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Andreas Schmidt
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Press Releases

Bonn, 20 December 2021

Call for Applications for first fellowships and workshops on international politics announced

The Academy of International Affairs NRW invites applications for fellowships and workshops at its seat in Bonn. The programme is aimed at highly qualified scholars and scientists worldwide and at experts from politics, business and civil society. The focus of the first calls for applications is the topic “Artificial Intelligence”. Applications on other topics in international politics are also welcome.

With its first call for applications for fellowships, the Academy of International Affairs NRW (AIA NRW) is offering research residencies of one to ten months’ length during the period from May 2022 to March 2023. The call is addressed above all to established researchers, but also to younger scholars and scientists who hold at least a doctorate. For shorter visits, applications are sought from practitioners from politics, business and civil society. The Fellows will work in the AIA NRW building, where they will find ideal working conditions and the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange. In addition, the Academy has announced a call for applications for workshops, as scientific events of shorter duration. For these it is possible to apply for financial support of up to 10,000 Euros. This encompasses the costs of travel, accommodation and catering.

The central topic of the fellowships and workshops will be “Artificial Intelligence and international politics”, picking up the theme of the Summer Academy. “By this we want to make a contribution to a topic that raises a number of geopolitical, economic and ethical questions and which will have a strong impact on international politics”, says Dr. Mayssoun Zein Al Din, Executive Director of the AIA NRW. Also welcome are applications on other pressing research questions in the area of international politics. Information about the application process can be found on the Academy’s website. The closing date for applications for the 2022/23 fellowships is 14 February 2022. Applications for workshops can be made at any time.

The Academy of International Affairs NRW is an independent scientific institute based in Bonn. It is funded by the Federal State of North Rhine–Westphalia.

For more information on the fellowships and workshops:

Bonn, 12 October 2021

Lectures on AI and international politics published on

From geopolitical to ethical issues ­– international politics are challenged by developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a range of ways. Lectures by Ulrike Franke, Kristian Kersting, Aimee van Wynsberghe and others made this clear at the Summer Academy “Artificial Intelligence and International Politics”. The lectures have now been published as video and audio recordings on the website of the Academy of International Affairs NRW,

Maximilian Mayer (Bonn), Ulrike Franke (Brussels), Kristian Kersting (Darmstadt), Rogier Creemers (Leiden), Christopher Coker (London), Aimee van Wynsberghe (Bonn) and Petra Molnar (Athens) – they all spoke at the Academy’s first event at the end of August. Under the title “AI and the Complexity of Global Technology Politics” Maximilian Mayer made very clear how competition for the leading position in the field of Artificial Intelligence has long been a part of the political priorities of the governments of China and the USA. “Artificial Intelligence influences global politics, the balance of power in the world and the re-ordering of international politics – but the geopolitical dimension of AI has so far been ignored in Europe”, said Ulrike Franke.

The potentials of Artificial Intelligence were noted in Kristian Kersting’s contribution “The Third Wave of Artificial Intelligence”. Our future will be marked by an ever closer collaboration of human and machine: AI is well suited to amplify our intelligence, but for that it requires interdisciplinary approaches – “AI is a team sport”. Rogier Creemers, whose lecture addressed “China’s Data Strategy and Its International Impact”, stressed that cyberspace too is a space that national states regulate, in which there are borders and in which states exercise their sovereignty. China has clearly committed to a model of national sovereignty over data. The key question of Christopher Coker’s lecture was: Does AI change the nature of war – and not just its character, as has been done many times by the introduction of other technologies?

The ethical dimension of AI was treated by Aimee van Wynsberghe. As well as questions of applications, there are the collateral effects of the conditions of production: What is the CO2 footprint of an algorithm? What energy consumption is brought about by the use of AI? Petra Molnar’s thesis in “Bots at the Gate: Migration Management and Technological Experiments” addresses another application case. She sees refugee camps and border regimes as spaces of technological experiment in which technologies are tested on marginalised and politically powerless groups, technologies that may also become relevant for use in society as a whole.

The Summer Academy “Artificial Intelligence and International Politics” was the first event of the Academy of International Affairs NRW. It took place on 23 to 26 August 2021 at Petersberg near Bonn with the participation of academic researchers and diplomats. The Academy of International Affairs NRW is an independent scientific institution located in Bonn. It is financed by the Federal State of North Rhine–Westphalia. The Academy is in its development phase and is currently preparing its first fellowship programme. Its website has just gone online.

Direct link to the lectures:

Bonn, 20 August 2021

Scholars and diplomats debate on artificial intelligence

The Academy of International Affairs NRW is running a summer academy. From 23 to 26 August 2021, 39 participants from 23 nations will gather at the Petersberg near Bonn. The role of artificial intelligence in international relations will be examined as part of the Academy’s inaugural event. The ceremonial opening of the new scientific institute will be led by Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, on 25 August 2021 in Bonn.

Selected young scholars and diplomats will meet renowned experts at the “Artificial Intelligence and International Politics” summer academy. Lectures will be given by experts such as Prof. Kristian Kersting from the TU Darmstadt, Prof. Aimee van Wynsberghe from the University of Bonn and Prof. Christopher Coker from the London School of Economics and Political Science. The civil and military development of artificial intelligence and the global competition between countries already underway will be discussed. “We’ll be using the summer academy to look at a globally pressing topic under various disciplinary and cultural perspectives,” says Executive Director of the Academy of International Affairs NRW, Dr Mayssoun Zein Al Din.

The Academy of International Affairs NRW brings experts from the fields of science, politics and society together in an attempt to explore new territory in times of global change and modern challenges and find solutions for a progressive policy. At the heart of it all lies an international and interdisciplinary Fellowship Programme which brings outstanding minds to Bonn for several months at a time. The Academy offers these individuals the optimum environment for research and cooperation. Bonn is characterised by key players in the fields of academia, politics, the United Nations, media and civil society. For them, the Academy and its Fellows serve as a host and exchange partner.