Thorsten Benner


Thorsten Benner is co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. His areas of interest include international organizations (focusing on the United Nations), peace and security, data and technology politics, and the interplay of the US, Europe and non-Western powers in the making of global (dis)order. Prior to co-founding GPPi in 2003, he worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, the UN Development Programme in New York, and the Global Public Policy Project in Washington, DC.

His commentary has appeared in DIE ZEIT, International New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His publications include The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace? (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance (Ottawa, 2000).

Thorsten is an adjunct faculty member at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, where he has been involved since its founding in 2003. From 2011 to 2015, he worked with the founding team of the School of Public Policy at Central European University. He is a board member of Make.Org Foundation and a member of the advisory board of Zahnräder Netzwerk, a platform for Muslim social entrepreneurs.

He studied political science, history, and sociology at the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of York (UK), and the University of California at Berkeley. From 2001 to 2003, he was a McCloy Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he received a master's degree in public administration. He received scholarships from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the German National Academic Foundation.

Languages: German, English, French, Spanish

Recent Publications

Commentary 15 March 2018

Europe, Don’t Let China Divide and Conquer

by Thorsten Benner, Jan Weidenfeld
Politico Europe

Interview 15 March 2018

“China Is the Most Difficult Strategic Challenge the West Has Faced to Date”

by Thorsten Benner

Commentary 26 February 2018

Handlanger für Autokraten

by Thorsten Benner
Zeit Online

Commentary 25 February 2018

The Dark Arts of Foreign Influence-Peddling

by Thorsten Benner
The Atlantic

Commentary 19 February 2018

Europe Needs to Step Up Vigilance on China’s Influence

by Thorsten Benner, Kristin Shi-Kupfer
Financial Times

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