Joyce Mushaben

From Cold War to Hot Peace? Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and the ‘Triangulation’ of German Foreign Policy

Dr. Joyce Mushaben, University of Missouri – St. Louis
January 24, 2016

As Germany’s first female, Eastern Chancellor, Angela Merkel took to the international stage like a moth to a flame. She quickly emerged as an effective mediator among three competing forces: the United States, the European Union and Russia.  Beginning with the 2007 G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm, her expertise in matters of energy security, environmental sustainability, and climate change accorded her a distinctive voice in “high politics” that have historically excluded women at the global level.  Her personal affection for both the United States and Russia has not translated into an easy time for US Presidents, nor for a more authoritarian Vladimir Putin, however. No longer content with a junior-partner role, Merkel presents herself as a “critical friend” of the United States, taking issue with that nation’s violation of its own  fundamental  values, e.g., concerning “rendition,” Guantanamo Bay and NSA spying.  She has been no less direct with Putin regarding the Russian invasion of Georgia, the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.  Dr. Mushaben will present a number of short case studies, illustrating Merkel’s efforts to keep both superpowers engaged in regional discourses while also exploring broader systemic factors underlying Germany’s more assertive behavior on behalf of “national interests.”

Dr. Joyce Mushaben (Ph.D., Indiana University) is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  Her research covers new social movements, youth protest, German unification, national identities, gender, ethnicity & welfare policies, and European Union developments. Having received a 1999 Women’s Trailblazer Award, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Creativity (2007), and the Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2012), Mushaben is a three-time Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, a former Ford Foundation Fellow, a guest scholar at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences (Beijing), the East German Academy for Social Sciences (Berlin), the Central Institute for Youth Research (Leipzig) and at universities in Stuttgart and Frankfurt/Main.

Supported by New Mexico Humanities Council, Sandia National Labs, Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group and The Albuquerque Journal