The myth of German hegemony in the euro area revisited

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Series Details Volume 43, Number 5, Pages 1072-1094
Publication Date September 2020
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This paper contributes to the scholarly debate on hegemony and leadership in international relations and elaborates on an analytical framework to assess the nature, scope, functions and causal mechanisms of hegemonic and non-hegemonic leadership in general terms. Based on this framework, it takes issue with the interpretation of Germany’s role during the euro area crisis as being a hegemonic one.

Discussing the concepts of hegemony, leadership and dominance, it argues that Germany proved dominant during the euro area crisis on selected issues, mainly using its veto power. On other issues, Berlin provided non-hegemonic leadership, more often than not asymmetric co-leadership shared with France. It did not play the role of a hegemon, however, lacking the resources and being unable to shape decisively the economic constitution of the euro area along the lines of its core preferences.

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