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Stephen F. Szabo

Simon Bulmer and WIliam Paterson, Germany and the European Union: Europe’s Reluctant Hegemon (London: Red Globe Press, 2018)

Paul Lever, Berlin Rules: Europe and the German Way (London: IB Tauris, 2017)

Christoph von Marschall, Wir Verstehen die Welt nicht Mehr: Deutschlands Entfremdung von seinen Freunden (Freiberg: Herder, 2018)

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Germany

From Civilian Power to a Geo-economic Shaping Power

Stephen F. Szabo

Abstract

Germany has become a geo-economic power since its unification in 1990. Its foreign policy agenda has been shaped by its economic interests and the role of its export sector. Nevertheless, Russian actions in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe combined with the accession of the Trump Administration in the United States and the rise of China have resulted in a transition in the foreign policy paradigm toward Germany as a shaping power and more of a geopolitical actor which has to balance its economic interests with the new strategic challenges of a newly unstable Europe.

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Stephen F. Szabo

Abstract

The German election of 2017 has produced an unstable government which is unlikely to offer the kind of leadership in foreign and security policy that Europe and the larger West need in a turbulent time. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in a weaker position than before with the loss of key cabinet positions to the Social Democrats and the Bavarian Christian Social Union. Many will be looking past her as the struggle to succeed her will increase. The key foreign policy agenda will include Europe and the Franco-German relationship, Russia, Turkey and Transatlantic relations. Merkel 4.0 is likely to be a transitional and unruly government that will bridge the end of the Merkel era and the start of one led by a new generation of leaders.