Elena Dück

Granting institution

Period of the Fellowship

October 2020 - June 2021

Project title

International Cooperation in Education: A Cornerstone of Sustainable Foreign Policy

Project description

This research project aims at exploring the impact of educational cooperation in German foreign policy, using the Turkish-German University and German schools in Turkey as examples. Educational cooperation should be conceptualized as a tool of sustainable foreign policy, meaning a foreign policy that is long-term oriented rather than problem-driven and strives to reduce global hierarchies. The underlying normative assumption is that foreign policy should aim at opening up channels of cooperation and communication at eye level.
In order to analyze the potential and realities of German educational cooperation, there will be interviews with alumni and current students at the example institutions as well as with teaching staff. The focus of the research is on how German-Turkish relations are taught and if the goal of fostering Turkish-German relations is met. Moreover, the research will inquire how existing global hierarchies are perceived and addressed in the institutions and if students feel that their education contributes to making them “cultural ambassadors.”
Using qualitative content analysis and theoretical considerations on “sustainable” foreign policy as a benchmark, the project aims to develop recommendations for achieving the above-stated goals in educational cooperation in the Turkish-German context in particular and more general on the theoretical level.

Short biography

Elena Dück is a political scientist with a focus on foreign policy analysis. Since 2015, she has been
managing the double master’s program in Intercultural Management at the Turkish-German
University and the University of Passau. As a lecturer, she has taught classes on Turkish foreign
policy, Turkey-EU relations, and theories of international relations. In November 2018, she was a
visiting scholar at the Turkish-German University in Istanbul. She has published on TurkishTunisian relations, as well as on U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. She is currently working on the
development of a model for sustainable foreign policy that contributes to the reduction of global

Dück’s PhD thesis focused on identity concepts and social-constructivist foreign policy analysis.
She holds a BA and MA in International Cultural and Business Studies from the University of
Passau, where she also pursed her PhD. In 2013, she worked as an intern at the German Embassy
in Managua, Nicaragua. In 2010, she spent a semester abroad studying at the University Torcuato
di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.