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Shaping German Feminist Foreign Policy in Times of Conflict in Ukraine

Pierobon, C. (2024). Shaping German Feminist Foreign Policy in Times of Conflict in Ukraine. In: Mihr, A., Pierobon, C. (eds) Polarization, Shifting Borders and Liquid Governance. Springer, Cham.

The current conflict in Ukraine has caused European political leaders to question existing European security architecture. In his address to the Bundestag on 27 February 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) referred to this time as a Zeitenwende (historic turning point) for the European continent, leading Germany to reinvent itself as a European security actor. This paradigm shift needs to be contextualized in the framework of an overall reshaping of Germany’s security and foreign policy already promoted by the new Social Democrats/Greens/Free Democrats’ government coalition in December 2021, including developing a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) for Germany. With the conflict in Ukraine, the discussion about a German FFP has become even more relevant, bringing to light a tension between more pragmatic and normative interpretations. This chapter focuses on processes through which the FFP was conceptualized in Germany, looking at discourses and narratives produced and circulated by the German Federal Office and, in particular, by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. The chapter reveals that the current armed conflict in Ukraine has affected the very essence of a German FFP that justifies military assistance as a necessary instrument to protect the rights of women and more marginalized groups.

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