Volker Stanzel is a retired German diplomat who served from 1979 to 2013. He currently teaches Politics of Memory at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and heads a project on Diplomacy and Artificial Intelligence at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, of which he is a Senior Distinguished Fellow.

In the German Foreign Service, he held posts as Political Director (2007-2009), Ambassador to China (2004-2007) and to Japan (2009-2013), Director General for Political Affairs (2002-2004), Asia Director (2001-2002), and Director for Civilian Use of Nuclear Energy (1999-2001). From 1995 to 1998, he worked with the Social Democratic Party in the German Bundestag, and in 1998-1999 he was a Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, D.C.

After retiring, Stanzel taught at Claremont McKenna College and the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014, at Free University in Berlin in 2015, and at Dokkyo University in Japan in 2016. He is President of the Association of German-Japanese Societies, a Council Member to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Board Member of the Academic Confucius Institute at Goettingen University, and was Vice President of the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin in 2018-2019.

Born in 1948 in Frankfurt, Stanzel majored in Japanese Studies, Sinology, and Political Science, studied at the universities of Frankfurt, Kyoto, and Cologne, and obtained a Ph.D. from Cologne University in 1981. He writes frequently on political and Asian affairs. His last books, published in 2019, are New Realities in Foreign Affairs, which he edited, and Die ratlose Außenpolitik and warum sie den Rückhalt der Gesellschaft braucht (Clueless Foreign Policy and Why It Needs the Backing of Society).

Last Updated: April 1, 2020



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