Providing political leadership? : three case studies on Germany's ambiguous role in the eurozone crisis
Title: Providing political leadership? : three case studies on Germany's ambiguous role in the eurozone crisis
Author: SCHOELLER, Magnus G.
Citation: Journal of European public policy, 2017, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 1-20
ISSN: 1350-1763; 1466-4429
Throughout the eurozone crisis, observers called upon Germany to assume leadership. Yet, Germany has not emerged as the hoped-for leader. According to the issue at stake, we observe three different outcomes: firstly, Germany refused to lead; secondly, Germany assumed leadership, but failed to deliver; thirdly, Germany acted as a successful leader. This article examines the reasons for this variance by analysing and comparing one case for each outcome: the first financial assistance to Greece; the failed attempt to establish a ‘super-commissioner'; and the shaping of the Fiscal Compact. The analysis includes original data, gathered through interviews in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin. The variance in Germany's behaviour can be explained by employing a rational institutionalist model of leadership. Germany's emergence as a leader depends on the expected costs and benefits of leading. Its impact, in contrast, depends on its power, the distribution of preferences among the actors involved and institutional constraints.
Published online: 29 Mar 2016
Type of Access: openAccess
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