Transatlantic Perspectives on Global Challenges

Engaging both sides of the Atlantic with
stories, resources, and ideas.


New Forecasting Question on RANGE

China poses multifaceted challenges to Western democracies, playing a pivotal role in the future of the transatlantic relationship. The U.S. and European Union are confronted with a complex dichotomy regarding their relationship with China: an indispensable partner in areas of trade and economics...

Transatlantic Barometer Indicator: Women in Government

In both North America and Europe, women are running for political office at unprecedented rates, resulting in increased representation of women at the federal legislative level. In addition to greater advocacy and legislation on priority issues for women, research from the Global Institute for...

Thematic Areas


Democratic decline in the U.S. and Europe is weakening the transatlantic relationship and undermining its influence around the world. America and its European allies need to recalibrate their values and practices at home in order to serve as beacons to aspiring democracies abroad. But disruptions to our democratic traditions keep emerging: from new technologies changing the way we communicate and work to pandemics and economic shocks. Our work analyzes how these disruptions are playing out, and it will be up to civil society, lawmakers, and the people to prepare our democracies for the future.

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Politics & Society

From economic crises and trade wars to the rise of populism and strained international cooperation, it seems that the United States and its European partners are growing apart on many levels. We follow the state of the transatlantic relationship and how politics and societies on both sides of the Atlantic are handling the global challenges of the 21st century. Our surveys, analysis, and multimedia content from short explainer videos to full-length documentaries bring these challenges to the fore, conveying both the personal impact and the big picture of the forces shaping transatlantic politics and societies.

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Future Leadership

Leaders around the world have been forced to grapple with a series of unfamiliar threats to domestic and international stability. From the COVID-19 pandemic to right-wing populism and escalating state-sponsored and rogue cyberattacks, the need for effective leadership at this moment is critical. This can only be achieved through international exchange, idea-sharing, and learning from prior successes and failures of transatlantic leadership. Through research, polling, and our transatlantic legislative exchange program, the Bertelsmann Foundation Fellowship (BFF), we seek to foster stronger transatlantic ties through a deeper mutual understanding.

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Digital World

Around the world, humanity navigates a digital revolution that’s upending life as we know it. And while the United States and Europe are the nexus of the world's data flows and digital trade for now, the rest of the world is expanding digital output exponentially. It’s now more essential than ever that the conversation about these changes be inclusive. A successful transition to a digital world requires input from all sectors of society. Through analysis, data visualization, and documentary storytelling, we bring you inside the issues shaping today's global digital economy and society.

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Politics & Society

Europe once stretched into Algeria

The French Empire’s bid for a European Algeria—and the French Republic’s crusade against an Algerian France

“We had French nationality, but not French citizenship. We were part of Europe, but we were not European. We were immigrants, but not foreigners.” Sitting in a Parisian café, my great-uncle reminisces about when he and his brother answered France’s call for cheap manual labor in the 1950s.

Politics & Society

Shifting Identities: From Victims to Changemakers

An interview with José Luis Loera

José Luis Loera is the co-founder of Programa Casa Refugiados, a UNHCR-backed non-profit organization in Mexico that works to promote the rights of people displaced by violence. He is the head of the organization’s board of directors and leads the “Education for Peace” team, supporting the long-term...

Politics & Society


On October 3, 1990, the carefully negotiated Unification Treaty took effect, and over four decades of divided Germany came to a legal end. Reunification also meant the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), a socialist workers’ state born out of the Soviet Union’s occupied zone...


On the Fringe

28% of French citizens chose not to vote in the second, and final, round of the April 2022 French presidential election. This was the highest rate of abstention in over 50 years and the second highest rate in the history of the Fifth Republic.

Politics & Society

The Changing Spirit of the Fifth Republic

In March, French President Emmanuel Macron invoked Article 49.3 of his country’s constitution to push through an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 over the next seven years. The provision allows the government to bypass a parliamentary vote and force a bill into law, and it is deeply...

Politics & Society

Turning the Key to Maltese Identity

The blue waters surrounding the Maltese archipelago run as deep as the nation’s multicultural roots. Located approximately 60 miles from the southern coast of Sicily and 186 miles from the northern coast of Libya, Malta is commonly referred to as the stepping stone between the European and African...

Digital World

Where Online Meets Offline

Social Media's Double-edged Sword

Young people have grown up alongside social media platforms and many have never known a world without them. Teens and young adults are often very intentional about what they post on social media and how they present themselves on each platform. Social media allows users to carefully curate content...


Dialogue with Professor Carol Anderson

New York Times best-selling author and professor of African American studies at Emory University

On September 7, 2022, the Bertelsmann Foundation, Humanity in Action and Emory University hosted the premiere of the Foundation’s new documentary, “I, Too”, at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The film, which features New York Times best-selling author and renowned African American studies scholar...


What's a City Worth?

Cities hold riches of memory, but they are also wonders of forgetting.This paradox is key to their magic, the endless possibility they promise to those who seek it and to the democracies they push to evolve.

Digital World

Democracy Needs Tech Support

Technological development offers seemingly endless benefits and convenience. Internet connectivity was critical for personal and professional interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, more broadly, everyday emerging technology is saving lives, whether from 3D printed organs or automatic brakes...

Digital World

E-Stonia Rewired

A Nation Transformed from Cyberattack Victim to Cybersecurity Leader

In April 2007, the Estonian government approved a controversial plan to relocate a statue from the center of its capital, Tallinn. Soviet authorities had unveiled the monument, a life-sized World War II Russian soldier with a clenched right fist and a bowed head, 60 years earlier, after their forces...


What's Past is Prologue

Teaching History to Strengthen Democracy

In the heart of Wilmington, North Carolina, sits a neo-classical building with imposing columns and a whitewashed façade. Thalian Hall doubles these days as a performing arts center and city hall. But the building is the November 1898 site of the only successful coup d’etat in American history.

Digital World

Growing Audiences and Influence: Russian Media in Latin America

Russia’s first move against Ukraine on February 24 was not the full-scale military invasion covered in the news. Several hours before its troops crossed the border, Moscow launched a round of destructive cyberattacks aimed at weakening Ukraine’s digital infrastructure. These cyberattacks were...

Digital World

The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) In Detail

During the TTC’s inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh on September 29, U.S. and EU leaders identified five issue areas that the various working groups will focus on until their next meeting in spring of 2022. To learn more about the structure of the TTC and its working groups, read The U.S.-EU Trade and...

Digital World

Our Post Pandemic Future of Work Part 2 of 2

Policy Approaches for a Contested World

To many, the future of work is a question of technology and its impact on jobs, workers, the economy, and work itself. This way of looking at it has resulted in policy solutions focusing on workers and what they can do to prepare for the inevitability of technological disruption.


Uncivil War

U.S. Elections Under Siege


Voter Suppression

How Making It Harder to Vote Undermines Democracy in the United States


Season 5, Episode 8 | Jill Watts

In this How to Fix Democracy episode, host Andrew Keen talks to Jill Watts, author of The Black Cabinet, about the untold story of African Americans and politics during the age of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That history, from the end of World War I deep into the years of the New Deal, reveals high...


Season 5, Episode 7 | Allida Black

Allida Black speaks with host Andrew Keen about the history of women in politics and the impact of their noteworthy political and social activism, which dates back a time well before the Women's Right to Vote. Dr. Allida Black is a historian, author, and editor of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. You...


Episode 6 | The Near Future of Transatlantic Relations

Last episode I spoke with guests about how younger generations will shape the transatlantic relationship in years to come, this time we take a look just down the road ahead. In the European Union, Spain took over the presidency of the Council of the EU through the end of this year, and in 2024, both...


Episode 5 | Transatlantic Generational Divide

How the transatlantic relationship looks in the future depends in large part on the younger generations who will inherit it. Millennials and Gen Z already exert their political influence through voting—and in some cases as legislators or even heads of government—but for the most part the...

BFNA Docs Highlights


Six Stories of Resilience in Athens (2023, 28 minutes)

From laundry for the homeless, to drug recovery programs, to new employment opportunities, this documentary tracks NGOs in Athens that organized to help their neighbors survive, ultimately teaching the government a few lessons along the way.

I, Too

A Documentary Film from the Mind of Carol Anderson (2023, Coming Soon)

For Carol Anderson, the January 6th insurrection was a predictable coda to more than two centuries of American mythology. What happens, she asks, when we discover that the history we teach our children is comprised of fables, not facts?

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