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Berenskoetter, Felix and Stritzel, Holger (2019) 'Welche Macht darf es denn Sein? Tracing ‘Power’ in German Foreign Policy Discourse.' German Politics, 30 (1). pp. 31-50.

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The relationship between ‘Germany’ and ‘power’ remains a sensitive issue. While observers tend to agree that Germany has regained the status of the most powerful country in Europe, there is debate whether that is to be welcomed or whether that is a problem. Underpinning this debate are views, both within Germany and amongst its neighbours, regarding the kind of power Germany has, or should (not) have. Against this backdrop, the article reviews the dominant role conceptions used in the expert discourse on German foreign policy since the Cold War that depict Germany as a particular type of ‘power’. Specifically, we sketch the evolution of three prominent conceptions (constrained power, civilian power, hegemonic power) and the recent emergence of a new one (shaping power). The article discusses how these labels have emerged to give meaning to Germany’s position in international relations, points to their normative and political function, and to the limited ability of such role images to tell us much about how Germany actually exercises power.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 17438993
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Association for the Study of German Politics. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in German Politics on 01 Jul 2019, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 14:19
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... /fgrp20/current
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

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