© CASSIS / Volker Lannert

Dr. Enrico Fels

Managing Director of CASSIS


Mail: fels@uni-bonn.de
Phone: 0228/73-62995
Adress: Römerstraße 164, D-53117 Bonn
Twitter: @CASSIS_Bonn



Dr. Enrico Fels is the Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Economics, Society as well as German Studies (two-subject bachelor) from Ruhr University Bochum and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from the Australian National University, where he was also T.B. Millar Scholar in Strategic and Defence Studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn in 2016 with a comprehensive study of the power shift in Asia-Pacific. The thesis, published by Springer, was favorably reviewed in various journals.

Dr. Fels was a Visiting Fellow of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and held visiting lectureships at the University of Tokyo and the Andrássy University Budapest.

Prior to joining CASSIS, Dr. Fels worked in various positions at the University of Bonn, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, and Ruhr University Bochum. From 2012 to 2020, he was an elected member of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Bonn and active in various faculty commissions. Dr. Fels is the recipient of the 2017 Teaching Award of the Institute for Political Science and Sociology.

He is the author or co-editor of several scholarly books, including Power in the 21st Century. International Security and International Political Economy in a Changing World (2012), Power Politics in Asia's Contested Waters. Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea (2016), and Shifting Power in Asia-Pacific? The Rise of China, Sino-US Competition and Regional Middle Power Allegiance (2017).

Dr. Fels is an academic reviewer for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the National Science Centre Poland (Narodowe Centrum Nauki), the German Academic Scholarship Foundation as well as various journals, among others:

-       International Studies Review (Oxford University Press)
-       International Relations and Development (Palgrave)
-       International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (Oxford University Press)
-       Asia Policy (National Bureau of Asian Research)
-       The Chinese Journal of International Politics (Oxford University Press)
-       Environmental Politics (Taylor & Francis)
-       Asian Politics & Policy (Wiley)
-       The South African Journal of International Affairs (Taylor & Francis)
-       Polish Political Science Yearbook

Research Interests

Dr. Fels' research interests and scholarly expertise include, in particular, issues of traditional and non-traditional security studies, international political economics, and the strategic consequences of a rising Asia for Europe and the United States.
Strategy | Foresight | Power Shift | Asia and China | Systemic Rivalry | Sino-Russian Relations | Space Politics 

Important publications

Strategischer Wettbewerb
© Springer

Strategischer Wettbewerb im Weltraum. Politik, Recht, Sicherheit und Wirtschaft im All (Hrsg. gemeinsam mit Antje Nötzold, Andrea Rotter und Moritz Brake), Link.

“For the first time in the German-speaking world, this book offers an excellent insight into the multidimensional field of tension of space use in the 21st century, paints a precise picture of the players and conflicts and provides valuable impulses for the future use of space as a common good for our benefit.” 

- Major General Michael Traut, Commander of the German Armed Forces Space Command                                       

“An outstandingly successful survey of the comprehensive significance of outer space.” 

- Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Karl Kaiser, Harvard University    

“Due to the outstanding importance of space exploration for our society and innovative strength, it is to be welcomed that this anthology offers a good, condensed survey of current space activities, the legal framework, the political and military lines of conflict and areas of cooperation as well as further trends and challenges in space for the German-speaking world.”

- Dr. Anna Christmann, Member of the German Bundestag (B90/Greens) and Federal Government Coordinator for German Aerospace Policy

© Routledge

 ‚Prospects of Great Power Rivalry: Escaping the Tragedy?’, in: Gruszczak, Artur/Kaempf, Sebastian (Hrsg.): The Routledge Handbook of the Future of Warfare, Link.

This handbook provides a comprehensive, problem-driven and dynamic overview of the future of warfare.The volatilities and uncertainties of the global security environment raise timely and important questions about the future of humanity’s oldest occupation: war. This volume addresses these questions through a collection of cutting-edge contributions by leading scholars in the field. Its overall focus is prognostic rather than futuristic, highlighting discernible trends, key developments and themes without downplaying the lessons from the past.

Macht und Machtverschiebung
© De Gruyter

‚Chinas Macht im Bereich der Kritischen Rohstoffe‘, in: Ohnesorge, Hendrik (Hrsg.) (2022): Macht und Machtverschiebung. Schlüsselphänomene internationaler Politik (Festschrift für Xuewu Gu zum 65. Geburtstag). De Gruyter: Berlin, 305-324, Link.

This commemorative publication in honor of Professor Xuewu Gu's 65th birthday brings together contributions on two closely interwoven key phenomena in international relations: Power and power shifts. Various manifestations of power are considered as well as recent geopolitical developments. Consequently, basic theoretical research is combined with empirical studies of influential actors on the international stage, in particular the People's Republic of China, Russia, the European Union and the United States of America. The volume, which is aimed equally at students, researchers and practitioners of international politics, thus offers a well-founded insight into the jubilarian's work and at the same time represents an important and highly topical contribution to power research.

Shifting Power in Asia-Pacific
© Springer

Shifting Power in Asia-Pacific? The Rise of China, Sino-US Competition and Regional Middle Power Allegiance, Cham (2017),

“Fels’s book can easily be seen as the most comprehensive and conceptually rigorous academic work currently available assessing China’s power. [...] His discussion of individual theories of power is so comprehensive that it could work as a stand-alone book. Similarly, chapters on regional middle powers are extensive and provide excellent insights into these countries’ perspectives on China and the United States.”

- Prof. Dr. Richard Q. Turcsanyi, International Affairs, Vol. 94 (1), 2018

“Enrico Fels, a research fellow at the University of Bonn, marshals a staggering amount of empirical and theoretical data in attributing the global power transition to decentralized shifting allegiances—foremost in the Asia-Pacific area—and to fluid realignments indicative of the ceaseless yet immensely more complex balancing, unbalancing, and rebalancing of power. […]
Shifting Power in Asia-Pacific? [Is] the product of dedicated, even prodigious, research; of laboriously aggregated and interpreted data; and of creative conceptual framing […]”

- Prof. Dr. Aharon Klieman, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, July, 2017

“The book authored by Enrico Fels is absolutely worth recommending for both scholars interested in the Asia-Pacific region and students willing to understand this region and the power competition in the region better. It is definitely well designed and has a unique research concept. […] It’s been innovative in its approach, especially by the introduction of the Composite Index of Aggregate Power (based on a well-designed formula, but also impressive research and data gathered).” 

- Prof. Dr. Marcin Grabowski, Politeja, Vol. 5 (50), 2017

Further Publications (Selection)

  • ‚Die strategische Positionierung Russlands im Weltraum‘, in: Nötzold, Antje/Fels, Enrico/Rotter, Andrea/Brake, Moritz (Hrsg.) (2024): Strategischer Wettbewerb im Weltraum. Politik, Recht, Sicherheit und Wirtschaft im All. (Reihe: Sicherheit, Strategie & Innovation). Springer VS: Wiesbaden, Link, (gemeinsam mit Sibel Öztürk-Bastanoglu).
  • ‚Europa leistet sich immer noch eine erstaunliche strategische Kurzsichtigkeit‘, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11. Mai 2018, (zusammen mit Maximilian Mayer), Link.
  • ‚Die chinesisch-russischen Beziehungen in Zentralasien und ihre geopolitische Bedeutung im Kontext der Seidenstraßeninitiative’, in: Harnisch, Sebastian/Godehardt, Nadine/Hansel, Mischa (Hrsg.) (2018): Stabilität und Krisen: Sicherheitspolitische Dynamiken in Asien. (Reihe: DGAP-Schriften zur Internationalen Politik) Nomos: Baden- Baden, 241-269, Link.
  • ‚The Geopolitical Significance of Sino-Russian Cooperation in Central Asia’, in: Mayer, Maximilian (Hrsg.) (2018): Rethinking the Silk-Road: Chinas Belt and Road Initiative and Emerging Eurasian Relations. Palgrave: London, 247-267, Link.
  • ‚Gekommen, um zu bleiben: Optionen für eine Auseinandersetzung mit der neuen Nuklearmacht Nordkorea‘, SIRIUS – Zeitschrift für Strategische Analysen, 1(4), 2017, 342-352. Link. (Englisch: ‚What to do about North Korea?’, ISPWS Strategy Series, Nr. 500, July 2017, Link).
  • ‚Beyond Military Interventions? The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its Quest for cuius regio, eius dicio’. Neuhäuser, Christian/Schuck, Christoph (Hrsg.) (2017): Military Interventions. Considerations from Philosophy and Political Science, Nomos: Baden-Baden, 149-191, Link.
  • Power Politics in Asia’s Contested Waters. Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea, Springer: Cham, 2016 (Hrsg. gemeinsam mit Truong-Minh Vu).

More publications under orcid

Projects and Events


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