The Zeitenwende

Thursday, June 30, 2022, 10:00 - 11:00 am EDT // 16:00 - 17:00 CEST

Germany’s Reluctant Revolution

Three days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a revolution in German foreign and security policy. Under the title Zeitenwende (turning point), he initiated a set of far-reaching policy shifts. Germany’s partners welcomed these bold announcements. For a moment, it seemed as if Germany had woken up from its post-Cold War slumber. Four months later, the question is whether Germany has really woken up, and if so, for how long? What do the first four months of implementation tell us about the scope, pace, and durability of the Zeitenwende? What should Germany do next to overcome internal constraints, advance its national security interests, and meet the expectations of its allies and partners?

The seminar will discuss initial findings from two months of field work in Washington, DC, and build on insights from discussions with more than fifteen U.S. and European security and defense experts.


Nicole Koenig is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from May through June 2022. She is Deputy Director of the Jacques Delors Centre at the Hertie School in Berlin. She leads the Centre’s think tank work on EU foreign and security policy, institutions and democracy, as well as migration policy. Her own research focuses on European and German security and defense policy, EU-NATO relations, and Franco-German cooperation. Prior to joining the Jacques Delors Centre, she worked for various European think tanks and universities including the Trans European Policy Studies Association in Brussels, the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, and the Department of War Studies at King’s College in London. She was awarded the 2019-2020 Europe’s Futures Fellowship by the Vienna-based Institute for Human Sciences.

Nicole Koenig holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the Universities of Cologne and Edinburgh. She holds a master’s degree in Politics and Management from the University of Constance and one in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Bruges. She published a monograph on EU security policy as well as a broad range of think tank and academic papers and frequently appears in international media.


This event will convene via Zoom. Please contact Ms. Elizabeth Hotary at ehotary@aicgs.org with any questions.