Germany as a World Power and as a European Power



‘Germany as a world power’ is a somewhat problematic concept. It states as a fact something which is far from certain and would need careful analysis and terminological clarification before being acceptable tout court. To be a power in this world of nation states (and others) and, because of its economic performance and weight (more than its territorial size or population), a not insignificant power does not make Germany already a world power as the term is currently used. We have to look into that more carefully. We probably have fewer problems in agreeing on ‘Germany as a European power’ — but even there a closer look at the context reveals uncertainties and both historical and current ambiguities. Which Europe are we talking about? If we mean the European Community and its ‘hard core’, i.e. the founding members, then Germany no doubt has for years had a dominant, ‘powerful’ role. But if by Europe we mean Northern and particularly Eastern Europe as well, which should include even Russia, then Germany’s role and relative weight appears in many respects reduced and more counterbalanced.


Public Opinion Foreign Policy Federal Republic Security Council Hard Core 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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