Prof.Nijhuis is the Academic Director of the Duitsland Instituut of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (DIA), an independent research and teaching institute concerned with the politics, economy and history of Germany from a Dutch perspective.
Prof. Nijhuis researches how the Federal Republic has played a central role in the process of European integration. Conversely, the EU also had a great impact on the development of the German state. The European integration provided Germany with an institutional framework to rebuild its economy, regain its international standing and establish excellent ties with its European neighbours. Beside these “environmental” goals, “Europe” also became an essential element of Germany’s post-war political culture. While there are a number of obvious benefits which the EU membership has brought for Germany, the EU membership has also more recently presented the country with a number of challenges.
In this research project, Prof. Nijhuis will explore the role of Germany in the EU, assess whether the country’s current European policy has changed after Unification, and investigate how changes in the perception of Europe are related to a changing political culture.