Specifics of national identity in the rhetoric of the German leadership (from speeches at the Munich security conference (2014-2022)

Specifics of national identity in the rhetoric of the German leadership (from speeches at the Munich security conference (2014-2022)

Article received: 2023.02.27. Accepted: 2023.04.25

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.04.08

For citation:

Sokolov A.P., Davydov A.D., Belikov V.V., Sigova A.A. Specifics of national identity in the rhetoric of the German leadership (from speeches at the Munich security conference (2014-2022). – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 4. P. 105-121. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2023.04.08. EDN: KKRROM

The study was supported by the MGIMO University, the grant no. KMU 12/08.


The article deals with the specific features of the national identity in the rhetoric of German politicians by analyzing their speeches at the Munich Security Conference in 2014-2022. National identity has a significant impact on understanding a state’s place in the world and on the formation of its foreign policy. The authors’ aim is to examine the speeches of German politicians at the Munich Conference and identify the views of the political establishment on the country’s place and role in world politics, its foreign policy values and interests, and also the ways and factors of changing German national identity. The study used methods of quantitative and qualitative content analysis, which showed that the most important concept that defines the rhetoric about the national identity of Germany is “responsibility”. The authors note that a significant element of national identity in the rhetoric of German politicians is the Nazi past. In their speeches at the Conference, German politicians argue that Germany has completely overcome the tragic experience of the National Socialist dictatorship, which, according to them, provides the FGR with the moral right to pursue an active foreign policy and determines the adherence of the German political mainstream to Western values. The authors conclude that today the German national identity is closely connected with the identity of the European Union and the West as a whole, which leads to the erosion of its national identity, as well as to the compulsory prioritizing of allied obligations over national interests. Because of this, the German leadership may make decisions that are not typical of German strategic culture and contradict the opinions of voters. The conclusions of the article suggest that the approach of the country’s politicians, which puts European and transatlantic interests ahead of national ones, will not change in the near future. 

Germany, national identity, German foreign policy, Munich Security Conference, multilateralism, EU, NATO.


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Content No. 4, 2023

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