Dana H. Allin

Dana H. Allin

Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies
European and Eurasian Studies

SAIS Europe


  • Balkans
  • Eastern Europe
  • Europe
  • United States
  • Western Europe
  • American Defense Policy
  • American Foreign Policy
  • European Union and Transatlantic Relations
  • European Union Foreign Policy
  • German

Background and Education

Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Editor of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy (since 1998) with chief responsibility for the bi-monthy journal's content and style. An accomplished scholar and writer on diverse themes, he is the author or co-author of five books, and was a principal drafter of a sixth, the 1997 report of The International Commission on the Balkans. As an IISS Senior Fellow based in London, he comments and writes widely on the strategic challenges and historical, political, and social roots of US foreign policy, with special attention in recent years to America's Middle East dilemmas.  

Previously, he was Deputy Director of the Aspen Institue Berlin (1993-1997); Deputy Director of the International Commission on the Balkans (1995-1997); visiting Assistant Professor at SAIS Washington (1997) and SAIS Europe (1990); a Robert Bosh Foundation Fellow in Bonn and Frankfurt (1990-91); a financial and economics journalist in London and Vienna (1987-88); and a newspaper journalist covering Maryland state government and course (1981-1984).  He has a BA in English from Yale University, and an MA and PhD in international relations from Johns Hopkins University -SAIS. 

Weary Policeman: American Power in an Age of Austerity, with E. Jones (2012); The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War, with S. Simon (2010); Repairing the Damage: Possibilities and Limits of Transatlantic Consensus, co-author (2007); NATO's Balkan Interventions (2002), Unfinished Peace: Report of the International Commission on the Balkans, co-author (1996); Cold War Illusions: America, Europe and Soviet Power, 1969-1989 (1994, second edition 1998); numerous book chapters and articles in Survival, International Affairs, World Policy Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

With Prof. Erik...

With Prof. Erik Jones

"The struggle not just to define but also to preserve American power is no modern phenomenon: questions of intervention and projection have dominated the nation’s politics from the days of the Founding Fathers. Then, as now, the old centres of power were shifting. Nor is economic stress an unfamiliar factor for policymakers. As another presidential election looms, America’s role in global affairs and security has emerged as one of the campaign’s great battle lines.
But in 2012, domestic political and economic problems are compounded by the ongoing financial crisis in Europe, which, together with the overstretch and fatigue from two wars, has sapped the strength of America’s chief allies. While it may urge its NATO partners to shoulder more of the security burden, the US finds them less willing and occasionally unable to share the strain. This Adelphi examines the myriad challenges America must confront if it is to uphold and spread its values and interests."

With Steve Simo...

With Steve Simon

"There have been five central crises in America's post World War II encounter with the Middle East, and the Obama administration now faces a sixth. Iran's progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, and the prospect of Israel launching air strikes to stop it, are ingredients for a conflict that could ruin any residual hopes for fostering peace in the region. 
The Sixth Crisis explores the fraught linkages between the Iranian nuclear challenge, the increasing likelihood of an Israeli preventive strike, the continuing Israel-Palestine tragedy, and President Barack Obama's efforts to recast America's relations with the world's Muslims. It is the first full account of the situation since Obama took office. The authors, a former senior official on President Clinton's National Security Council Staff and a leading authority on international politics, lay out in clear and accessible detail the technical and political dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, and the ongoing diplomacy to stop it. They show how Israel's panic about Iran's nuclear threat--combined with its policy toward the Palestinians--is undermining Jerusalem's alliance with America. Tehran, meanwhile, is exploiting tensions between Arab regimes fearful of a nuclear Iran and an Arab public that is both angry about the plight of the Palestinians and resentful of Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region. The Sixth Crisis brilliantly illuminates this fateful juncture. The status quo is on an incline to disaster, and the hopes that President Obama has inspired are threatened by the toxic mixture of Israeli-Palestinian stalemate and Iran's nuclear ambitions. 
The time bomb of Iran's defiance and Israel's panic has the potential to spark a firestorm that would imperil US interests in the Middle East and engulf Obama's presidency. With the outcome of this unfolding crisis far from certain, The Sixth Crisis is required reading not only for policymakers, but also for anyone interested in world politics."

With Gilles And...

With Gilles Andreani, Philippe Errera, and Gary Samore

"The damage that has been done to the transatlantic alliance will not be repaired through grand architectural redesigns or radical new agendas. Instead, the transatlantic partners need to restore their consensus and cooperation on key security challenges with a limited agenda that reflects the essential conservatism of the transatlantic partnership during the Cold War and the 1990s. There will inevitably be big challenges, such as the rise of China, where transatlantic disparities in strategic means and commitments preclude any common alliance undertaking. Yet such limits are nothing new. The absence of a common transatlantic commitment to counter-insurgency in Iraq may cause resentments, but so too did the lack of a common commitment to counter-insurgency in Vietnam.

This Adelphi Paper suggests ten propositions for future transatlantic consensus – that is to say, ten security challenges for which the allies should be able to agree on common strategies. These run the gamut from an effective strategy to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability to transatlantic leadership for international cooperation against global warming. If pursued with seriousness and a reasonable degree of transatlantic unity, these propositions could constitute the foundations of an effective partnership. They are, in the authors’ view, the basis for a consensus on the most pressing security challenges of the twenty-first century."

"Examines NATO's ...

"Examines NATO's Balkan interventions over the entire decade starting with the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992. Focusing on the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, it traces the record of early transatlantic failures and later successes as once bitterly divided allies were able, finally, to unite around some basic principles. By the time of the Kosovo intervention in spring 1999, the allies agreed on the necessity of taking sides and using military force in conflicts that were complicated, but far from morally opaque. The book concludes with some lessons around which the transatlantic allies might reasonably hope - despite other pressing concerns - to stay engaged and stay united."

Spring 2019 
This seminar an...
This seminar and workshop has three purposes. The first is to read, reflect upon and actively discuss fiction and non-fiction models of excellent writing. The second is to participate in a shadow editorial process putting together two issues of the bi-monthly journal, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. Approximately half of class time will therefore be organized as editorial meetings where students, under the direction of the instructor (the Editor of Survival), will participate in various aspects of the process: commissioning articles, evaluating submissions, preliminary editing of accepted copy, and laying out the issue. The third purpose is to hone students' writing skills, with emphasis on the intersection of writing for the policy debate and writing as a literary art. To this end, each student will meet individually with the instructor in five half-hour tutorial sessions to go over the student’s written work.
July 9, 2017 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted on the McClatchly DC in an article entitled "Putin: Trump appeared to agree Moscow did not interfere in election."

July 6, 2017 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted on the CBC in an article entitled "'I expect an Olympian level of macho posturing'."

December 8, 2016 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, co-authored a book which was cited on a WBUR podcast entitled "The Future Of Assad, Syria And The Region."

November 28, 2016 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted on CNBC in an article entitled "Where Does Donald Trump Stand on Syria, ISIS, North Korea?."

November 17, 2016 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted on Bloomberg in an article entitled "Trump Victory Threatens a New World Disorder as Putin Looks On."

November 16, 2016 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted by Reuters in an article entitled "Pledging unwavering defence, NATO braces for Trump."

April 23, 2016 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, is quoted on The Economist in an article entitled "More special in Europe."

December 10, 2015 
Dana H. Allin, ...

Dana H. Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies, will chair a meeting organized by the IISS entitled "The Iran Nuclear Deal: Challenges of Implementation."