In his recent essay in Global Affairs, AICGS Non-Resident Fellow Gunther Hellmann explores how Germany, given its central role in Europe and the EU, looks at its environment and how the world looks back. He discusses how Germany’s power, place, and ambition might be described from different angles: a “structural” interpretation of the EU/Europe’s setting; how Germany’s changing role is described from the outside and the inside; the contrast between images of overbearing “hegemony” and facilitating German “leadership”; Germany’s leadership challenges against the foil of U.S. leadership globally; and the difficulties highlighted in Germany’s world of “shaping powers” and tough love diplomacy.

Gunther Hellmann is Professor of Political Science at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, and an AICGS Non-Resident Fellow.