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Introduction

Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski, Julian Pänke, and Jochen Roose

Germany's role in Europe and the world is changing fundamentally. For about five decades West Germany's and reunited Germany's position was very much aligned with the European integration project.

Despite its hegemonic potential, Germany defined its role as a partner of the other EU member states. Within the EU framework and globally, it mostly acted jointly with European partners, particularly France. Although Germany's situation altered significantly after unification, it still refrained from exercising its increased power and was rather seeking the role of a “gentle giant.” This was largely the case despite some exceptions, such as the unilateral recognition of Croatian and Slovenian independence in the early 1990s, and criticism that Germany might tend to single-handed foreign policy—the “Alleingang.”

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Is Germany Part of the West?

A Reconstruction of Russian Narratives

Maren Rohe

Abstract

In the past, Russians have often seen Germany as European—positively connoted—but not as Western—a negatively connoted concept. Recent developments including the Ukraine crisis have put the special partnership between Germany and Russia into question, and Russian perceptions of Germany have become more negative. Have these developments shifted narratives so that Russians now see Germany as part of the West? This article presents results of interviews conducted with Russian students on their perceptions of Germany. While they describe Germany and Europe as dominated by the West, interview participants also narrate Germany as naturally connected with Russia: they expect it to shake off the influence of the West and return to its former close relationship. Thus, recent developments have indeed changed Russian perceptions. Germany is seen as Western in spite of itself, unable to follow its own interests, which are assumed to lie in closer cooperation with Russia.

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Looking for the Way Out

The Attribution of Treatment Responsibility among Greek and German Actors in the Eurozone Crisis Debate

Jochen Roose, Moritz Sommer, and Maria Kousis

Abstract

In times of crisis, the attribution of responsibility is at the core of public debates. Next to the question of blame, collective interpretations of who should impose remedies are contested. In the Eurozone crisis, Germany was an obvious addressee for this attribution of “treatment responsibility.” After years of relative reluctance, Germany had occupied a new role as it strongly pressured for harsh austerity in Greece and other crisis-hit countries. This article explores the public attribution of treatment responsibility among Greek and German actors in the Eurozone crisis debate. Based on a systematic content analysis of German and Greek newspapers as well as Reuters news reports between 2009 to 2016, we find a surprising absence of German actors as attribution addressees in Greece. Despite Germany's dominant role in the Eurozone crisis, Greek actors stress the responsibility of their own government (and that of eu actors) to act upon the crisis. In the German debate, Greek addressees are one category among many in a strongly Europeanized debate.

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Perceptions of German Leadership

Irish National Identity and Germany as a “Significant Other” during the Euro Crisis

Charlotte Galpin

Abstract

This article examines perceptions of Germany in Ireland during the Euro crisis. It explores debates about a “normalization” of Germany's role in Europe and its European identity, calling for a focus on external perceptions of Germany as key to understanding the extent to which Germany is viewed as “normal” from the outside. Through a presentation of findings from qualitative analysis of political speeches and newspaper articles, it shows that perceptions of Germany are filtered through discourses on Irish national identity that place Irish economic interests and national sovereignty at the heart of Irish engagement in the EU. Whereas Irish leaders argue in favor of further integration as a means to regain economic sovereignty, opposition actors and the conservative press see Germany as exercising economic control of Europe. The Irish case demonstrates that Germany's past continues to shape the way in which its leadership in Europe is perceived from the outside.

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Threatening or Benevolent Hegemon?

How Polish Political Elites Frame Their Discourse on “German Hegemony”

Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski and Maciej Olejnik

Abstract

In the political science literature, we can find various approaches to Germany's “alleged” hegemony. In the article we examine the images of Germany among the Polish political parties between 2014 and 2017 to better understand their different attitudes toward Germany in the context of Polish foreign policy. We distinguish four types of images of Germany: benevolent hegemon, malicious hegemon, tamed hegemon, and non-hegemon. The left and center parties (the Nowoczesna, the po, the sld) viewed Germany as a benevolent hegemon, strengthening Poland's position at the international level, and also as a tamed hegemon (restricted by the eu and nato). The right-wing and nationalist parties (the Kukiz 15, the PiS, the sp) perceived Germany as a malicious hegemon that conducts hostile foreign policy against Poland. Two remaining parties adopted “peculiar” approaches toward Germany: the psl treated Germany simultaneously as a benevolent and malicious hegemon, whereas tr treated Germany only as a tamed one.

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Archival Resistance

Reading the New Right

Annika Orich

Abstract

The popularity of Pegida and success of the Alternative for Germany has raised the question of how Germany should respond to the New Right. This article argues that reading in archives has emerged as a sociopolitical act of resistance against far-right movements, and that archival reading across time, borders, and media has turned into a strategy to defend democratic ideals. As the New Right's rise also originates in an archival investment to control public opinion and policy, the practice of archivally reading today's far right shows that contemporary Germany is in the midst of renegotiating its cultural archive, memory, and democratic principles.

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Cause or Consequence?

The Alternative for Germany and Attitudes toward Migration Policy

Hannah M. Alarian

Abstract

Does a far-right electoral victory change mainstream support for migration policy? Although we know how migration can shape support for the far-right, we know little about the inverse. This article addresses this question, exploring whether an Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate's election changes non-far-right voter attitudes toward migration policies. In combining the German Longitudinal Election Study Short-Term Campaign panel with federal electoral returns, I find the AfD's 2017 success significantly altered migration attitudes. Specifically, policy support for immigration and asylum declined precipitously where an AfD candidate won the plurality of first votes. Yet these voters were also more likely to support multicultural policies for current immigrants. Successful AfD candidates therefore appear to enable both an endorsement of xenophobic rhetoric and a rejection of cultural assimilation.

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Decolonizing “La Brousse

Rural Medicine and Colonial Authority in Cameroon

Sarah C. Runcie

Abstract

This article examines French responses to transnational influences on medical education and rural health in Cameroon in the era of decolonization. As international organizations became increasingly involved in Cameroon in the postwar period, French military doctors claimed authority through specific expertise on medicine in the African “bush.” After Cameroon became independent, however, the building of new medical school became a focus of French anxieties about maintaining power in new African institutions of technical expertise and knowledge production. While scholars have begun to foreground the international context of Franco-African relations after independence, this article reveals how the distinct politics of Cameroon's decolonization, growing out of its history as a United Nations (UN) trust territory, shaped French approaches to medical institutions there. Moreover, negotiations over the future of rural medicine in Cameroon highlighted the ways in which the approaches championed by French doctors relied on colonial authority itself.

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A French Educational Meritocracy in Independent Morocco?

Frédéric Viguier

Abstract

Since independence in 1956, Morocco has actively promoted Arabic and Arab culture through successive waves of “Arabization” policies in its educational system. Yet, French educational diplomas continue to be crucial resources in Morocco, while national Moroccan degrees retain little social and economic currency. Relying on ethnographic fieldwork in Morocco carried out in 2018, this article looks at students from various socioeconomic backgrounds, asks how the grip of French education seventy years after Moroccan independence is experienced on the ground, and provides historical context to account for this situation. It argues that Morocco is an extreme but representative example of how former French colonies—and countries in the Global South—have created new forms of dependence due to their attempts to expand access to education on limited budgets.

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The French Empire Goes to San Francisco

The Founding of the United Nations and the Limits of Colonial Reform

Jessica Lynne Pearson

Abstract

This article explores the French delegation's approach to debates about colonial oversight and accountability that took place at the Conference on International Organization in San Francisco in 1945, where delegates from fifty nations gathered to draft the United Nations (UN) Charter. Drawing on documents from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN, and the American press, it argues that while French officials at home and in the empire were eagerly negotiating a new French Union that would put metropolitan France and the colonies on unprecedently equal footing, French delegates to the San Francisco conference were unwilling to take a stand for these reforms-in-progress. Ultimately, French delegates to the conference lacked confidence that the incipient French Union would stand up to international scrutiny as these delegates worked to establish new international standards for what constituted “self-government.”