Title

Hegemony, dominance or leadership? Explaining Germany's role in European monetary cooperation

Abstract

This article explains Germany's function and role in European monetary cooperation. It refutes two popular hypotheses in this context -(1) that Germany serves as a regional hegemon comparable to the role of the United States in the Bretton Woods system; and (2) that Germany is dominant in terms of influencing policies in a unidirectional sense. Instead it argues that Germany's position of monetary power is policy-based by virtue of its status as a strong currency country. This has been the basis for two crucial leadership functions Germany has provided in the European Monetary System (EMS), namely those of a standard-setter and broker. The article also describes the changing circumstances for the exercise of leadership that are associated with a move to a monetary union as envisioned in the Maastricht Treaty. As in the case of the EMS, the ultimate success of a future monetary union depends heavily on the emergence of leadership.

Publication Title

European Journal of International Relations

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