Law Land: Germany as a Legal Super Power

Russell Miller

Russell A. Miller

Washington and Lee School of Law

Russell A. Miller was a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow in 2015. He joined the Washington and Lee law faculty in 2008. His teaching and scholarly research focuses on comparative law theory and methods, comparative constitutional law, German law and legal culture, and public international law. Previously, he taught at the University of Idaho College of Law and has been a guest professor in Germany.

German-American Issues 17

Germany has increasingly found itself in a leadership role in the twenty-first century.  On challenges ranging from Russian aggression in Ukraine, to the European economic crisis, to the turmoil and resulting refugees from the Middle East, it is Germany who has been in the driver’s seat.  This role was nearly unthinkable seventy years ago.

The German approach to these and other twenty-first century challenges is underpinned by a legal outlook that is deeply rooted in civil law and a tendency to depict issues through “a formalistically legal lens.”  This outlook has at times put Germany at odds with its partners, but it has allowed Germany to assume a position of strength and legitimacy on the world stage.

This volume of AGI’s German-American Issues series discusses the evolution of the German legal system and its use in various contexts, including economic and security.  It portrays Germany’s legal foundation as a particular strength that has allowed the country to gain soft power in international affairs.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.