Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider

China Program

Areas of Expertise

  • German foreign policy
  • Transatlantic relations
  • International relations in the Asia-Pacific
  • Comparative transformation studies
  • Chinese and Taiwanese political systems


English, Chinese, French


Phone: +49 (0)30 25 42 31-25

Media Inquiries

Christine Krüger
Phone: +49 (0)30 25 42 31-32

Between 2003 to 2016, Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider was Otto Wolff Director of the DGAP’s Research Institute.

He has held a chair in Chinese politics and international relations at the Freie Universität Berlin since 1998. Between 1995 and 1998, he was professor of international relations at the Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz. He was managing director of the Freie Universität's Otto Suhr Institute from October 1999 to March 2001 and served as dean of the department of political and social sciences at the Freie Universität from 2001 to 2003.

Eberhard Sandschneider's books include Globale Rivalen: Chinas unheimlicher Aufstieg und die Ohnmacht des Westens (Global Rivals: China’s Uncanny Rise and the Helplessness of the West, 2008) and Der erfolgreiche Abstieg Europas: Heute Macht abgeben um morgen zu gewinnen (Europe’s Successful Descent: Giving Away Power Today in Order to Win Tomorrow, 2011).

He was promoted to full professor with a project on “The Stability and Transformation of Political Systems” (1993) and wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Military and Politics in the Poeple's Republic of China 1969-1986” (1986). He graduated from the Saar University in 1981 after studies in English, classical philology, and political science.


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Selected Publications

Conducting International Relations with Autocracies
DGAP Yearbook, vol. 30 (2014): Außenpolitik mit Autokratien (Conducting International Relations with Autocracies)
by Josef Braml, Wolfgang Merkel, Eberhard Sandschneider
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 30, Published by DeGruyter Oldenbourg, December 2014, 480 pages (in German)
Conducting International Relations with Autocracies
How stable are authoritarian states? Should Germany cultivate relations with autocracies – be it to promote business interests, address security concerns, or protect human rights? And, if so, with which ones? Which of the available means – dialogue, business support, development aid, or sanctions – are best suited to reaching what ends? How do other democratic regimes deal with authoritarian regimes?
Category: Political System
Strengthening International Governance
In the 2013 DGAP Yearbook, 80 experts describe ways for the state to regain its ability to take action
by Josef Braml, Stefan Mair, Eberhard Sandschneider
Diplomatisches Magazin 3, March 2013, p. 38-39
Strengthening International Governance
Not only have the financial and debt crises led to massive economic problems. They have also dramatically restricted the state’s ability to act. Up until now the response has been half-hearted, the efforts of nations to go it alone have been enormous, and the reach of WTO regulations has been minimal. Expectations are therefore high for politically and economically stable Germany. The latest DGAP Yearbook gives valuable insight into how Berlin should handle its new leadership role.
Leaving the Moral High Ground
Values and interests in the German foreign policy debate
by Eberhard Sandschneider
Leaving the Moral High Ground
Eberhard Sandschneider, head of the DGAP’s research institute, responds to an article in the German weekly DIE ZEIT by Jörg Lau, "The German Love of Dictators," in which Lau criticized German foreign policy makers for their friendliness toward dictators and "half-democrats.”
Category: German Foreign Policy, Germany
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 29
Foreign Policy in the Economic and Financial Crisis (“Außenpolitik in der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise”)
by Josef Braml, Stefan Mair, Eberhard Sandschneider
Oldenbourg Publishers, Munich 2012, 487 pages (in German)
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 29
How have the convulsions in the economic and financial systems – which have meanwhile extended into a debt crisis – affected the domestic and foreign policy of states? What are the consequences for bilateral relations and for the work of international organizations? Eighty experts from academia, business, and the world of active policy give valuable insight in vol. 29 of the DGAP Yearbook: “Außenpolitik in der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise” (Foreign Policy in the Economic and Financial Crisis).
Category: Economy and Finance, Financial Crisis
Doing Business in Disputed Regions
Keys to success for businesses in troubled states
by Eberhard Sandschneider
Doing Business in Disputed Regions
There are enormous risks to doing business in disputed regions. But business activities can be instrumental in promoting stability in failing states. Eberhard Sandschneider presents five strategic ingredients to success for companies willing to do business in problematic regions. Staying out of politics is one cardinal rule.
Category: Fragile States, Economy and Currency, Democratization/System Change, Worldwide
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 28
Peacekeeping: Security and Development in Areas of Limited Statehood (“Einsatz für den Frieden”)
by Josef Braml, Thomas Risse, Eberhard Sandschneider
Oldenbourg Publishers, Munich 2010, 488 pages (in German)
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 28
In precarious states such as Afghanistan, Congo, and Sudan, one finds governance structures that are considerably different from Western forms of statehood. But they could be developed to establish public security, safeguard the basic needs of their populations, and even allow for the emergence of legitimate institutions. To this end, “state builders” should be aware of the limits of supranational organizations and assure domestic support for their long-term engagement.
Category: Fragile States
A Plea for Forward-looking Action in Areas of Limited Statehood
by Josef Braml, Thomas Risse, Eberhard Sandschneider
Diplomatic Magazine, November 2010, pp. 22-23
It is important to understand statehood in a functional sense, that is as an ongoing process, and to take into consideration the difficulties encountered by western “state builders” in mobilizing long term political support at home and resources for their foreign operations, while recognizing the related inability of international and supranational organizations to act. From this broad perspective can the following five pragmatic recommendations be derived.
Category: Fragile States, State Building
The Importance of Being Europe
To remain a viable world power, Europe must regain its capacity to act
by Eberhard Sandschneider
There are growing differences in the way the transatlantic partners assess each other. While Europe has embraced Barack Obama as an “American European,” America is looking for strategic partners in other corners of the globe. If Europe wants to be taken seriously, it must decide to become a meaningful actor.
Category: European Union, International Policy/Relations, Western Europe, Europe
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 27
Globally Sustainable Energy Security Policy („Weltverträgliche Energiesicherheitspolitik“)
by Josef Braml, Karl Kaiser, Hanns W. Maull, Eberhard Sandschneider, Klaus-Werner Schatz
Oldenbourg Publishers, Munich 2008, 439 pages (in German)
DGAP Yearbook, Volume 27
This volume has not lost any relevance over time. Since its publication, the recommendations have been discussed in a variety of forums, in academic journals, and popular magazines. This has helped to stimulate a debate both among policy-makers and the general public that has fostered an understanding of energy security as a humanitarian, environmental, economic, and security tasks that should be dealt with in an international framework.
Category: Climate & Energy Policy
A Guide to Dragon Care
How the West will have to deals with its difficult partner China
by Eberhard Sandschneider
High-tech powerhouse and developing country, communist single-party regime and engine of the global economy, emerging superpower and fragile titan—China can be many things at once. One thing that it no longer is: a state that the West can afford to take lightly. Abetted by the West, China has become the greatest beneficiary of globalization. Today, the country poses a challenge that has to be met with a coordinated, strategic policy, something of a rarity these days.
Category: Emerging Market Economies, Economy and Finance, China, Asia, East Asia
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