Karin Johnston

Karin L. Johnston

Dr. Karin L. Johnston is a political scientist specializing in international relations, comparative politics, foreign policy analysis, transatlantic relations, and German foreign and security policy. She teaches Comparative European Politics at the School of International Service, American University, in Washington, DC, and has taught courses in International Relations. She has worked in academe, nonprofit organizations, and policy research institutes in Washington, DC, including as Senior Research Associate in the Foreign Policy Program at the American-German Institute (AGI).

Dr. Johnston has written policy analyses on a number of topics, including media and politics in Germany and the United States, United Nations reform, the role of religion in politics, German and U.S. public diplomacy, and U.S.-German-French relations. She has also published on public opinion and foreign policy, specifically, on German public opinion regarding the Bosnia crisis and the 2003 Iraq war. She is currently writing a book examining the German foreign policy decision-making process on out of area operations and the interaction and cooperation between military and civilian components in multilateral peace and stability operations.

Dr. Johnston received a PhD from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where she also worked as an assistant in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Fluent in German, Dr. Johnston studied Politics and History at the University of Tübingen and was a Mercator Fellow at the NRW School of Governance, the University of Duisburg-Essen, in 2014.

She is a former fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program and past president of the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association. She is a member of Women in International Security Studies (WIIS), the International Studies Association, the American Political Science Association, and the International Association for the Study of German Politics.

Recent Content


A New Assertiveness? Germany wades into the Syrian conflict with vote for anti-ISIS military mission

Introduction Three weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the German Bundestag approved a military deployment to provide protection, reconnaissance, and logistics to the military campaign against the Islamic State, …

Religion and Politics: The European Debate

Issue Brief 15 The number of books, conferences, and media programs focusing on the resurgence of religion in domestic and international politics is an indicator of how important this issue …

The U.S. and Germany in the United Nations: Cooperation Prospects and Conflict Potential

Issue Brief 8 The United States and Germany have long supported the United Nations. In recent years, however, the two countries have at times been at loggerheads over whether or …

Revitalizing Public Diplomacy: Challenges for Germany and the United States

Issue Brief 5 Public diplomacy has become the new buzzword in foreign policy circles, with the construction of an effective public diplomacy strategy seen as an urgent foreign policy objective …

The Media, Perceptions, and Policy in German-American Relations

Policy Report 20 Differences over the Iraq war led to unprecedented levels of tension in the German-American and transatlantic relationships. The intensity of the division was reflected in the news …

Franco-German Relations: Leadership in a Changing World

Issue Brief 2 The Franco-German relationship is in a crisis, accused of no longer being capable of providing the impulsion for continued European integration, a function the tandem has successfully …

Clashing Worlds and Images: Media and Politics in the United States and Germany

Issue Brief 1 Over the last two years the German-American relationship has been rocked by some of the most tumultuous and emotional conflicts in over five decades—the 2002 German elections …

The United States, Russia, and Germany: New Alignment in a Post-Iraq World?

Policy Report 9 Download Publication