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Biography

Maximilian Terhalle is Visiting Professor at the Grand Strategy Programme of King’s College London. Between 2019 and 2020, he served as Senior Adviser for strategic affairs to the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Currently, he is co-authoring a book on Germany’s strategy in the post-Merkel era (as commissioned by IISS).

In July, Maximilian published his proposal for a new NATO rationale, “Keeping the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Chinese in check” with RUSI, which was considered by NATO’s high-level Reflection Group. In May, his latest book, “Strategy as Vocation” (NOMOS), was released. In a nutshell, his main research interests lie at the boundaries of Strategic Studies with its classical focus on questions of hard security, the study of changing world orders, and strategy-making, including the impact of leaders’ worldviews as well as domestic aspects of mobilizing people for strategic purposes.

Previously, Maximilian taught, and conducted research, at Yale, Columbia, Cornell and Oxford Universities (2007-12), at Berlin, Potsdam and Hagen Universities (2012-5) as well as LSE, Winchester and Cambridge Universities (2015-20). He obtained his Habilitation (professorial certificate) from the University of Potsdam, his DPhil from the University of Bonn as well as Master's degrees from the Universities of London and Bonn. As part of his more than 10 years of research, teaching and (policy) work experience abroad, Maximilian has undertaken extended field trips to China and Egypt.

Since 2009, he has published 16 peer-reviewed journal articles, amongst others in Security Studies, Review of International Studies, International Studies Perspectives, Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen and five peer-reviewed monographs, edited volumes and edited Special Issues, including his “The Transition of Global Order” which focuses on the US-China rivalry (Palgrave 2015, pb. 2017). Maximilian has also contributed more than 20 articles and book chapters to other publications.

Viewing himself as a public intellectual, he has written some 30 commentaries for Foreign Policy, RUSI, The National Interest, POLITICO, Survival and Middle East Policy as well as for the Frankurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, DIE WELT and the Financial Times and has appeared on international TV and radio broadcasting stations. While not a social media aficionado, he comments on strategic matters via @M_Terhalle and LinkedIn.

Earlier in his career, he worked for the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Defence Department. As of 2020, he holds the rank of a Major (reserve) and is, as such, affiliated with the GER Defence Department’s Policy Division.

If urged to condense his overall approach to the practice, and academic understanding, of strategy into a few words, Maximilian would most likely agree that all such efforts need to be informed by the classical “Sense of Reality” that Isaiah Berlin demanded.