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Germany's Strategic Narrative of the Eurozone Crisis

Isabelle Hertner and Alister Miskimmon

This article outlines how Germany has sought to project a strategic narrative of the Eurozone crisis. Germany has been placed center stage in the Eurozone crisis, and as a consequence, the German government's crisis narrative matters for the future of the common currency. We highlight how the German government has sought to narrate a story of the cause of the Eurozone crisis and present policy solutions to influence policy decisions within the EU and maintain domestic political support. This focus on the public communication of the crisis is central to understanding the development of Germany's policy as it was negotiated with EU partners, the U.S. and international financial institutions. We draw on speeches and interviews by Chancellor Angela Merkel and two of her senior cabinet ministers delivered at key moments of the Eurozone crisis between May 2010 and June 2012. The article argues that while Merkel and her governments have been able to shore up domestic support for her Eurozone policies, she has struggled to find a coherent strategic narrative that is both consistent with German domestic preferences and historical memory, and with those of other Eurozone members.

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Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski, Julian Pänke, and Jochen Roose

, “Germany's Strategic Narrative of the Eurozone Crisis,” German Politics and Society 33, no. 1–2 (2015): 42–57. 9 See Paterson, “The Reluctant Hegemon?”; Kundnani, “Germany as a Geo-economic Power”; Gunther Hellmann, “Germany's World: Power and

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German Foreign Policy Rules for Action during the 2011 Libya Crisis

Hermann Kurthen

action. The trend toward more complex global problems and polycentric constellations will possibly lead them to interpret policy imperatives more flexibly, as proposed by advocates of the concepts of “strategic narratives” 53 or “normalization.” 54 On