Issues - International Reports
New Approaches in Development Cooperation
This year, both Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee celebrate their 60th anniversary. These six decades have borne witness to many changes with regard to development cooperation: nowadays characterised by its diverse actors, it has become a vital component of how we tackle global challenges – from security to migration and climate protection to pandemic prevention. German and European development cooperation is thereby faced with a double task. On one hand, tackling these challenges even together with actors who might not share our values. On the other hand, not leaving any doubt about the importance of democracy and rule of law, which continue to be essential components of successful development.
Global Power Shifts
Power shifts are a fundamental phenomenon underpinning global politics. Today, again, the world finds itself in a phase of major shifts in the international order, of which the rise of the People’s Republic of China to become a great power is just the most obvious expression. These changes reflect the slow tectonic shifts of the earth’s crust – and these shifts create tensions. In such an environment, it is important for Germany and Europe to consistently emphasise what they stand for and what they advocate: a multilateral, liberal world order.
Political Parties – Challenges and Perspectives
Political parties are a pillar of the democratic system. They assume central functions such as promoting citizen participation in political life and shaping public opinion. They have a major impact on our country’s political development and serve as an interface between state organs and the public. Parliamentary democracy is ultimately always party democracy.
Bündnis unter Druck – Ist der Westen noch zu retten?
Die erste Amtszeit von US-Präsident Donald Trump neigt sich dem Ende entgegen. Es ist wohl keine Übertreibung, festzustellen, dass es um das transatlantische Verhältnis schon einmal besser bestellt war. Das Vertrauen der Europäer in die USA ist gesunken, die transatlantische Partnerschaft belastet. Vier Jahre Trump haben ihre Spuren hinterlassen. Die Schnittmengen zwischen den transatlantischen Partnern haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren zweifelsohne verringert. Dies wird in zahlreichen Beiträgen der vorliegenden Sonderausgabe der Auslandsinformationen deutlich, die in Kooperation mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung entstanden ist. Die enthaltenen Texte zeichnen gleichwohl ein vielschichtiges Bild von Zustand und Perspektiven der transatlantischen Partnerschaft.
Multilateralism – Is the International Order Hanging by a Thread?
75 years ago, the Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco. It laid the foundation for a new international order based on the ideal of institutionalised cooperation. Cooperation instead of confrontation – that was the lesson learnt from the catastrophes of two world wars. How is international cooperation doing today? Is there any truth in all the gloom, all the voices bemoaning the end of the multilateral world order? Why is it important, despite all difficulties and weaknesses, to continue to defend this policy model?
“It is very important to us that together we find a strong response to the coronavirus. It knows no borders, it knows no nationalities.” These are the words of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, with regard to the coronavirus crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent sustained pandemic have created a new level of global emergency in early 2020. This includes the closure of borders and introduction of border controls within the European Union.
Rapid technological developments witnessed over recent decades offer many opportunities, but also present us with new challenges – political, social, and sometimes private. Strategic questions regarding the political design of our digital future need to be considered at the international level in particular. This is because strict technological separation of a wide variety of state and non-state actors is now virtually impossible. Globalised goods, services, communications, and data streams are shaping the world.
From football to road construction – corruption has many faces. But the general rule is that the more opaque and unregulated decision-making processes are, the greater the risk of abusing power for self-enrichment. Arbitrary and unclear decisions, whether that be in dispensing justice, granting governmental contracts, or filling public offices, undermine the rule of law and swallow up additional resources. Corruption is a global phenomenon.
The End of Arms Control?
Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, the issue of armament and arms control is once again playing an important role, as the recent failure of the INF Treaty, the last mainstay of nuclear arms control, clearly showed. It is a symptom of a new great-power politics that is increasingly shaping the international system.
“Whether for humanitarian, development policy, economic reasons or out of self-interest, it is necessary to contain the spread of diseases. As a community of nations, we have a joint responsibility to do so”, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this May. This is not the only statement demonstrating how the international community of nations increasingly turns its attention to establishing and protecting Global Health architecture, in which Germany plays a central role.
About this series
International Reports (IR) is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's periodical on international politics. It offers political analyses by our experts in Berlin and from more than 100 offices across all regions of the world. Contributions by named authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial team.
Our periodical on international politics is published four times a year. We provide you with background information on what is happening in the world – free of charge. Use our registration form and with just a few clicks you can read the digital version of our political journal or order the print version in German or English.
Dr. Gerhard Wahlers
Head of the Department International Reports and Communication