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Anne Zetsche

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wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin


2017: Ph.D. History at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

2011: Participant Summer School on Social Network Analysis, Trier

2010: Magistra Artium (M.A.) in History and North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (overall grade “sehr gut”)

2006/2007: Exchange student American History at University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK


Professional Experience

- Coordinator political education/guided tours, LobbyControl e.V., Berlin (July 2014 August 2016)

- Research assistant, WZB Social Science Research Center, Berlin (WZB), research group Knowledge, Production Systems and Work, director: Professor Ulrich Jürgens (September 2007 – October 2009)

- Volunteer Kerry-Edwards-Campaign, Trenton, NJ, (August/September 2004)


Teaching Experience (University)

2014: Freie Universität Berlin, JFKI, department of history, B.A. course “German-American Elite Networking during the Cold War”

2009/2010: Freie Universität Berlin, JFKI, teaching assistant (History) interdisciplinary course “Understanding North America”


2015: Northumbria University Postgraduate Conference Bursary to attend annual conference of the Transatlantic Studies Association (TSA)

2014: Dissertation completion stipend, EH Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung Hochbegabter

2013: Conference grant (awarded competively) to attend workshop (Migrants as Translators) German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. and Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg

2012: Conference grant (awarded competively) to attend workshop (More Atlantic Crossings) German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

2010-2014: Doctoral student scholarship, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

2006/2007: Erasmus stipend, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK


Conference Presentations (selection)


“Transatlantic Identity Formation during the Cold War? The German-American case, 1959-1974.” Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands (Transatlantic Studies Association 14th annual conference)


“Eric M. Warburg – A Bridge over the Atlantic”: Workshop (Migrants as Translators) German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. and Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg


“German-American elite networking during the Cold War: the Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany”: 2013 Transatlantic Studies Association annual conference in Newcastle upon Tyne



“The Ford Foundation’s role in promoting German-American elite networking during the Cold War”: workshop (More Atlantic Crossings) German Historical Institute Washington, D.C.



BAAS British Association for American Studies

GAAS German Association for American Studies

Research interests

- Transatlantic relations in the cold war era

- German migration to the U.S. in the 19th century

- Informal elite networks

- Transnational class formation

My doctoral thesis (“The Quest for Atlanticism: German-American Elite Networking, the Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany, 1952-1974”) examines the role of private elites in addition to public actors in West German-American relations in the post-World War II era and thus joins the ranks of the “new diplomatic history” field. It studies the Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany (ACG) from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s – a history that has hitherto been neglected. The focus on private elites and their contributions to fledgling public-private networks within each country and across the Atlantic helps to shed light on the ways hostilities between West Germany and the US were addressed.

Based on original archival research and applying tools of Social Network Analysis (SNA), this thesis starts from the assumption that international relations are conducted by elites. These elites are not only composed of democratically legitimized politicians and diplomats. Private actors representing business, industry, media, and academia are also involved, albeit hidden from public scrutiny. Private actors are enabled to do so because they are integral parts of dense state-private networks. The state-private network concept is innovatively transferred to the transnational level. The network term emphasizes the fact that those connections are neither limited in quantitative terms nor are they confined to national boundaries.

The analysis illuminates three sustainable achievements of the ACG and Atlantik-Brücke. Firstly, they contributed to forging a bipartisan foreign policy consensus at whose core has been a strong West-German-American relationship. Key in achieving this was the redirection of West German Social Democracy away from anti-militarism, neutralism, and socialism. Secondly, in fulfilling an elite coordination function, the organizations helped to secure the transatlantic partnership consensus by conveying it into business, trade and industry circles in the US as well as in West Germany. Thirdly, by utilizing their manifold links to media and academia they assisted in manifesting this consensus in public discourse.


My postdoctoral research project again focuses on transatlantic elite networks. This time, however, in the 19th century. The project (working title: “Crossing the Ocean, assisting migrants, and fuelling business German Societies and class formation in the 19th Century”) is located at the interface of the history of migration and capitalism. At the centre of the scholarly investigation is the question of how circuits of labor and capital were organized across the Atlantic in the 19th century. Key to answering this question is the network of German Societies (of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis among others) in the United States and their local constituencies and partners in the German states and the German Reich (since 1871). The German Societies were founded by German immigrants who belonged to the middle and upper classes of the young American nation and thus were part of the bourgeois class in formation. The official aim was to assist new arrivals from the old Heimat, but they also secured workers for German American factories, raised capital for their business and commerce and supplied crucial economic and political intelligence to their members. The investigation of important dimensions of cross-Atlantic organization adds an intermediate level to the history of migration, which so far has mostly addressed macro patterns and local histories. At the same time the focus on German Societies and German American business networks amounts to an important contribution to the new (transnational/ global) history of capitalism. The concentration on transatlantic dimensions sheds new light on the evolution of both American and German capitalism during the 19th century.


In progress: Unlikely Partners: German-American Elite Networking during the Cold War, preliminary contract with Palgrave Macmillan to be published in the series Palgrave Studies in Political History


Peer reviewed journal article

2015    Zetsche, A. “The Ford Foundation’s Role in Promoting German-American Elite Networking during the Cold War”, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol. 13/1, 2015, pp. 76-95.


Online publications

2014    “Eric M. Warburg (1900-1990): Transatlantic commuter and mediator“ www.transatlanticperspectives.org http://www.transatlanticperspectives.org/entry.php?rec=156)

2012    “The Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany: Transatlantic Institutions organizing German-American Elite Networking since the early 1950s” www.transatlanticperspectives.org (http://www.transatlanticperspectives.org/entry.php?rec=133)