This paper introduces the special issue on ‘International Theory and German Foreign Policy’, the central aim of which is to foster connections between scholarly discussions of German foreign policy and broader theoretical debates in IR and beyond. While there has been a lively discussion about ‘new German foreign policy’, we argue that it has not engaged substantially with international and foreign policy theory, especially with respect to its more recent developments. Reviewing the literature written roughly in the last decade, we argue that the most discussed works are still largely provided by the ‘Altmeister’ (Maull, Szabo, Bulmer and Paterson) who were already dominating the field a quarter of a century ago. While there is a general decline in the academic study of German foreign policy, we show that a range of novel, theoretically sophisticated but often disconnected scholarship has appeared on the margins. This special issue contributes to this emerging work by providing (1) conceptual interrogations, which question the existing research and provide theoretically-grounded alternatives, (2) critical discussions and evaluations of the nature of Germany’s actorness and the environment in which it operates, and (3) applications of less familiar perspectives on German foreign policy.
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© 2020 Association for the Study of German Politics.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations