Source description last updated: 1 October 2018
In brief: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), established in 1962, is a politically independent German foundation which, through its think-tank, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, conducts research in the field of international affairs and foreign and security policy and advises the German parliament (the Bundestag) and federal government as well as European and international bodies in policy issues.
Coverage on
Studies, Research Papers, “Aktuell” (brief policy papers), Comments and “Point of View” (“Kurz Gesagt”) (Special or Analytical Reports)
Covered weekly on, for countries of priorities A-C.
“The purpose of the Foundation is ‘to conduct scholarly research in the fields of international politics and foreign and security policy, in consultation with the German Bundestag and the German government, with the objective of providing independent research-based policy advice and publishing the findings where appropriate’ […]. To this end the Foundation maintains the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.” (SWP website: The Foundation, undated)
SWP “advises political decision-makers on international politics and foreign and security policy. Our services are orientated primarily towards the German government and Bundestag, as well as relevant international organisations such as the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.” (SWP website: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, undated)
SWP is also “a forum for exchange and communication, a place […] where decision-makers can meet with SWP staff in a confidential setting to air questions and run through ideas without heed to political and party-political considerations.” (SWP website: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, undated)
“In order to fulfil its purpose as defined in the Statutes, SWP receives a grant approved by the German Bundestag under the budget of the Federal Chancellery […]. The grant is awarded on the basis of an annual budget prepared by SWP”. In 2017, SWP’s government grant amounted to € 13.8 million. “The government grant covers 100 percent of SWP’s core activities […]” (SWP website: Funding, undated)
“In addition to its government grant, SWP may acquire external funding for special research projects from the public sector or other external sources. The funds acquired in this way should not exceed 25 percent of the government grant.” (SWP website: Funding, undated)
“The SWP is politically independent in its research projects and publications, and defines its own research agenda.” (SWP website: Funding, undated)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: EU/Europe, the Americas, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Middle East and Africa, Asia
Thematic focus: international politics, foreign and domestic policy, economic development, domestic and regional conflicts
“We set our own priorities and conduct our research freely, without preconceived outcomes. With roughly 50 researchers, SWP covers a broad spectrum of regional and thematic expertise, enabling us to bring together diverse perspectives. Great importance is also placed on academic exchange with colleagues at other research institutes. SWP researchers take the time they need to grasp a topic in depth, and consciously ignore crisis-driven demands for undigested responses.” (SWP website: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, undated)
Language(s) of publications:
German and English
Further reading / links:
A list of SWP projects can be found here:
Perthes, Volker: Scientific policy advice and foreign policymaking – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, in: Lentsch, Justus & Weingart, Peter [eds.]: The Politics of Scientific Advice: Institutional Design for Quality Assurance, 2011, pp. 286-294

Zunker, Albrecht: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). Entwicklungsgeschichte einer Institution politikbezogener Forschung, 2007
WDR – Westdeutscher Rundfunk: ZeitZeichen: 23.08.1962 - "Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik" gegründet, 23 August 2017

Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities): Wissenschaftspolitische Stellungnahme zum Deutschen Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin, 19 May 2006
All links accessed 1 October 2018.
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