The German government’s 2011 abstention from the United Nations Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya raised questions about Germany’s role in the international system. By abstaining, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with four of the BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Its ‘non-Western’ act unleashed a debate on the future of German foreign policy. This contribution aims to provide an understanding of Germany’s new foreign policy. It characterises some basic political developments, outlines recent German academic debates about the character of German foreign policy and provides an interpretation of the government’s New Players Concept (‘Shaping Globalization – Expanding Partnerships – Sharing Responsibility’), which was adopted in 2012.