Despite numerous fears and some hopes to the contrary, German foreign policy has displayed a high level of continuity since the end of the Cold War and the completion of German reunification. Always with its partners, never alone: This is still the watchword of German foreign policy. Indeed, it could almost be described as a "never alone" doctrine.
Germany: The Reluctant Power
Increasingly, the U.S. and Europe have turned to Germany for leadership in addressing the financial crisis, global security issues and a resurgent Russia. But will Germany be willing to play a more assertive role in the global arena? WPR examines The Reluctant Power.
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Articles in this feature
Germany has been slow to come to grips with the clear and obvious failings of its Russia policy, which lie not in the concept underlying engagement, but in Germany's inability to achieve its objectives singlehandedly. Now a new opportunity has arisen for Germany to forge a common European approach toward Russia. But time is running out to seize it.
Germany's seamless transition from Cold War division to post-Cold War unity relied on two critical factors: the existence of a defining domestic foreign policy consensus, and credible external political structures and institutions. But those structures now show signs of erosion, perhaps even decay, and that is likely to complicate domestic consensus.