Discussing Pax Germanica
The Rise and Limits of German Hegemony in European Integration

New York: Routledge, 2024 (Routledge Studies in Modern European History)


Discussing Pax Germanica: The Rise and Limits of German Hegemony in European Integration examines and reconsiders Germany’s paramount role in shaping European integration from the aftermath of World War II to the present.

This volume meticulously explores the ascendancy of Germany to a dominant position in European politics and economics. It critically engages with the concept of hegemony, delineating Germany’s influence on the development of the European Union and its resemblance to historical precedents in German history like the Holy Roman Empire. Methodologically, the book integrates archival research with contemporary literature to craft a narrative that is both historically grounded and relevant to current European affairs. The work stands out for its exploration of Germany’s strategic use of economic power and political diplomacy to shape the European Union according to its interests while facing inherent limitations and challenges, such as the eurozone crisis, migration policies, energy dependency, and foreign policy towards Russia.

Targeting a diverse audience of both scholars and non-specialists, this book is particularly relevant for those interested in European politics, German history, and international relations.


Finally a book that answers Europe’s most vexing question: how to fit Germany onto the map without endangering the continent’s peace and prosperity. The authors, a superb mix of specialists across fields, treat politics as inseparable from economics and culture. What the wartime alliance ultimately enabled was not the destruction of German hegemony but its transformation: now enacted not by German force, but through European consensus.” – John Connelly, University of California, Berkeley

In … Discussing Pax Germanica: The Rise and Limits of German Hegemony in European Integration, Herman Van Rompuy … writes matter-of-factly, ‘In the years of my mandate, there was only one time when the position of the European Council did not correspond to the position of Germany…’ So which way Germany goes matters more to Europe than the future course of any other European country.” – Timothy Garton Ash, Oxford University, The New York Review of Books

Reviewed in