PD Dr. habil. May-Britt Stumbaum

Center for Intelligence and Security Studies (CISS)

PD Dr. habil. May-Britt Stumbaum

PD Dr. habil. May-Britt U. Stumbaum is associated researcher at the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies (CISS) of the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich and Director, The SPEAR Institute. She is a sought-after speaker, gives seminars at the intersection of academia and practice, and advises the European Union, the German government and the private sector on security issues in the Indo-Pacific, with a particular focus on the People's Republic of China. Professional positions include Team Leader, "Asia-Pacific Research and Advice Network (#APRAN)", the internal EU think tank serving the EEAS and EU services; Director, NFG Research Group "Asian Perceptions of the EU" and Fellow of the Einstein Programme on East Asian Security, both at the Freie Universität Berlin; Senior Research Fellow and Executive Director, China and Global Security Programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Fritz Thyssen Fellow, WCFIA, Harvard University; Director, International Forum on Strategic Thinking/Senior Researcher, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP); Head, Asia Department, Berlin Partner and Seminar Leader, Bosch Foundation.

May-Britt U. Stumbaum has worked as a lecturer and visiting fellow at numerous renowned European, US, Asia-Pacific and Chinese think tanks, research institutions and government agencies. She was the founder and chair of Women in International Security Deutschland (WIIS.de) and the first female president of the Tönissteiner Kreis, an association of internationally minded leaders. Current engagements include advisory board member of the Clausewitz Society, member of the CSCAP EU Committee and regular assignments as Lieutenant Colonel (R) in the Ministry of Defence on security policy in East Asia/Oceania.

May-Britt Stumbaum studied Political Science and European Studies in Berlin, London and Cambridge (Harvard/USA). She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), did her doctorate at the Free University of Berlin on EU-China relations and habilitated at Jacobs University Bremen/University of the Federal Armed Forces on norm diffusion in security policy (EU/China/India).

In her research, Dr. habil. Stumbaum focuses on strategic risk assessment and security policy in the Asia-Pacific region, traditional and non-traditional security, norm diffusion, disinformation and hybrid operations with a focus on China, Taiwan and value and key partners of Germany and the EU in the region.



Research interests and expertise

Traditional/non-traditional security risks; Asia-Pacific (including Indo-Pacific and South Pacific); PR China and Taiwan; value and key partners in the region; norm diffusion; influence operations; disinformation and hybrid operations; export controls and dual-use / security aspects of technology transfer and innovation.

International security policy, international relations, Asia-Pacific regional studies.



Important publications

(a complete list of publications can be found here)


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. and Sharon DeCet (2023), The impact of China – US polarization on the Indo-Pacific: A View from China (in French), Hérodote. Revue de Géographie et de Géopolitique, No. 189, June 2023 – forthcoming


Stumbaum, May-Britt and Kamerling, Susanne (2022): War by Narrative?, per Concordiam, Volume 12, Issue 1 (China Edition), 2022, p. 24 – 27, https://perconcordiam.com/war-by-narrative/


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. (2022) “Hybrid CoE Trend Report 8: China’s power politics 2.0: Regime survival and global leadership”, European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Helsinki, April 2022, https://www.hybridcoe.fi/news/new-trend-report-on-china-regime-survival-is-president-xis-first-priority/


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. (2020): Europe’s role in Asia: European strategies for an Asia centred world and US-China rivalry, in: Øystein Tonsjø, Robert Ross, Dong Wang (eds.), US – China Foreign Relations. Power Transition and its Implications for Europe and Asia, Routledge, p. 130 – 144, https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003056683-14/europe-role-asia-may-britt-stumbaum  


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. and Garima Mohan (2017) in: Eva Pejsova and Guy Banim (eds.), Prevention better than cure: The EU’s quiet diplomacy in Asia, ISSUE Report - No33 - 07 June 2017, Paris: EU Institute for Security Studies; https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Report%2033_0.pdf


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. (2016) “Developing Regional Capacities in Northeast Asia and Making Strategic Partnerships Effective: A Strategic Approach for the EU towards Japan, Korea and Taiwan”, in: Olivia Gippner (ed.), Changing Waters. Towards a new EU Asia Strategy, LSE Ideas Special Report SR021, April 2016, London: LSE; https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep45147.9


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. (2015) “The Diffusion of Norms in Security Related Fields: Views from China, India and the EU”, Asia Europe Journal, DOI 10.1007/s10308-015-0422-1, published online: 7 May 2015; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10308-015-0422-1


Stumbaum, May-Britt U. (2009) "The EU and China. EU Decision-Making in Foreign and Security Policy toward the People’s Republic of China", Baden-Baden: Nomos; https://www.nomos-shop.de/nomos/titel/the-european-union-and-china-id-112955/