Geopolitical influences on German development policies in Africa and AIDS policies in Kenya



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At the beginning of the twenty-first century Germany geopolitics can be characterized by its grand strategy as a civilian power. Germany has come to depend on a civilianized international system based on multilateralism, international institutions and the rule of law, supranational integration, free trade, and the restriction of the use of force as a means for international politics. Such a system requires the players in it to be peaceful and civilian, developed and cooperative, legitimate and law-abiding. Many African countries do not fulfill those conditions. Extremely high prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in Africa severely undermine social structure, economic development and political stability and thus contribute to state failure. State failure is in fundamental conflict with Germany's prime geopolitical interest in promoting a civilianized international system, because a failing state is incapable of creating civilianized structures. After analyzing Germany's foreign and development policies since World War II, I came to the conclusion that all German foreign policies aim at promoting a civilianized international system. I am arguing that development policies are part of broader foreign policies and thus pursue this goal with respect to developing countries. However, for the system itself it is much more important that the big players in the world are included and committed to it. Therefore, German foreign policy focuses on the major powers in the world and, just as developing countries play a minor role in international politics, development policies play a minor role in Germany's grand strategy as a civilian power. German grand strategy, however, plays a major role in the design and the conduct of German development policies, policies used as tools to pursue Germany's broader geopolitical interest in promoting a civilianized international system.