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Challenges for German Foreign Policy at the Beginning of the 21st Century



Why is it that the foreign policy of Germany's Red/Green government differs so remarkably from that of earlier German administrations – and what promises and dangers does this hold for the future? A careful analysis of the biographical background of today's German leaders, Chancellor Schröder and foreign minister Fischer in particular, explains the leftist and anti-American twist of current German policy. As children of the radical movement of 1968, these leaders hold a distorted view of Germany's history that ails their foreign policy decision-making. Instead of cultivating the success, the style, and the smoothness of German foreign policy until reunification, they try to distance the new ‘Berlin Republic’ from the old ‘Bonn Republic.’ Moralizing rhetoric and the divide between ambitions (permanent membership of the UN security council, for instance) and capabilities (especially regarding the chronically underfunded military) characterize Schröder's ‘German Way’ – with disastrous consequences. While containment of the Soviet Union was the overarching principle of the Cold War, German leaders today seem determined to contain American influence and to counter the American arrogance of power with the German arrogance of impotence. Thus, they fail to deliver any of the much-needed coherence and clarity about Germany's role in the world.


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European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
  • EISSN: 1474-0575
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review
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