Ulrike Esther Franke, Ph.D. Candidate


University of Oxford

Country: United Kingdom (England)

About Me:

Ulrike Franke is a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in London and Berlin. She works on German foreign and defence policy, and emerging military technologies such as drones and artificial intelligence.Ulrike holds a BA from Sciences Po Paris and a double summa cum laude MA degree from Sciences Po Paris (Affaires internationales/Sécurité internationale) and the University of St. Gallen (International Affairs and Governance).

Research Interests

Conflict Processes & War

European Politics

Military Intervention


State and Local Politics


German Defence Policy

Emerging Technologies

German Politics


Countries of Interest



Book Chapters:

(2018) “Military Robots and Drones”, in Routledge Handbook of Defence Studies, Routledge

The Routledge Handbook of Defence Studies provides a comprehensive collection of essays on contemporary defence studies by leading international scholars.


(2017) A European approach to military drones and artificial intelligence, European Council on Foreign Relations

"When people hear the word ‘drones’, they think of targeted killings and the United States. They picture the “Predator” or the “Reaper”, the world’s most notorious drones, armed with the equally notorious “Hellfire” missiles. They do not generally think of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems (ISR), of small ‘toss-in-the-air’ drones, or of Europe...."

(2017) German public says ‘jein’ to European security, European Council on Foreign Relations

"A new poll shows that the German public is increasingly concerned with security, but is dismissive of its American security guarantor and unwilling to pay more to help Europe replace it...."

(2016) Flying IEDs - The next big threat?, War on the Rocks

"On Tuesday, French media broke the story that two French soldiers in Erbil had been severely injured and two Peshmerga fighters killed by what appears to be the first successful use of a drone carrying explosives. ..."

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2017) BBC World Service

Ulrike Esther Franke speaks to BBC World Service about Germany's worsening relationship with the US (44:20).

(2017) BBC News Night

Ulrike Franke speaks to the BBC about Chancellor Merkel's options following the collapse of coalition talks.

(2017) ARD Tagesthemen

Ulrike Franke was interviewed on the danger from small drones in the German Tagesthemen.

Radio Appearances:

(2017) BBC Radio 4

Ulrike Franke discusses European views of Brexit on BBC Radio 4. (min 16:26)

(2017) RTBF Matin Premiere

Ulrike Esther Franke was interviewed by RTBF's Matin Première about the German elections.

Newspaper Quotes:

(2017) New York Times

Ulrike Franke is quoted on European reactions to Theresa May's Conservative Party Conference speech.