General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Zeitenwende. Turning point in Germany's foreign and economic policy
Language English
Module lecturer dr Rafał Szymanowski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Assistant Professor
Faculty Faculty of Political Science and Journalism
Semester 2023/2024 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 14-XZWTP


The course takes place at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism (Morasko campus) every Friday starting from October 6.

Hours: 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm. Room no: 120 (first floor).

If you have any questions related to the course please send an email to:

Module aim (aims)

  1. To teach how to use theory to explain policy change and bridge the gap between political science/international relations and economics
  2. To investigate the divergent motivations and varying interpretations of the turning point (Zeitenwende) in Germany
  3. To providing students with deeper knowledge about politics and economics in contemporary Germany
  4. To enable students to navigate the energy, monetary and trade policy fields in Germany within the wider EU framework
  5. To show students how to use the most important tools of analysis (literature review, historical methods, data analysis, basic statistics, discourse analysis (text-as-a data), expert interview, process tracing) to arrive at a better understanding of politics and economics

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

The course is designed as to be accessible to students without a deep background in political science and political economy, but with general analytical skills and readiness to develop interest in politics, economics, and contemporary Germany. 


  1. Theoretical approach to Germany's turning point: merging historical institutionalism (HI); advocacy coalition framework (ACF); and literature on the knowledge regimes and national origins of policy ideas.
  2. Origins and characteristics of Germany’s foreign policy: Westbindung, Ostpolitik, multilateralism, rule-based liberal international order, support for the European integration.
  3. Origins and characteristics of Germany’s economic policy: Ordoliberalism, social market economy, Agenda 2010.
  4. Germany as an actor in international relations: civilian, normative, or geoeconomic power?
  5. Turning point: Germany's response to the triple shock of Covid-19 pandemic, disruption of global value chains and Russia’s war against Ukraine.
  6. Three case studies: a) shaping a green hydrogen market (energy), b) fostering international role of the euro (finance), c) launching a new China strategy (trade).

Reading list

Allin D. H., Jones E. 2022. Sleepwalking to Solidarity? Russia, Ukraine and the European Dream. Survival 64:3;

Biess F. (2020) German Angst: Fear and Democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany. Oxford University Press, New York;

Blumenau B. (2022) Breaking with convention? Zeitenwende and the traditional pillars of German foreign policy. International Affairs 98:6;

Campbell J L, Pedersen O K. (2014) The National Origins of Policy Ideas: Knowledge Regimes in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark. Princeton University Press, Princeton;

Kundnani H. (2015) The Paradox of German Power. Oxford University Press, New York;

Lough J. (2021) Germany’s Russia problem: the struggle for balance in Europe. Manchester University Press, Manchester;

Roberts A, Lamp N. (2021) Six faces of globalization. Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts;

Matthijs M. 2016. The three faces of German leadership. Survival 58: 2;

Tetlock P. E. (2017) Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?. Princeton University Press, Princeton.