This essay explores the relationship between West Germany's “economic miracle” and the goal of reunification in the early postwar decades. It argues that Konrad Adenauer was reluctant to mobilize economic resources on behalf of German unity-instead he sought to win trust by proclaiming unswerving loyalty to the West. Ludwig Erhard, by contrast, made an overt attempt to exchange financial incentives for political concessions-to no avail. Both of these chancellors failed to appreciate how West Germany's increasing prosperity undermined its diplomatic position, at least in the near term, given the jealousies and misgivings it generated in Western capitals and in Moscow. Only a gradual process of normalization would allow all four of the relevant powers-France, Britain, the United States, and the USSR-to develop sufficient trust in the economically dynamic Federal Republic to facilitate the country's eventual unification.
William Glenn Gray
Peter Gay, My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998)
Review by Charles S. Maier
Jan-Werner Müller, Another Country: German Intellectuals, Unification and National Identity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
Review by A. Dirk Moses
Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Practicing Democracy: Elections and Political Culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000)
Review by Sheri Berman
J.H. Brinks, Children of a New Fatherland; Germany’s Post-War Right-Wing Politics, trans. Paul Vincent (London/New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000)
Review by Elliot Neaman
Stephen Padgett, Organizing democracy in eastern Germany: Interest groups in post-communist society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
Review by John Brady
Alan D. Schrift, ed., Why Nietzsche Still? Reflections on Drama, Culture, and Politics (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000)
Review by Silke-Maria Weineck
Steve Hochstadt, Mobility and Modernity: Migration in Germany 1820–1989 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999)
Review by William H. Hubbard
Angelika Timm, Jewish Claims Against East Germany: Moral Obligations and Pragmatic Polic y(Budapest: Central European University Press, 1997)
Review by Belinda Cooper
Thomas M. Lekan, Imagining the Nation in Nature: Landscape Preservation and German Identity, 1885-1945 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004)
Review by Geoff Eley
Eli Nathans, The Politics of Citizenship in Germany: Ethnicity, Utility and Nationalism (Oxford/New York: Berg, 2004)
Review by Tobias Brinkmann
Kolinsky, Eva, and Hildegard Maria Nickel, eds., Reinventing Gender: Women in Eastern Germany since Unification (London, Portland: Frank Cass, 2003)
Review by Katrin Sieg
William Glenn Gray, Germany's Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949-1969 (Chapel Hill/London, 2003)
Review by Clay Clemens
Peter C. Caldwell, Dictatorship, State Planning, and Social Theory in the German Democratic Republic (Cambridge and New York, 2003)
Review by Henry Krisch
Patrick Stevenson, Language and German Disunity: A Sociolinguistic History of East and West in Germany, 1945 – 2000 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)
Review by Heidi Byrnes
Stuart Taberner and Frank Finlay, eds., Recasting German Identity: Culture, Politics, and Literature in the Berlin Republic (Rochester: Camden House, 2002)
Review by Kris Thomas Vander Lugt
Our Summer issue features three articles on key aspects of German
politics and society. Belinda Cooper analyzes yet another angle of the
thorny Stasi problem, in this case the role and presence of women
in the Stasi. Placing her discussion in the larger context of women
in East Germany, Cooper has fashioned a nuanced, meticulously
researched argument about an issue that remains pertinent in the
debate on Germany, women, unification, and the country’s complex
past. John Bendix and Niklaus Steiner provide a new epistemological
prism for the evaluation of Germany’s much discussed problem of
political asylum. They address this difficult topic in the context of
existing approaches in comparative politics and international relations,
featuring the notion of “national interest” in their presentation.
Ludger Helms then offers a fascinating study of an often-neglected
institution of German politics: that of the federal presidency since
1949. After a careful reading of this article, it is evident that the German
presidency deserves more attention in the future research
agenda of political scientists than it has garnered in the past.
Frank Decker and Jared Sonnicksen
The recent Bundestag election in Germany warrants consideration for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the results are indicative of several trends developing since unification and that will continue to play an important, if not ever increasing role in German politics. These developments include the intensifying fragmentation of the German party system and German voters' growing electoral volatility, both of which are hampering the parties' ability to form government coalitions. In the following article, we distill five fundamental aspects of the election. Building upon this analysis, we explore their meaning as well as potential impact on the German party system and partisan competition, as well as coalition patterns. At the same time, we address the overarching question of whether—and if so, to what extent—German politics is experiencing a trend toward bipolarity between a center-right and left camp and whether such an antagonistic model will be a passing phase or is indicative of a more established five-party system in Germany.
Les échanges entre intellectuels français et hispano-américains au début du vingtième siècle
At the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous Hispano-American writers, who were often also diplomats, arrived in Paris. They established contact with French intellectuals, mainly academics, and participated actively in French intellectual life. The exchanges between these Hispano-American and French intellectuals were based on a common identification with Latinism, a pan-nationalistic ideology developed in Europe and Latin America since the nineteenth century and calling for unification of all “Latin” peoples. Hispano-American elites and intellectuals, looking for a way to federate all Latin-American countries against the power of the United States, and seeking a rapprochement with France for political and cultural reasons, largely supported pan-Latinism. As for their French intellectual partners, eager to reinforce their country's global influence, they conveyed the pan-Latin ideology in the framework of their efforts to promote French cultural presence in Latin America. During the Great War, these cultural and intellectual initiatives concerning pan-Latinism drew the attention of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading to their integration in the newly created French international propaganda mechanism.
Abraham L. Newman
Since the end of World War II, scholars have attempted to make sense of Germany's insistent multilateralism. Many concluded that this sacrifice resulted from a deeply ingrained political identity that stressed international cooperation and shunned parochial national politics. More recently, however, German leadership has suggested a willingness to weaken its role as global altruist and reassert its interests in Europe and abroad. This article argues that core German attitudes towards regional and global cooperation have changed. But rather than a shift to "national self-interests," I argue that the unification process elevated long-held beliefs about policy conservatism and caution that now compete with the postwar multilateral policy frame within the foreign policy elite. In addition to the pro-European, multilateralist agenda, a second powerful lesson of the interwar period emphasized the dangers associated with sudden change and the benefits of incrementalism. Owing to the uncertainty associated with sociopolitical events, decision makers must rely on their beliefs about how the world works to guide their decisions. To explore the relationship between beliefs and Germany's regional policy, the paper examines the government's regional response to the post 2008 financial crisis and the banking crisis in Eastern Europe.
Joyce Marie Mushaben
From its founding in 1949 through the dramatic events of 1989/90, the Federal Republic relied on a concept of "blood-based" citizenship (jus sanguinis), hoping to sustain ties between the peoples of the divided nation, as well as to protect "co-ethnic" groups scattered throughout historically defined eastern territories. Geographical reconfiguration, generational change and globalization processes have rendered Germany's insistence on an ethno-national citizenship paradigm detrimental to its own political and socio-economic interests. Ostensibly the real "losers" of unification, more than seven million "foreigners" and children of migrant descent are now set to become the long-term winners of Chancellor Merkel's pro-active measures to foster their integration and education. Making very effective use of EU initiatives on migration policy, Merkel has adopted a holistic approach to integration as a means of overcoming the FRG's looming demographic deficit and shortage of high-tech laborers. This study begins with profiles of three "migrant" generations and the changing opportunity structure each has encountered, leading to different degrees of identification with the new homeland. It then summarizes key features of the 2007 National Integration Plan, and examines factors allowing Merkel to blaze a trail through the perilous "immigration" territory all previous Chancellors had feared to tread. Despite internal opposition, Angel Merkel's pro-active efforts to redefine "what it means to be German" has, paradoxically, given the Christian Union a chance to modernize its own identity.
Helmut Peitsch and Joanne Sayner
This article examines two chapters from Martin Sabrow's 2009 edited volume Erinnerungsorte der DDR, one on antifascism and one on Buchenwald. These two case studies exemplify the complexities of the contemporary German memorial landscape. In particular, they thematize the remembrance of the Nazi past in the German Democratic Republic and how this GDR past has, in turn, been tendentiously remembered since unification. By examining the layering of memories in these two chapters, we argue that the theoretical models which often underpin contemporary German memory work, Sabrow's volume included, serve to obscure the role of the state as carrier of official memory. On the basis of this study, we show that concepts dominant in today's Germany promote a unified national narrative. In particular, terms such as the “culture of memory” (Erinnerungskultur) and cultural memory (kulturelles Gedächtnis) downplay conflicting, contentious and diverse memories relating to the GDR past. As such, the article provides a timely note of caution for memory studies and memory work, which increasingly applies these models to wider, non-German contexts.
Revitalising and Reframing a 'Christian' Continent
Peter Jan Margry
In the economic and political unification process of Europe, the idea of the creation of a pan-European identity was put high on the political agenda. With the failure of this effort, the emphasis shifted to the apparently less fraught concept of 'shared cultural heritage'. This article analyses how the politically guided rediscovery of Europe's past has contributed to the creation of a 'Religion of Heritage', not only by raising up a political altar for cultural heritage, but also through the revitalisation, instrumentalisation and transformation of the Christian heritage, in order to try to memorialise and affirm a collective European identity based on its Christian past. In the context of this process, the network of European pilgrims' ways appears to have been an especially successful performative form of heritage creation, which has both dynamised Christian roots as a relevant trans-European form of civil religion that has taken shape, capitalising on the new religious and spiritual demands created by secularisation, and responded to the demand for shared - and Christian inspired - European values and meanings in times of uncertainty and crisis.