"Personal and positive" have been the guiding thoughts for this issue of
ad hoc international, the biannual
journal of the Network for international Affairs (NefiA) and the CSP Network for International
Politics and Co-Operation. Without losing the critical perspective we aimed at
focusing on small successes and personal experiences in contrast to a
predominantly negative press on Afghanistan.
Three articles have been selected from this current issue and been translated for atlantic-community.org. Jan Techau comments on the NATO strategy in Afghanistan, whereas Florian Neutze reasons about the "Why" of Germany's military mission. Else Engel and Stephanie von Hayek spoke to Elke Jonigkeit, a German filmmaker who has traveled and worked in Afghanistan for more than twenty years.
You can download the entire issue of ad hoc international in the German original:
Afghanistan: Persönlich - Positiv -Kritisch.
All authors are NefiA members, except for Else Engel who is a member of the CSP-network. NefiA is the Alumni Network of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and the former Postgraduate Program in International Affairs. It is comprised of a world-wide network of about 300 young Germans and young Swiss experts with practical experience in international politics and cooperation. Funded by Stiftung Mercator, it provides a forum for the members, as well as the public, to share knowledge and experience.
Building on this expert knowledge NefiA first dealt with Afghanistan in a panel discussion in 2007 on state building in Afghanistan. Since then NefiA has closely monitored the region and decided to dedicate ad hoc's latest issue to Afghanistan.
The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs
The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs contributes personnel and ideas to tackle global challenges. Whether it is a question of effective development policy in Afghanistan, the EU's migration and integration policy or climate change adaption in coastal areas, each year 23 Mercator Fellows are not afraid to address uncomfortable issues and to demand that the international community of states does not shirk its obligations.
The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs is a project jointly run by Stiftung Mercator and the German National Academic Foundation in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office. Each year, it promotes 20 outstanding German postgraduates of all disciplines who aspire leadership positions in international organizations and NGOs, especially in the areas of foreign and security policy, international economic and financial relations and in technical and developmental cooperation. Its goal is to qualify up-and-coming managers, "globalists", to face up to the changed requirements of the globalized, 21st century world.
During the course of a 13-month program, the fellows work in two or three international organizations like the UN-system or NATO, in globally active NGOs like Médecins Sans Frontières or WWF or in multinational corporations. The fellows choose their respective work placements during the year based on their individual project outlines. Summer and winter schools on international relations issues and key leadership skill development like negotiation and communications training supplement the program. The fellowship covers worldwide travel costs and includes a monthly stipend as well as grants for language training and conferences.
The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs also offers three fellowships to university graduates from Switzerland, where the initiative is run by Stiftung Mercator Switzerland and the Swiss Study Foundation in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Links for further information:
NefiA, Mercator Kolleg, and Studienstiftung
About Stiftung Mercator:
Stiftung Mercator is one of Germany's largest foundations. It initiates and funds projects that promote better educational opportunities in schools and universities. In the spirit of Gerhard Mercator, it supports initiatives that embody the idea of open-mindedness and tolerance through intercultural encounters, encouraging the sharing of knowledge and culture. The foundation provides a platform for new ideas to enable people - regardless of their national, cultural or social background - to develop their personality, become involved in society and make the most of the opportunities available to them. In this sense it is committed to inspiring ideas. Stiftung Mercator takes an entrepreneurial, international and professional approach to its work. It has a particular affinity with the Ruhr area, the home of its founding family.
About Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes:
With around 11,000 scholars, the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) is the largest and oldest organization sponsoring the academically gifted in Germany. It is non-political and non-denominational. The Studienstiftung promotes future excellence in the areas of science, business, public administration, and the arts. Through its sponsorship program, it promotes academic consolidation, interdisciplinary dialogue, a cosmopolitan world view and international experience. The Studienstiftung is financially supported and subsidized by the Federal Government of Germany, the German Federal States and local authorities as well as by other foundations and a large number of private donors. The Studienstiftung was founded in Dresden in 1925, dissolved in 1934 and re-founded as a registered association in Cologne in 1948. During its existence, it has sponsored more than 50,000 exceptionally gifted students and doctoral candidates. Each year, around 3,500 new scholars join the Foundation.
Stephanie von Hayek is chief editor of ad hoc international, Christina Hübers is managing director of NefiA, and Oliver Haack is project manager at the Center for International Affairs, Stiftung Mercator and head of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs.