2014 Theme

Challenges of a Multilateral World:

Deconstructing Prevalent Notions of Security and Diplomacy”

As acknowledged among many American elites, global politics is shifting increasingly to a multipolar framework, and away from American primacy in the cold war context (see “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” by the United States National Intelligence Council, December 2012). Reflecting the emergence of a new multipolarity, Germany is recognized in Washington DC as the new leading power in Europe, both economically and politically.

Indeed, President Obama has stressed that the United States must deconstruct its prevalent post cold war narrative for global order and engage in a process of negotiating a sustainable consensus for international cooperation. His strategy has proved controversial both at home and worldwide. The president’s efforts have nevertheless unleashed an ongoing German-American and more broadly European-American debate about what necessitates a principled but pragmatic pursuit of national interests in the context of coordinated global efforts to construct a stable security system in which societies can pursue economic and other forms of exchange (see for example the recently launched Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership initiative, strongly supported by Chancellor Merkel and President Obama). Ultimately, the debate in the United States and internationally centers more basically on what should a sustainable compromise consist of regarding material, institutional and normative interests (what international relations scholars would refer to as realist, liberal, and constructivist considerations).

In light of these fundamental recent developments in American foreign policy, transatlantic relations, and global security, the theme for the 2014 Cultures of Security DAAD-Leipzig Summer Academy has been entitled, “Challenges of a Multilateral World: Deconstructing Prevalent Notions of Security and Diplomacy”.