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    The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the limitations of Germany’s ‘more active’ foreign policy approach

The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the limitations of Germany’s ‘more active’ foreign policy approach

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced earlier this year that Germany would be pursuing a more active approach to foreign policy issues. Julia Himmrich writes that while this was an important break from the country’s reluctance to become involved in foreign conflicts since the end of the Second World War, the on-going Ukraine crisis has revealed the difficulties in […]

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In democracies an effective media and opposition are both needed to sanction leaders’ foreign policy missteps

Common wisdom in international affairs is that when democratically elected leaders and governments make threats towards other states, these are credible; voters will punish leaders who do not follow through on their words. New research by Philip B. K. Potter and Matthew A. Baum argues however, that not all democracies are equal in the credibility of their threats of military […]

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There is a good case to be made for Cyprus pressing ahead with full recognition of Kosovo’s independence

Cyprus is one of the five EU member states that refuse to recognise the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. James Ker-Lindsay writes that a recent meeting between the Cypriot Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kosovo suggests that the country’s stance may be softening over the issue. He notes that although this may seem surprising given […]

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German ‘tit for tat’ diplomacy could help alter Russia’s position on Syria

The G20 summit, which began on Thursday in Saint Petersburg, has been dominated by the issue of Syria. One of the key dynamics in the Syrian crisis is the refusal of Russia to endorse any military intervention in the country. Wolfgang Seibel writes on the position of Germany, which has traditionally attempted to bridge the diplomatic gap between Russia and […]

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The reluctance of German politicians to take a strong line on defence policy poses a security risk for Europe.

Defence policy has generally played a much smaller role in German election campaigns than it has in other countries. As Tom Dyson writes, this is largely because German politicians view the issue as a ‘vote loser’, with little potential to improve a party’s electoral success. Nevertheless, he argues that this approach is highly misguided in the context of modern security […]

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The EU’s designation of Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist group is a critical step toward preventing its illicit activities in Europe.

Last month the EU added Hezbollah’s military wing to its ‘blacklist’ of terrorist organisations. Matthew Levitt gives an overview of the developments that have led to the EU’s decision, and assesses its likely impact on Hezbollah’s operations. He argues that in addition to giving EU member states the legal basis to investigate Hezbollah’s actions, the decision also sends a clear […]

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