In my research, I explore the phenomena of power and power shifts in international relations. In particular, I am interested in soft power, its conceptualization, its effects as well as its premier instruments (including cultural and personal diplomacy) on the global stage. My book Soft Power: The Forces of Attraction in International Relations (Springer International, 2020), winner of the 2021 ifa Research Award on Foreign Cultural Policy, is dedicated to these issues — establishing a taxonomy of soft power and charting a methodological roadmap for its empirical study.
Furthermore, I focus on U.S. foreign affairs, transatlantic relations, and the U.S. presidency. An upcoming book entitled Soft Power and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy (Manchester University Press) connects these two fields of research.
Finally, I am interested in individual agency in history and international affairs, i.e., the influence of individuals, both in political office and from society.
I have published widely on these issues in books and journals. I am co-founder of the publication series Persönlichkeit und weltpolitische Gestaltung, dedicated to the individual-related approach to political science and diplomatic history, and managing editor of the series Global Power Shift.
My current research project (habilitation treatise) is at the intersection of these topics: It explores the significance of U.S. soft power, including personal diplomacy and charismatic leadership, in the long and checkered history of German-American relations up to the present day.