Chapter 11 “Don’t stop believin’”: Germany’s turn from reflexive to strategic multilateralism
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Next to European integration and the transatlantic alliance, the promotion of multilateralism is one of the key tenets of German foreign policy and crucial in its realization of security and economic interests. Consequently, the current contestation of the international order has a strong effect on the German discourse and policy practices. This chapter aims to analyze to what extent the current transformation in the international order causes a readjustment of Berlin’s foreign policy approach and its promotion of multilateralism. While Germany continues to strongly believe in the merits of a rules-based international order, the chapter puts forward the suggestion that Germany’s approach has turned from “reflexive” to “strategic” multilateralism. This is reflected in a stronger emphasis on interests, a more flexible approach to institutions, as well as a more functional choice of partners in the pursuit of multilateralism.

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