Michael Daxner undertook his studies at the Universities of Vienna and Freiburg, where he was enrolled in pedagogy, philosophy, as well as humanities and social sciences. His research interests focus on cultures of intervention and cultural policies; civil/military interaction and governance in Afghanistan; and higher education policy.
Michael Daxner has held prominent posts as a political and academic consultant, for example for the UNMIK in Kosovo and on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office in Afghanistan. He was president of the University of Oldenburg from 1986 to 1998. Michael Daxner has taught and conducted research at universities in Oldenburg, Osnabrück and at Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2009, he has been a senior fellow at the Berghof Foundation.