What was your favourite course that you ever taught at the DA?
That’s a hard question. I never know what I like better: teach an introductory class or an advanced seminar. The former reminds me of the basics that I myself, researching and teaching, have to keep in mind. The latter moves up to the state of the art. That’s great, too. And then there are the students, of course. The more active and well prepared they are, the more I learn from teaching. My seminar on crisis co-management helped me write my latest book. The very best class I have ever taught was a seminar on writing international theory a few years ago. Thanks to a number of simply outstanding students, there were fantastic debates in the classroom.
What is your signature phrase?
If only I knew...!
What is your favourite spot at the Academy?
Definitely the garden! Best, of course, when the cherries are ripe. I won’t tell where the cherry trees are but some of you will have figured that out already, I suppose...
If you could change one thing about the DA, what would you choose?
We’d need more work space for students. We’re working on this. But it will require a few more years. Over time, our building has become a little too small.
What was the best meal you ever had at the DA’s dining room?
The signature dish of our chef is Tafelspitz. Really good!
Will you be focusing on your skiing technique during your next sabbatical, in order to beat Andreas Ehrmann in the DA Ski and Snowboard Championships?
When Germans, even when they are Bavarians, race against Austrians they usually lose. This seems to be a nomothetic law...! I think I would need several sabbaticals to at least narrow the gap! In the meantime, I’ll start a new book project on diplomacy and peace. This will at least help me deal with the recurring defeats diplomatically and peacefully...
What advice would you give DA students after finishing their studies?
Know what you want and keep on pursuing it even if what’s ahead of you appears to be a rather rocky road. To put this differently and returning to cherries: Since there are many applicants to our programmes, we cherry-pick our students. Thus, we have a lot of confidence in our students’ abilities and talents. You gotta have this, too.