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

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
The Countdown Is Underway
The winner of the US presidential race will have to overcome Congress' power to block legislation
by Josef Braml
Diplomatisches Magazin, October 2012, p. 36-37
Only a few weeks remain until the US presidential elections. While the media dramatically celebrates the tight race between incumbent Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney – and the international financial sector pours massive donations to one or the other – Josef Braml, US expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), believes the presidential race to be of secondary importance.
Category: Elections, Government and Society, United States of America, North America
NATO’s Inward Outlook
Global Burden Shifting
by Josef Braml
In: Smart Defense and the Future of NATO: Can the Alliance Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century? Conference Report and Expert Papers, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 14 May 2012, 8 pp.
NATO’s Inward Outlook
The United States, NATO’s largest contributor, is experiencing an economic crisis that has put the alliance in a difficult situation. Its NATO partners worry that Washington is seeking more balanced burden sharing both within and outside of the alliance. The idea of a “global NATO,” as well as cooperation with democratic partners in Southeast Asia, will play a stronger role in the future.
Category: NATO
The American Patient
by Josef Braml
Diplomatic Magazine, May 2012, pp. 50-51
The massive socio-economic problems in the USA are taking an effect on the way the superpower is formulating its foreign policy as well as its radius of action. Although the Unites States is still claiming to be maintaining a liberal American-style world order, its economic weakness and the limitations of its political leadership are increasingly preventing it from carrying out its role as guardians of the global order.
Category: Economy and Finance, United States of America
The American Patient [Der amerikanische Patient]
What the Looming Collapse of the USA Means for the World
by Josef Braml
Siedler, Februar 2012, 224 pp.
The USA has turned into a world power on credit. The worst recession since the 1930s, an alarming national debt, dramatic levels of unemployment, social inequality and poverty, the rapid decline of the automobile industry and the housing sector, the risk of further speculation bubbles and the high dependency on energy – all this is paralyzing the United States of America. In this book Josef Braml analyses what impact these huge problems will have on US politics and foreign policy.
Category: Economy and Finance, United States of America
The Economic and Political Crisis in the United States
Implications for Transatlantic Relations
by Josef Braml
Euro Atlantic Quarterly, 1/2012, pp. 36-37
Josef Braml analyzes the impact of economic but also political crises in the United States on the transatlantic relationship, where he questions the right of the US to demand payments from its European partners.
Category: Political System, Economy and Finance, United States of America
The Politics of Religion in the United States
by Josef Braml
Revue LISA, 9 (2011) 1, pp. 57-78
The political awakening of conservative Evangelicals and fundamentalist religious movements since the early 1980s is one of the most important cultural changes in the United States as it establishes new political structures that influence domestic and foreign policy-making. The Christian Right’s voters and interest groups (political action committees, grassroots organizations and think tanks) not only have an impact on elections, but also influence the (foreign) policy agenda.
Category: Religion, Political System, United States of America
The United States of America – A Deficient Democracy
by Josef Braml, Hans-Joachim Lauth
Comparative Governance and Politics/Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, ZfVP, Special Edition, 1/2011, pp. 103-132
The United States of America are an example that also established democracies show deficiencies in the quality of democracy. The efforts of U.S. President George W. Bush to democratize the world through military means have led to a marked decline in the quality of American democracy. It remains to be seen whether Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, will be able to repair the collateral damage of the Global War on Terror and reverse the deterioration of the former model democracy’s image.
Category: Political System, United States of America
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