Guest Lecture at Nuremberg Campus: “The ‘Zeitenwende’ in Civics Education”

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On June 18, Hauptmann Philipp Glaser, Youth Information Officer of the Bundeswehr, gave a guest lecture in the Social Studies Education program at FAU’s Nuremberg campus at the invitation of the Political Science department.

Under the title The ‘Zeitenwende’ in Civics Education („Die ‘Zeitenwende’ im Politikunterricht“), Mr. Glaser provided a comprehensive overview of the security and defense policy developments in Germany in recent years. He referred to the ‘Zeitenwende’ declared by the federal government under Olaf Scholz, which is intended to mark a new era in German defense policy.

Hauptmann Glaser explained the key defense policy challenges the Federal Republic of Germany faces including the current security situation in Europe in the context of the global system rivalry between liberal democracies and autocracies. He placed particular emphasis on the Russian-Ukrainian war since 2022 and the associated geopolitical tensions. Additionally, he gave an overview of the current deployments of the Bundeswehr, highlighting the significance of the German combat brigade in Lithuania being established in the Baltics, which represents an important element of the collective defense policy of Germany and its NATO partners.

Furthermore, Mr. Glaser reported on his work as a Youth Information Officer in general and his experiences in civics education at schools, in clubs, or with political parties. He explained the mission and limits of this educational work as public relations and the underlying educational concept. Due to the teacher training context of the event, educational aspects of the aforementioned topics also played a role.

Despite the manageable size of the audience, a lively and engaged discussion ensued. The teacher training students asked numerous questions and eagerly discussed the purpose and meaning of civics education run by the military. The lecture offered the students valuable insights into current defense policy issues, which are of increasing importance in the field of International Relations, and encouraged critical reflection on the role of the Bundeswehr in civics education and Germany’s liberal democracy in general.

Questions regarding the event can be directed to Dr. Alexander Kruska.

General information about the activities of Youth Officers can be found on the Bundeswehr website.