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Innere Führung and Military Ethos Under Discussion

Between aspiration and reality – Where does Innere Führung stand? Can the familiar model of the “citizen in uniform” still maintain its claim to validity, or is it in need of readjustment or even re-evaluation and change? That was the opening question in a panel discussion hosted by the German Commission for Justice and Peace and zebis on October 19, 2021, at the Katholische Akademie in Berlin.

In this latest edition of “Ethics and Armed Forces”, we aim to delve deeper into the debate. For it has become apparent, following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, that there is a considerable need for discussion not only within the Bundeswehr but also among the wider public about the role of our armed forces and their leadership principles.

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Photo: Janine Schmitz/


Even in the Bundeswehr, we must not underestimate the bonding force of military subcultures
Summary   Full article


Neither warrior ethos nor comfort zone: Innere Führung shouldn’t let itself be disparaged
Summary   Full article


Bundeswehr missions are the touchstone for Innere Führung – not its rebuttal 
Summary Full article


Military virtues for today

Peter Olsthoorn

Military ethics requires a deeper understanding of virtues 
Summary   Full article


“Justice in violence” instead of “justice through violence”: Chivalry challenges common conceptions of war ethics
  Full article


Degrading and sexualized masculinity rituals in the military follow an unfortunate inner logic  
Summary  Full article

Special: New Challenges for the Military and Conflict Management


Bravery also means to withstand group pressure and hostility, if necessary 
Full article

The “military” content of Innere Führung is all too often ignored
Full article


Helping to shape and anchor values: Opportunities and challenges of a participatory approach
Full article


"We must also reach the soul"

Heinrich Dickerhoff

Ethics education has to make values and responsibility tangible