Healing the World? – German Foreign Policy between High Aspirations and Competing Imperatives

Panels and Discussions

German foreign policy is strongly informed by a historically grounded optimism in global convergence. But the self-confidence of finally being on the right side of history is shattered by recent crises and the re-emergence of geopolitical conflict. Calls for a more decisive German leadership role in Europe tend to overlook the competing imperatives at the core of Germany’s interests and ambitions.
Thomas Bagger is Director of Foreign Policy in the Office of the Federal President. From 2011 to 2017 he was Head of Policy Planning at the German Federal Foreign Office. From 2009 to 2011 Thomas Bagger served as Head of the Foreign Minister’s Office in Berlin. His previous postings abroad included Washington, DC, Ankara and Prague. He also worked as a speechwriter for Foreign Ministers Klaus Kinkel and Joschka Fischer. Before joining the Foreign Office in 1992, Bagger worked as a research associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Ebenhausen.

He was in discussion with Ivan Krastev, IWM Permanent Fellow and Director of the Centre for Liberal Studies in Sofia, Bulgaria.



Geopolitical Talks is a series of public debates initiated by IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev. Started in 2018 as a discussion forum, foreign policy experts and former politicians are invited to talk with Ivan Krastev 

In cooperation with Bundesministerium/Landesverteidigung.


See our past Geopolitical Talks here.