German Defence Policy under the Second Merkel Chancellorship

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The CDU/CSU/FDP coalition (2009-13) has witnessed the emergence of three important changes in the international security environment: the US ‘Asia Pivot’; the global financial crisis and finally, the fallout of Germany’s backseat role in the Libya crisis. This article will examine how German defence policy has adapted to this changing context. It will explore the reforms which have taken place to the Bundeswehr’s structure and military capability procurement process under Defence Ministers Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Thomas de Mazière. The article will also look at German policy toward defence cooperation through CSDP and NATO. The article finds that while some important changes have been enacted to German defence policy, Germany is failing to properly adapt to the changing strategic environment. The article concludes by examining key defence policy challenges facing the government over the 2013-17 legislative period and the implications of the analysis for theoretical debates on German defence policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-476
Number of pages17
JournalGerman Politics
Issue number4
Early online date9 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • German defence policy
  • Chancellor Merkel

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