On 20 January 2017, Donald J. Trump began his term as the 45th President of the United States of America. During his election campaign and his transition into office, this new occupant of the White House did, among other things, distinguish himself through sexist and racist remarks, repeatedly proposed to stop immigration by building a wall, emphasized his position that US foreign policy should primarily serve American interest and openly called into question the validity of global climate change.
This new era in American politics comes at a time when the international community was able to achieve major multilateral successes: In late 2015 the Paris Agreement brought together countries in the global struggle to contain climate change. Mere months before the summit in Paris, the Global Goals for Sustainable Development were agreed upon as a fundamental development agenda. The world is facing challenges in all areas of policy, which can only be dealt with by cooperation among states. Unilateralist actions of important nations, such as the United States of America, will have severe consequences for this process.
So what happens, if the new US president makes good on his election promises? Are International Relations destined to return to callous Realism, in which international cooperation is declared a zero-sum game once again? Authors from the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) comment on the potential consequences of this for German and international politics.