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Germany’s Growing Power in EUrope: From Multilateral Collectivism Towards Re-Nationalization and Destabilization?

  • Alexander Reichwein
Chapter
Part of the Global Issues book series (GLOISS)

Abstract

The chapter deals with the puzzling relationship between Germany and EUrope. Arguing that even unified and more powerful Germany does neither behave in line with Kenneth N. Waltz’s power balancing- nor with John Mearsheimer’s regional hegemony seeking-predictions, it discusses three issues: (1) How does German foreign and security policy in the post-Cold War era fit into the realist picture? Which factors drive and shape Germany’s European policy? (2) Did Germany strive for collective action within the EU to reach common European goals? Or did Berlin use its increased power to realize national interests through unilateral actions? Is there a tendency that Germany moves away from multilateral collectivism towards an assertive, rather unilateral, re-nationalized foreign policy? Or is there a third way of German foreign policy? (3) What are the consequences of a rising Germany? Does Germany cause new fear, uncertainty and destabilization, and does EUrope suffer from a new ‘German problem’? The chapter reconstructs the long road of Germany’s foreign policy from the so called ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ during the Second Gulf War via the Balkan wars to EU enlargement, and from Iraq War via the Libya intervention to the Crimea annexation through neoclassical realist lenses. In doing so, it works out milestones and identifies continuity as well as turning points and an ongoing process of gradual and remarkable shifts in both, Germany’s self-conception (including self-expectations) and external expectations, and in rhetoric about a ‘new responsibility’ since the late 1990s, leading to a more assertive and shaping German foreign policy sui generis in a changing EUrope – with quite different consequences.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Justus-Liebig-UniversityGiessenGermany

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