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The Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) is a new interdisciplinary research center of the University of Bonn in the field of strategic foreign, European and security research. The aim of CASSIS is to develop and evaluate European strategies for current challenges in the field of foreign and security policy and to discuss them in public.

An important element of CASSIS is the Henry Kissinger Professorship for Security and Strategic Studies, which has been funded by the Federal Government (Federal Ministry of Defence and Federal Foreign Office) since 2014. It is dedicated to the research and teaching of issues of international security as well as their intersecting points with transatlantic relations. The professorship aims to systemize and further develop the security policy research potentials of various disciplines within and outside the University of Bonn.

With the founding of CASSIS, the University of Bonn takes concrete steps towards implementing the German Federal government’s and the North Rhine-Westphalian State government’s plans to strengthen security policy and strategic research and debates in Germany. With its new center, the University further strengthens its profile as an international research institution in the UN and Federal City Bonn.

Following the premise that "global challenges need European answers", CASSIS aims to develop sound scientific analyses and practical strategic solutions to global security challenges, to educate and instruct future leaders and practitioners of foreign policy using an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented approach, and to promote public debates on issues of contemporary security policy. To reach these aims, CASSIS relies on a constant dialogue between academic theory and political practice, in particular through close cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy for International Politics, which is currently being established.

The new research center is anchored in the University of Bonn’s Faculty of Arts and fuses some of the university’s existing expertise and structures under one roof for a new, integrative approach: CASSIS unites the Center for European Integration Research (ZEI), a renowned research center with a focus on Europe headed by Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt and Prof. Dr. Christian Koenig and which can proudly look back on almost 30 years of research experience, and the Center for International Security and Governance (CISG), which was headed by the former U.S. ambassador Prof. James D. Bindenagel from 2014 to 2019.

CASSIS aims to analyze, evaluate and publicly discuss contemporary security challenges and strategic response options, in particular in the context of stronger European cooperation and integration, while also exploring ways to strengthen the transatlantic partnership. In view of Europe's changing strategic position on the global stage, CASSIS examines, among other things, how the EU can achieve closer integration of security policy while increasing the efficiency of security policy on the European continent; which paths can be taken to maintain and stabilize the transatlantic partnership; and how the EU, as a security policy actor, can increase security in agreement with countries in neighboring regions.

Research at CASSIS revolves around a broad conception of security: On the one hand, the focus lies on the interdisciplinary examination of traditional foreign and security issues such as inter-state conflicts, competing international systems of order and a return of geopolitics. On the other hand, researchers examine non-traditional security challenges such as cyber and energy security, terrorism and human security, focusing in particular on health and food security.

In addition to closer cooperation with the United Nations University, the German Institute for Development Policy (DIE) and other important institutions in Bonn, CASSIS also promotes an international approach to research and teaching. For instance, CASSIS is currently working on establishing an English-language Master's program entitled "MA Advanced Security and Strategic Studies".

Thanks to additional third-party funding and various research projects, CASSIS also has the opportunity to make an important contribution to strengthening academic cooperation between the University of Bonn and partner countries beyond Europe, in particular the USA and Israel. For example, CASSIS has established an annual German-Israeli student exchange program with the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya via a "Hans Morgenthau Scholarship for International Politics". Furthermore, CASSIS has supported the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in establishing a Long-term Lectureship on Strategy, Diplomacy and International Security at the IDC in order to further extent the level of cooperation between both institutions. The Center will also further foster its already close ties with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University.

The establishment of CASSIS represents a great opportunity to merge the University of Bonn’s existing strengths and expertise on security policy issues with those on European integration and German foreign policy and, by focusing on the strategic challenges of Germany and Europe, to help promote the public discourse in Germany on crucial issues.

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