Transatlantic Academy Fellows will spend the year both conducting their individual research and developing a collaborative research project which will result in a series of policy papers offering a Russia policy roadmap for North American and European governments as well as for the private sector and non-governmental organizations. The Academy invites proposals for research on one or more of the following questions:

What Went Wrong? When the Cold War ended, the West attempted to democratize Russia and build partnerships with Moscow, although these proved to be limited. Why has liberal democracy failed in Russia, why have relations between the United States and Russia broken down, and why has Russia’s foreign policy become more aggressive towards its neighbors? What role have the European Union and its member states played in shaping the new Russia and in the Ukraine crisis?

Russian Threat Perceptions and Foreign Policy: What has stayed consistent and what has changed in Russian foreign policy over the short and long run? To paraphrase George F. Kennan, what are the sources of Russian conduct? What are Russia’s major strategic options and what are the major drivers in Russian foreign policy? To what extent and how should Western policymakers take these perceptions into account in the shaping of long-term strategy?

Russia and the Global Order: Can Russia challenge the global order? How would it go about doing so? Would China cooperate openly or tacitly with Russian efforts to restructure international economic, financial, or political systems? Could Russia attempt to rally other nations around a new global anti-Western ideology and political model? How could the United States and the West respond to such an effort?

Russian Economic Integration with the West: Unlike the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is increasingly integrated into the Western economic system and interlocked through investment and trade in natural resources, especially energy. What is the role of the private sector in shaping the West’s relationship with Russia? How does the Russia business lobby influence Western policy and is business trumping non-economic values in Western policies? What role can the private sector play in fostering change in Russia? How much leverage do the United States and Europe derive from their economic ties to Russia and vice versa, and how can both sides apply this leverage in practice? What are Russia’s short and medium-term economic prospects? How vulnerable is Russia to changes in global energy markets? Can Russia sustain economic growth in a context of decreased access to Western capital and technology?

How Should Europe and North America Develop a New Strategy Toward Russia? The post-Cold War assumptions underlying Western policies have been thrown into doubt following Russia’s actions in Ukraine. How should the West deal with Russia in an interconnected world? Is containment possible? Is cooperation possible? What are the implications for defense and security policies, including nuclear and cyber security? For media and public diplomacy? What is NATO’s role? Can the European Union develop a more unified approach to Russia?

A minimum of four senior and two postdoctoral scholars, three from Europe and three from North America, will work in a collaborative environment from September 7, 2015 to June 10, 2016. Applicants who combine academic excellence with practical field or policy experience will have an advantage. Fellows will be expected to present their own research and to react to the work of their colleagues on a regular basis while at the Academy. They will also be expected to discuss their research with policymakers, non-governmental organizations and other policy-oriented institutions, both in the United States and Europe. In addition to a generous monthly stipend, Fellows will receive travel expenses to and from the Academy.

Applicants for Senior Fellowships must have a PhD and professional experience equivalent to that of an Associate Professor. Applicants for Postdoctoral Fellowships must have completed their PhD within the last five years. The Academy offers two Postdoctoral Fellowships. One of them, the Volkswagen Stiftung Fellowship, is reserved for promising young scholars based at German institutions working in a specific field of the humanities. Applications for this fellowship must be made directly to the Volkswagen Stiftung. More information on this application process can be found on the Stiftung’s Applicants for the other Postdoctoral Fellowship should apply directly to the Academy.

How to Apply
Applications from a variety of disciplines, to include history, economics, political science, and legal studies, will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in September 2014 with offers made no later than December 2014. Applications for fellowships can be downloaded from the Academy’s

Applicants for Volkswagen Stiftung Fellowships must be made via the Volkswagen Stiftung.

For more information please contact Jessica Hirsch, Program Coordinator, at or 202-683-2644.