The Paradox of German Power and Powerlessness in Europe. A Historical Perspective.
Prof. Brendan Simms, PhD
On November 9, 2015 the fall Convoco Lecture took place in London. Prof. Brendan Simms, Ph.D., historian, author, and Professor in the History of European International Relations, Cambridge, spoke on the topic of "The Paradox of German Power and Powerlessness in Europe. A Historical Perspective."
Dr. Corinne Flick gave a short introduction and explained the connection between the question of German power within Europe and Convoco’s 2015 topic: "Power and its Paradoxes. Who is Really in Charge in a Globalized World?" She examined how diffused power structures often are, and asked how much power outwardly powerful decision-makers really have.
Brendan Simms sketched out the position of Germany within Europe over the last 500 years, and revealed historical parallels with the current European crisis. Based on his insights and perspectives for the future, the panel discussion took place with Sir Paul Lever, the former British Ambassador to Berlin, Thomas Matussek, the former German Ambassador to London and Professor of Law Christoph Paulus, an expert in state insolvency law and Roman law at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Together with Brendan Simms and Corinne Flick, they discussed the current role and power of Germany within the European Union and beyond.