Experts & Staff: Alumni



Max Neugebauer joined ECFR as the Asia Programme Coordinator in January 2020. Previously, he worked in the Council of the EU in DG Foreign Affairs on Asia and China. Moreover, he has also gained professional experience at GIZ in Beijing, as a Teaching Assistant in the European Studies Programme at Sciences Po, and at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

He holds an MA in European Affairs from Sciences Po Paris and an MA in International Politics from Fudan University Shanghai. He also holds a BA in International Relations and International Organization from the University of Groningen.


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  • Cover: Can Europe catch up in the digitalisation and innovation race?

    Can Europe catch up in the digitalisation and innovation race?

    During the Munich Strategy Forum 2019, host Mark Leonard sat down Toomas Ilves, the former president of Estonia aka the first smart country and “digital nation” in the world. What could we learn from this small EU member state when it comes to digitalisation? How did the digital revolution change foreign relations and international relations? And what role does Europe play it in? Frankly, does it play any role at all? Toomas Ilves points out how the lack of a common digital market puts the EU behind in advancing innovation and digitalisation in the 21st century. He urges Europe to finally merge the “two cultures” of sciences/tech and humanities to become a digital player in the world.

    This podcast was recorded on 2 December 2019.

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    Cover: Multilateralism is dead – long live multilateralism!

    Multilateralism is dead – long live multilateralism!

    Today, 100 years ago, the Versailles Contract went into effect which established the League of the Nations and laid the foundations for multilateralism. In 2019, Germany and France launched the Alliance for Multilateralism aiming at showing that countries still "support multilateralism and support the United Nations (to) remain the majority in the world," as French Foreign Minister Le Drian said. Planning to establish a network of countries ready to join forces and efforts on inequality or climate change, the Alliance also wants the members to strongly commit to a rules-based international order. But how will this look like in reality? Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, explains to Mark Leonard some concrete measures and how the old tale of the German-Franco friendship still serves as a role model for other countries for how to overcome decades of conflicts and rivalry.
    Further information: www.multilateralism.org

    This podcast was recorded on 3 December 2019.

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    Cover: De “facto declaration of war”? - Soleimani’s killing as turning point in the Middle East

    De "facto declaration of war"? - Soleimani's killing as turning point in the Middle East

    With the US-killing of the Iranian military leader, Qassem Soleimani, the Middle East has been yet again sent in the heart to geopolitical uncertainty and frenzy. What does the killing mean for the future of the region, the Iran Nuclear Deal and the US role within it? Was there a strategy behind this offence and if yes, what kind? How should Europe react? In a special podcast edition, Mark Leonard talks with our senior policy fellows Ellie Geranmayeh, Jeremy Shapiro and Julien Barnes-Dacey about the implications for the neighbouring countries, Europe’s mediation role and whether there is a chance for de-escalation.

    This podcast was recorded on 6 January 2020.

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    Cover: Ten Foreign Policy Trends for 2020

    Ten Foreign Policy Trends for 2020

    ‘Tis the season! ...when Mark Leonard and Jeremy Shapiro review the year gone by and predict 10 foreign policy trends (plus two bonus ones) that will define 2020, the beginning of a new decade.
    With a score of 6.5/10 they couldn’t sustain last year’s success but can still pat themselves on their backs - or what do you think? Let us know about your foreign policy predictions for the upcoming year.
    Comment below or e-mail us!

    This podcast was recorded on 16 December 2019.

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    Cover: 1989 - The Firstborns of a New Age

    1989 - The Firstborns of a New Age

    In this bonus episode of our 1989 podcast miniseries, host Mark Leonard is joined by ECFR's young generation, all born between 1988-1990. Coming from the former GDR and Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Venezuela and the UK, they grew up in a borderless world, in a united Europe, with their parent's optimism about the future but with their teenage years shaped by the financial crisis and 9/11. So what did 1989 mean for their lives? And how will this generation influence the world and politics once it's their turn?

    This podcast was recorded on 18 December 2019.

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    Cover: 1989 – the beginning of history

    1989 – the beginning of history

    In the 1990s 13 out 15 European countries were led by social democratic governments and the transatlantic relationship came out strong by “winning the Cold War”. The fall of Berlin Wall and dissolution of the Soviet Union was considered as a turning point for Europe’s future and it symbolized the greatest common achievement of US and Europe at that time. But since then, EU-US relations and most of the social democratic parties in Europe have been deteriorating. Did the West underestimate the forces of liberalism and globalisation which took European states by storm? In this episode, Sylvie Kauffmann with host Mark Leonard untangles some of the many interconnections and which 1989 provoked or brought to light.

    This podcast was recorded on 4 December 2019.

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    Cover: China’s 1989

    China's 1989

    Anthony Dworkin stands in for host Mark Leonard to talk about how China experienced 1989 back then and today. In some ways, it is more comparable to the changes 1968 provoked in the West, claims podcast guest and China expert Jeff Wasserstrom. Looking beyond the dreadful Tiananmen Square Massacre, how did China change after 1989 politically and socially? And can we draw a line from the protests back then to the ones in Hong Kong right now?

    This podcast was recorded on 2 December 2019.

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    Cover: Iran: Calculating the cost of US sanctions

    Iran: Calculating the cost of US sanctions

    Over a year into the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, the re-imposition of sanctions have not only placed in jeopardy the Iran nuclear deal, but also hit the Iranian economy.
    The panel consisting of Esfandyar Batmanghelidj(Founder, Bourse & Bazaar), David Ramin Jalilvand(CEO, Orient Matters), Tara Sepheri Far(Iran Researcher, Human Rights Watch and chaired by Ellie Geranmayeh (Deputy Head of the MENA Programme, ECFR) looked at all the costs associated with the US sanctions policy including the impact on ordinary Iranians, the Iranian leadership and how this ties into the recent wave of protests across the country.
    The event on 3rd December considered the impact of the US sanctions on trade between Europe and Iran, particularly in the humanitarian sector.

    Recorded on 3 December 2019 in Berlin.

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