GIGA Forum Meets Review 2014

Non-Intervention in Syria

There’s no end in sight for the war in Syria. What responsibility does Germany hold? A discussion about the crisis in the Middle East and German foreign policy with Jörg Ambruster, the Federal Foreign Office, the GIGA and Hamburg citizens.

Three years after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, there’s still no end in sight to the horror. According to the most recent estimates from the UN, more than 160,000 Syrians have lost their lives. The international negotiations have collapsed, and a successor to UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who recently resigned, has yet to be found. The war in Syria has kindled regional hostilities. The forward march of ISIS in Iraq is currently shaking the region. The conflict appears to be out of control – and in Germany it is becoming a real threat due to the return of German jihadists. Has the West looked away for too long?

"Review 2014 – A Fresh Look at German Foreign Policy" is the name of the process started by Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in order to answer to critical questions from the public and to re-examine German foreign policy. The GIGA has advised the Federal Foreign Office for many years. Both organizations jointly invited interested members of the public to a discussion on 9 July 2014 about the conflict in Syria. Should Germany and the West have intervened militarily in Syria? Or have Western states’ military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya actually fanned the flames of the violence? How legitimate is war for peace?

Hamburg’s citizens discussed Germany’s role on the international stage with Clemens von Goetze, directorate-general head at the Federal Foreign Office; Jörg Armbruster, former ARD crisis correspondent; and André Bank, Syria expert at the GIGA. Which instruments should and can German foreign policy use? Should Germany take on more responsibility internationally?

Alongside the Hamburg public, the Model United Nations of Hamburg (HanseMUN) group has particularly challenged the panel guests. The HanseMUN is an amalgamation of Hamburg university students who simulate the work of the United Nations.

Other News

Book |

Comparative Area Studies (CAS), the GIGA’s flagship methodological approach, keeps going strong: APSA newsletter devotes symposium to CAS and a new edited volume is under preparation.

In brief |

Uganda had one of the strictest lockdowns in East Africa, including closing all but essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public transport vehicles. We take a look at how these measures affected people and businesses in the informal economy.

In brief |

Review of a successful year 2019