[Oprindeligt publiceret af Forsvarsakademiet]

After Brexit, after the Ukraine-crisis and after Trump, there has been a surge in calls for Germany to take on a leading role in Europe. However, despite being the largest, richest and most populous country in Europe, and despite being situated at the centre of Europe, and thus affected by most developments in Europe, Germany is still somewhat reluctant to take on a leading role in Europe – most notably when it comes to security issues.

The reason is that German strategic culture is still highly influenced by the collective remembrance of the Holocaust and the lessons Germany has drawn from it, a new report from Associate Professor, Dr. Jørgen Staun at the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) argues. However, there are signs that Germany is becoming a more active power, but only at a slow pace.

To debate these issues and to give a critique of the new RDDC-report “Normal at last? German Strategic Culture and the Holocaust” we have invited two distinguished and international renowned experts on German foreign- and security policy and on the realist tradition in international relations: Professor, Dr. Gunther Hellmann from the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and Assistant Professor, Dr. Alexander Reichwein, University of Giessen.


  • 14.00-14.05: Welcome.
  • 14.00-14.05: Presenting the report: ”Normal at last? German Strategic Culture and the Holocaust”. Associate Professor, Dr. Jørgen Staun, Royal Danish Defence College.
  • 14.20-14.40: Reluctant power? Leading power? Germany’s foreign and security policy through neoclassical realist lenses. Assistant Professor, Dr. Phil., Alex Reichwein, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen.
  • 14.40-15.00: Shaping Power, Hegemonial trap and German foreign policy. Professor, Dr. Gunther Hellmann, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.
  • 15.00-15.10: Break
  • 15.10-16.00: Q&A

The seminar, which will be held in English, is open to the public but under Chatham House Rules. For participation, please contact: Kenneth Jensen: keje@fak.dk. RDDC address: Ryvangs Allé 1, 2100 Copenhagen.