Sophia Besch
Senior Fellow, Europe Program


Sophia Besch is a senior fellow in the Europe Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her area of expertise is European defense policy.  

Before joining Carnegie, Sophia was a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER) in London and Berlin, where she led research on European armament policy, the EU’s role in European defense, transatlantic relations, German defense policy, and the security implications of Brexit.

Sophia has also worked with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and the Atlantic Council's Europe Centre, where she served as co-chair of the US-Germany Renewal Initiative.  Earlier in her career, Sophia was a Carlo Schmid fellow in NATO’s Policy Planning Unit and a researcher for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She is a member of the Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders program. 

Sophia regularly comments on political and defense issues in print and broadcast media and has published opinion pieces in the AtlanticForeign AffairsForeign Policy, Internationale PolitikPoliticoProject SyndicateWar on the Rocks, and others. She has served as an expert witness for the UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee, the German Bundestag EU Committee, and the European Parliament Subcommittee for Security and Defence.  

She holds a doctorate in European Studies from King’s College London, and degrees in international relations and international security from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. 

PhD, King’s College London; MSc, London School of Economics ; MA, Sciences Po Paris, BA, Münster University  
English, French, German

All work from Sophia Besch

52 Results
Marine Le Pen walks through a gate, surrounded by reporters and security
What the French Far Right Wants Next

After the recent election, the National Rally is learning from its mistakes.

· July 16, 2024
Macron’s Election Gamble: What’s Next for France and Europe?

Did Macron's political gamble pay off or backfire? Tara Varma from the Brookings Institution joins Sophia to discuss the outcome of France's recent snap elections and how they might shape the future of Europe.

· July 11, 2024
Europe’s Conscription Challenge: Lessons From Nordic and Baltic States

As Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine reminds European countries about the importance of manpower, many are once again weighing the promise and perils of compulsory military service.

Stoltenberg stands over Zelensky, pointing, with both are surrounded by many other people
Washington Wants to Avoid a Repeat of Last Year’s NATO Summit

The Vilnius summit achieved some breakthroughs for Ukraine, but both Kyiv and NATO member states are aiming for a calmer atmosphere this year.

· June 27, 2024
Ukraine at the NATO Summit

Eric Ciaramella joins Sophia to discuss the upcoming 75th anniversary NATO summit—and what it might mean for Ukraine. They explore how NATO allies are thinking about their support to Ukraine, what Kiev hopes for from its partners, and what deliverables the summit can provide.

· June 27, 2024
In The Media
in the media
Resuscitating Europe's Defense Industry

A discussion on the urgency of making Europe’s defense industry fit for the demands of today’s security challenges.

· June 21, 2024
Center for a New American Security
Ursula von der Leyen speaking behind a dais
What Exactly Do the Radical Right’s Wins Mean for the EU?

Making sense of the parliamentary election outcomes and how they might impact issues such as climate.

· June 13, 2024
Winners and Losers: The 2024 European Parliamentary Elections

Rosa Balfour joins Sophia to discuss the recent 2024 European Parliamentary elections—the outcomes, what they mean for future EU policy, and why the US should care.

· June 13, 2024
A man dusting an orange BYD electric car at an auto show
Biden’s Latest Tariffs on China: Why Now?

Domestic politics are a major factor, but not the only one.

· May 30, 2024
The Politics of Biden's Latest Tariffs

Jon Bateman joins Sophia to explore what President Biden's latest tariffs on China mean for the US, the climate, and allies.

· May 30, 2024