Stefan Meister Heads Program on International Order and Democracy

He returns to DGAP after having led the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia from 2017 to 2019.


Dr. Stefan Meister now leads DGAP’s program on international order and democracy. It is one of six thematic programs designed to catalyze interdisciplinary foreign policy thinking. He comes to DGAP from the Heinrich Böll Foundation, where he had served as the director of its South Caucasus Office in Tbilisi, Georgia since 2019.

Meister is one of Germany’s leading experts on Russia and Eastern Europe. In this new position, he will focus on providing research and fostering exchange on the future of the liberal international order, particularly against the background of democratic backsliding and intensified geopolitical competition between the major powers.

“We are delighted that Stefan Meister will bring his deep knowledge of Russia and Eastern Europe, his established network, and the clarity of his analysis to strengthening DGAP’s expertise on the evolving global order. Related issues are particularly vital to our expanding focus on strengthening democracy during a time of rising authoritarianism around the globe,” said DGAP Director Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook. “At DGAP, he will play an integral role in coordinating our expert research work on the future of great power competition and international order, which could not be more timely.”

This is a return to DGAP for Meister: From 2017 to 2019, he served as head of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia; he previously spearheaded DGAP’s own program on Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Meister has also worked as a senior policy fellow in the Wider Europe Team at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Berlin and London. He spent a term as a visiting fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, writing on Russian disinformation and propaganda. In addition, he has served as an election observer for the OSCE in post-Soviet countries several times. He was part of the Valdai Discussion Club in Russia and the Astana Club in Kazakhstan.

Meister is co-author of Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus (KAS/DGAP/GIP, 2018), The Russia File (Brookings, 2018), Eastern Voices (Center for Transatlantic Relations/DGAP, 2017), and The Eastern Question (Brookings, 2016). He studied international relations and East European history in Jena, Leipzig, and Nizhni Novgorod and holds a PhD from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena with a thesis on the transformation of the Russian higher education and research system.

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