A Zeitenwende of German security culture? The rise of conflict, defence, and deterrence in the German thinking on security after the Russian invasion of Ukraine
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German security and defense policy has long been a distinguishing feature. Nothing illustrated this observation more than German foreign policy toward Russia. Even after the Russian occupation of Crimea, Germany continued to pursue a policy of economic cooperation. Scholars have often pointed to the stickiness and uniqueness of Germany's security culture to explain these foreign policy positions. It is security crises, according to authors discussing this subject matter, that can force security cultures to change. This thesis contributes to this debate by researching developments in German security culture one year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The findings of this case study illustrate that security crises can result in change under certain circumstances. Following the invasion of Ukraine, German security culture has become defined by increasing awareness of interstate conflict as well as the necessity of territorial defense and deterrence to ensure European security.