Dr. Josef Braml

Head of Program, USA/Transatlantic Relations Program

Areas of Expertise

  • Transatlantic relations and American views on world order
  • US security, energy, and trade policy
  • Economic and domestic factors for American foreign policy
  • Comparative governance studies, e.g. German and US political systems
  • Religion and politics in the United States


English, French


Phone: +49 (0)30 25 42 31-12
Mobile: +49 (0)179 15 43 04 3
Email: braml@dgap.org

Josef Braml joined the DGAP in October 2006 as a resident fellow of the Transatlantic Relations program.

He was previously research fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin (2002-06), a project leader at the Aspen Institute Berlin (2001), visiting scholar at the German-American Center (2000), consultant at the World Bank (1999), guest scholar at the Brookings Institution (1998-99), congressional fellow of the American Political Science Association (1997-98), and a member of the legislative staff in the US House of Representatives (1997-98).

He earned a PhD in political science, sociology, and French cultural studies from the University of Passau. He also studied international business, languages, and cultural studies at the University of Passau and the University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis.


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Selected Publications

U.S. and German Think Tanks in Comparative Perspective
by Josef Braml
German Policy Studies, 3 (2006) 2, pp. 222-267
Independent non-profit policy research institutes, commonly known as think tanks, are almost exclusively privately funded and are very visible in the US public. By contrast, their German peers enjoy mainly public government funding, but are far less noticeable in the process of public policy making. What causes think tanks’ different organizational and strategic patterns, and how does it influence their behavior?
Category: Political Culture, United States of America
Faith in Foreign Policy
George W. Bush’s Transatlantic Relations
by Josef Braml
In: Amit Gupta und Cherian Samuel (eds): The Second Bush Presidency: Global Perspectives, New Delhi: Pearson-Longman/Observer Research Foundation, 2006, pp. 106-128
The speculation regarding the role of religious groups and its impact on Bush’s foreign and security policy has been elaborately discussed by Josef Braml. According to him, it is not faith alone that brings the Republican Party close to the Christian Right or the Religious Right. The Republicans find the Christian Right’s organisational network at the grassroots helpful in ‘providing financial resources and directly mobilising voters.
Category: Political System, United States of America
The Bush Administration’s Faith-based Foreign Policy
A Matter of Transatlantic Estrangement
by Josef Braml
In: Hermann Kurthen, Antonio Menéndez-Alarcón and Stefan Immerfall (eds): Safeguarding German-American Relations in the New Century: Understanding and Accepting Mutual Differences, Lanham, MD et al: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, pp. 33-60
The empirical observation, according to which Europeans want to distance themselves from the leadership of the United States, begs the question whether this is – as it has often been portrayed – sheer anti-Americanism or whether European publics and most of their political leaders simply do not agree with the foreign policy (dis)course of the current US government.
Category: Transatlantic Relations, United States of America
The Religious Right and US Middle East Policy
by Josef Braml
Emirates Occasional Paper (EOP) Series 59, Abu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), 2005
As long as America challenged by fanatics who believe themselves to be fighting a war of religion against the United States, especially Republican as well as Christian Right strategists have a foreign policy theme that unites their electoral platform at the political home front. This “base” may prove to be again of critical importance when the general public and Congress need to be informed that America’s or Israel’s security is threatened.
Category: Religion, Political System, United States of America
Think Tanks versus "Denkfabriken"?
U.S. and German Policy Research Institutes’ Coping with and Influencing their Environments
by Josef Braml
Nomos Publishers, 2004, ISBN 978-3-8329-0547-7, 622 pp.
In Germany it is more likely that think tanks communicate through more direct channels with the government. The relationship is different in the United States, where think tanks are closer to the private sector and communicate through the media. In his in-depth study, Josef Braml analyzed 430 German and US think tanks with a comprehensive survey, and conducted 40 expert interviews with the CEOs of the most prominent institutes on both sides of the Atlantic.
Category: Political System, Research, United States of America
The Religious Right in the United States
The Base of the Bush-Administration?
by Josef Braml
SWP Research Paper, September 2004, 32 pp.
Religious and moral attitudes will be a key factor in the Congressional and Presidential elections on November 2. Does the Religious Right succeed in translating its electoral clout into political representation and policy-making? Does this yield an impact on Washington's foreign policy positions and, particularly, the transatlantic relationship? This study has five main conclusions.
Category: Religion, Political System, United States of America
Rule of Law or Dictates by Fear
A German Perspective on American Civil Liberties in the War Against Terrorism
by Josef Braml
Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, 27 (Summer/Autumn 2003) 2, pp. 115-140
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it has become evident that concerns of national security have gained priority over the protection of civil rights in the United States. An examination of changing political parameters and specific legal issues reveals several indicators for the emergence of a problematic understanding of both national and international law in the United States.
Category: Political Culture, United States of America