Immigrants in Foreign Policy Making in Germany and the U.S.: Two Very Different Struggles to Embrace Diversity

In a globalized world, domestic politics no longer stop at the water’s edge, as transnational actors have emerged who push beyond existing borders. Some are driven by hybrid identities that reach beyond the contours of the nation-state. These ethnic interest groups represent immigrants and pursue a particular interest in foreign policy toward their country of origin. Both the United States and Germany struggle to embrace this ethnic diversity in foreign policy making, but in very different ways and to very different degrees.

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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.

Henriette Rytz

German Bundestag

Dr. Henriette Rytz is a foreign policy advisor to Cem Özdemir, member of the Bundestag and head of the Green Party Germany (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). Before joining his team, she worked as a researcher at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik / German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), a Berlin-based foreign policy think tank. Henriette has published widely on questions of foreign policy, U.S. domestic politics, and immigration and integration, including a book that came out in 2013 (“Ethnic Interest Groups in US Foreign-Policy Making: A Cuban-American Story of Success and Failure,” New York: Palgrave Macmillan). Her passion for U.S. politics and transatlantic relations has repeatedly taken her to the U.S. for longer work stints, including at the House of Representatives, the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C., and Yale University. Ms. Rytz holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Relations from the Free University Berlin. Ms. Rytz is vice chairperson of the board of Humanity in Action Germany, a transatlantic human rights network.

She is a 2016-2017 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).