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Donald Abenheim, Ph.D.

Contact Info

(831) 656-2208
Office Address:
Glasgow Hall, Room 315

Associate Professor

European Security, Central Europe


Abenheim is a historian of war and politics in European, German and US history and a consultant on contemporary defense institution building and international defense education to various Euro Atlantic defense ministries and defense academies as well as NATO. He founded the Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR) at the Naval Postgraduate School in 1993 amid the enlargement of NATO.

Abenheim was a national fellow at Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1988, and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution from 1988 until 2004 and a Research Fellow from 2004 until 2012.

From 1994 until 2000, he organized seminars in NATO’s enlargement of democratic civil-military relations at NATO headquarters and in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Austria, and Georgia for ministries of defense as they made the transition from the Soviet system of civil-military relations.

Prior to his role at CCMR, he was a consultant to the strategic directorates of the Army and Navy staffs, as well as to the Office of Net Assessment of the US Department of Defense.

Before completing his doctoral studies, he was a civilian staff member of the US Army, Europe, liaising with the German forces on burden sharing; an archivist at the Hoover Institution focusing on Germany in the twentieth century; and a museum curator at the Presidio of San Francisco whose specialty was the US Army with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and military regalia.

He received a PhD degree in European history from Stanford University in 1985.

Teaching Interests:

History of Modern Europe

War and Culture in Europe

Security and Politics in Europe and North America

US-European Relations in the Past and Present

Recent Publications:

"The Armed Forces: Towards a Post-Intervntionist Era?", The Democratic Civil-Military Relations of Austerity: Thoughts about the Past and the Present, Vol 14 of the series Schriftenreihe des Zentrums fur Militargeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (July 2013), pp. 18-91: CLICK HERE