Between a rock and a hard place? Navigating domestic and international expectations on German foreign policy

Oppermann, Kai (2018) Between a rock and a hard place? Navigating domestic and international expectations on German foreign policy. German Politics. ISSN 0964-4008

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This article takes stock of German foreign policy during Angela Merkel's third term in office (2013–17). It argues that the longer-term significance of Germany's foreign policy during this period is twofold. First, the Merkel government was confronted with multiple European and international crises which worked as a magnifying glass for the growing international expectations on Germany to become more actively engaged on the international stage. Second, the tenure of the Grand Coalition saw a significant shift in the German domestic foreign policy discourse that was marked by a concerted effort of leading decision-makers to make the case for Germany to accept greater international responsibilities. This emerging consensus among foreign policy elites expresses a changed self-conception of German foreign policy which, however, continues to be viewed with scepticism in the broader public. Informed by such a broad two-level perspective that focuses on the interplay between international and domestic expectations on German foreign policy, the article explores the record of the Grand Coalition in the main international crises it had to engage with. It suggests that the Merkel government was better able to live up to its own aspirations in two-level contexts which left it with greater domestic room for manoeuvre.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science
Depositing User: Kai Oppermann
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2018 08:27
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 02:00

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