Chair of War Studies

Team of the Chair
Photo: Kai Bublitz Fotoproduktion
Team of the Chair

A New Cohort Goes Up:

Opening Ceremony of the Academic Year and Awards

The Chair of War Studies welcomed the incoming students of its MA programs in International War Studies (IWS) and War and Conflict Studies (WCS) on 14. Oktober 2022. Over 60 students, parents, partners and friends were in attendance. The ceremony opened the new academic year with the usual pomp and circumstance: Prof. Dr. Sönke Neitzel warmly welcomed the incoming students and bade farewell to the outgoing cohort. Prof. Dr. William Mulligan, Head of the School of History at University College Dublin which is UP’s partner university for the double degree in International War Studies, also send a short welcome message by video.

Ms. Irene Sánchez Cózar was awarded the Chair of War Studies’ annual prize for best graduate. It includes a ring inscribed with the year of graduation and a prize money of 500 EUR as a recognition of this exceptional accomplishment. Ms. Sánchez, an IWS veteran who had already won last year’s UP tuition scholarship for UCD, has graduated with the best grade average ever since the inception of the WCS program in 2015. In her acceptance speech, she impressed upon her fellow students the responsibility her generation bears for making the world a safer and better place by understanding war and conflict so that humanity might take away the right lessons from history so as not to repeat past mistakes that have unleashed the hounds of war.

For the first time, the Chair was able to award two scholarships of 7.000 EUR each to help pay for the tuition fees for the Dublin year UCD. The scholarships are awarded on a merit basis as well and were won by Mr. Lukas Joselewitsch and Ms. Sarah Westvik respectively, two outstanding IWS students. Professor Neitzel thanked the benefactors at the Association of Friends of the Chair of War Studies for their sustained commitment to the MA programs, which – among many other things – includes supporting promising IWS students through a scholarship. The second scholarship was made possible by a generous grant by the consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Prof. Dr. Ilse Wischer, Deputy Student Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Potsdam, then hailed all outgoing students and presented each of them with a certificate of completion. She also read out the titles of the MA theses written in Potsdam and Dublin which showed the impressive range of academic interests our students bring to their programs.

The evening ended with snacks and sparkling wine on the terrace of the Communs, with magnificent views of the New Palace at sunset. We congratulate the awardees for their sustained efforts and academic excellence and wish all of our new students a great start into the university year. Welcome to UP!

Best Prize Speech Ms. Irene Sánchez Cózar, october 14th 2022 (pdf)

Located at the Chair, moreover, are two study programmes at Master level that are unique in Germany.FAQ Both are interdisciplinary, international and practice-orientated: The MA in War and Conflict Studies is a single degree at the University of Potsdam, in which predominantly German and European students research violent phenomena in the past and the present in small groups. The MA in International War Studies is a double degree programme with University College Dublin, which offers students the possibility of forming networks in the Anglo-Saxon world of war studies and which is aimed above all at an international audience.

Both study programmes combine the ambition to explore the subject of war and conflict in the past and the present from a multitude of different professional and national perspectives. Alongside concrete armed conflicts, the interactions between war and violence, security and stability, conflict and development are hereby illuminated. Our range of courses therefore offers a broad selection from history, political science, sociology and international law: from Clausewitz to cyber wars.

The work of the Chair profits enormously from a variety of partners located both in Potsdam itself and in nearby Berlin. Among the most important academic partners are the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr (ZMSBw), the Federal Archives and the Federal Military Archives. Good working relations exist with the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS), as well as the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Bundeswehr’s own consulting agency. Think tanks, political foundations and the Berlin-based media actively support us with teaching events and internships. An exceptional relationship continues to exist with the Federal Ministry of Defence, but also with the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which approach the subject of war and conflict from very different perspectives.

The Chair’s online presence is designed to illustrate the entire thematic diversity of the work of the Chair described above. If you are interested in any aspect of our work, do not hesitate to contact us.

Call for Applications
Photo: Christian E. Rieck

Europe Lecture at the University of Belgrade

Christian E. Rieck held this year's Europe Lecture at the University of Belgrade where the Faculty of Law runs an MA program in European Integration. He argued that the war in Ukraine will absorb the political capital and the financial resources necessary for the EU to keep up it global strategic ambitions.

Link (youtube)


Vortrag: „Ein wahres Chamäleon“

Anmerkungen zu Kriegsbegriff und -theorie des Carl von Clausewitz.

Apl. Prof. Dr. Christian Th. Müller (Universität Potsdam)
1. Dezember 2022
Hörsaal (und Zoom)

Permanentlink (zum Zoom link)


Europas nuklearer Moment ist: jetzt, WELT. (16.08.2022)

Opinion piece on Europe‘s role in nuclear deterrence
The newspaper WELT has just published a guest commentary by Christian E. Rieck on a possible "European extended deterrence", to be based on a system of European nuclear sharing.



Expert commentary published on Germany’s foot-dragging in the war in Ukraine

Bastian Matteo Scianna has co-published a piece in FOREIGN POLICY on how after Chancellor Scholz’s seminal Zeitenwende speech Berlin has been painfully slow to make any of the promises made in the speech a reality, angering friends and allies everywhere.



Preis an Prof. Dr. Neitzel verliehen

Preis an Prof. Dr. Neitzel verliehen

Preis „Bundeswehr und Gesellschaft“ in der Kategorie „Bildung und Kultur“ verliehen.



Unterzeichnung der Kooperationsvereinbarung:

Unterzeichnung der Kooperationsvereinbarung

Die Universität Potsdam, vertreten durch den Lehrstuhl Militärgeschichte/Kulturgeschichte der Gewalt, und das Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw) wollen gemeinsam die Einsatzgeschichte der Bundeswehr erforschen. Im Fokus der wissenschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit wird vor allem der 2021 beendete Afghanistaneinsatz stehen.



Ringvorlesung Krieg und Frieden im 19. Jahrhundert

11.07.2022 Sönke Neitzel: Das Kaiserreich und der Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkrieges

(Digitale) Ringvorlesung an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin am Lehrstuhl für Europäische Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts

Flyer und Anmeldung


Buenos Aires

Section Chair at the WISC-Conference 2022 in Buenos Aires

Christian E. Rieck led a section in Buenos Aires on “Small States in Multilateralism”. Theflagship conference of the World International Studies Committee (WISC) lasted several days and took place at the end of June in the Catholic University of Argentina and caters mostly to scientists from the Global South.

Sixth Global International Studies Conference