Germany’s World: Power and Followership in a Crisis-Ridden Europe

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.



The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Gunther Hellmann

Goethe-University, Frankfurt

Gunther Hellmann is Professor of Political Science at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main and Adjunct Professor at the Bologna Center of the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is a Principal Investigator and Member of the Board of Directors of the Frankfurt Cluster of Excellence “Formation of Normative Orders.” In 2012 he will serve as the “Harris Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Dartmouth College. His research interests are in the fields of foreign policy analysis, esp. German and European foreign policy; international security, esp. transatlantic and European security; and international relations theory.

His recent publications include “International Relations as a Field of Studies”, in: Bertrand Badie, Dirk Berg-Schlosser and Leonardo Morlino (Eds.): International Encyclopedia of Political Science, London: Sage Publication 2011; Ed. “The Forum: Pragmatism and International Relations”, International Studies Review 11:3 (2009), 638-662; Ed. “Special Section” on “IR Theory and (German) Foreign Policy”, Journal of International Relations and Development 12:3 (2009); Die Semantik der neuen deutschen Außenpolitik. Eine Analyse des außenpolitischen Vokabulars seit Mitte der 1980er Jahre, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2008 (Ed. with Christian Weber/Frank Sauer); “Inevitable Decline versus Predestined Stability: Disciplinary Explanations of the Evolving Transatlantic Order”, in: Anderson, Jeffrey/Ikenberry G. John/Risse, Thomas (Eds.), The End of the West? Crisis and Chance in the Atlantic Order, Ithaca: Cornell University Press 2008, 28-52; Handbuch zur deutschen Außenpolitik, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2007 (Ed., with Siegmar Schmidt/Reinhard Wolf); Ed., De-Europeanization by Default. Germany’s EU-Policy in Defence and Asylum, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan 2006.