Post–World War II developments concerning citizenship and access as one of the dimensions of citizenship are examined through the prism of noncitizenship and rights, using the drafting of the asylum paragraph of the 1949 Grundgesetz of the Federal Republic of Germany as a specific case study. The aim of this article is to look into the creation of the right to asylum in West Germany, to examine its political history by exploring its development and by searching for its conceptual, political, and rhetorical origins. The article investigates the birth of the unique conceptualization of asylum in the debates of the Parliamentary Council, the constitutional and quasi-parliamentary assembly responsible for the writing of the postwar Basic Law, and examines the political choices, motivations, and compromises behind its creation. To connect the matter of asylum to a wider problematic related to noncitizens and rights, the article benefits from the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt, with reference to her writings on human rights and refugees in the immediate post–World War II period.
Asylum as an Individual Right in the 1949 West German Grundgesetz
The Federal Republic of Germany—both before and after 1989—has been influenced deeply by collective memories of the Nazi period and the Holocaust, a seemingly "unmasterable past." In a first phase after unification, memory trends, which had their origin in the mid 1980s, continued, but a second period, beginning around the 1999 move of the capital back to Berlin, however, witnessed the erosion of this older trend and the delayed rise of new memory dynamics. Substantively, there have been three vectors of memory concerning Nazi crimes, German suffering, and the period of division, especially regarding the German Democratic Republic. In this article, I outline the major collective memory dynamics and debates, first from a qualitative and then from a more quantitative perspective where I analyze the holdings of the German National Library. I conclude that an intense period of memory work characterized the postunification years, but the peak of concern was reached several years ago and the German future will be much less beholden to the past. Given inevitable normalizing trends and the unintended consequences of the hegemony of Holocaust memory, Germany's difficult historical legacy increasingly appears to be disappearing or even mastered.
A Research Report
Werner Pfennig, Vu Tien Dung, and Alexander Pfennig
In many countries, the process of German unification is of continued interest. While the fact that peaceful unification was possible is generally appreciated, the costs of unification seem to still be of great concern. Yet, they have always to be seen in relationship to costs of division. It may be impossible to work out exactly the final sum of costs of German division. We searched for costs that occurred for the Federal Republic of Germany (frg) since 1949 and what we put together is, admittedly, an incomplete compilation, as it is a difficult undertaking which has not been done before. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to calculate the costs the German Democratic Republic (gdr) paid for division. Thus, we can only present an estimate. Costs of division as juxtaposed to unification costs will show that unification in Germany is not even twice as expensive as was division. Many of these costs facilitated normalization and the opening up of East Germany—in the end they turned out to be a most valuable prepayment for German unification.
The history of the Federal Republic of Germany is closely connected with economic achievement. Enjoying a striking economic recovery in the 1950s, the FRG became the home of the “economic miracle.” Maturing into one of the most powerful economies in the world, it became known as the “German model” by the 1970s. Now, however, the chief metaphor for the German economy is “Standort Deutschland,” and therein lies the tale of the new German problem.
Charles S. Maier
This essay looks at postunification Germany through the pages of German Politics and Society. The articles published during this period reveal the evolution of intellectuals' understanding of the unified country—concerns that mirrored changes in social, political, and cultural reality. Of course, academics are beholden to their own histories and Weltanschauung, a fact that produced, at times, prescient, sometimes fragmentary, and sometimes alarmist interpretations and analyses of the country in an attempt to provide orientation. Nevertheless, this review shows how German watchers have slowly up-dated their paradigms and are now not worrying as much about a mellowed, less German country that has fascinated them over the decades.
The article draws upon the formal coalition literature to demonstrate that party system change over the last thirty years means that the Volksparteien enjoy more coalition options and greater ideological leverage within coalitions that form than was the case in the past. The Free Democrats have lost their kingmaker status and the distribution of party weights over recent elections allows no other small party to act in this manner. By contrast, the numerical and ideological resources possessed by the two Volksparteien means that they remain the only parties within the German party system that can act as formateur in the coalition game and are less vulnerable to threats of a decisive defection by small parties to alternative coalitions than they were in the past.
Helga A. Welsh
After the two German states unified in 1990, the tendency to transplant West German practices to the former East Germany was particularly pronounced in areas where systemic differences and perceived inefficiency met ideological reservations. The higher education system was among them. Comprehensive institutional, policy, and personnel transfer from West to East ensued. Starting in the mid 1990s after many failed initiatives, however, new policies were launched in the unified Germany. Reinforced by feedback from institutional and policy transfer to the East, factors such as Europeanization and globalization empowered newly formed advocacy coalitions to advance a reform agenda. Competition and performance seeded other ideas, prominent among them diversification, internationalization, autonomy, and accountability. Existing institutions and firmly rooted traditions still condition and limit change, and reforming the reforms has become commonplace. Differentiation among Länder and higher education institutions has become more pronounced, adding to the variety of outcomes. In ways unforeseen in 1990, some areas of the German higher education system have seen paradigmatic change, while others have survived relatively unscathed. The recalibration of the system continues, and reform pressure persists.
Katy A. Crossley-Frolick
Since the end of the Cold War, Germany has assumed a greater profile in addressing global security concerns. This article analyzes the evolution of Germany's approach to peacebuilding in the post Cold War era. It argues that while Germany could play a unique and important role in such missions, it has largely demurred. The muted quality of German leadership in international peacebuilding reveals a foreign policy role identity that remains circumscribed by a culture of restraint (Kultur der Zurückhaltung). From a constructivist perspective, this “culture of restraint” acts as a cognitive map for political leaders and policy makers, privileging a set of norms that guide policy-making. Peacebuilding missions present opportunities for Germany to operationalize the most fundamental tenets undergirding Germany's postwar foreign policy identity: the preference to cooperate with other states through multilateral institutions, the use of economic instruments to obtain foreign policy goals, and support for supranational institutions to address global problems. But such opportunities are not seized due to the absence of political elite consensus, inter-party, and inter-ministerial dissensus, institutional fragmentation and insufficient material support for international peacebuilding endeavors.
Until recently, broadcasting in Europe has been seen by historians and broadcasters alike as intricately related to national territory. Starting immediately after the Second World War, when West German national territory was still uncertain, this article explores how the broadcasting space of the Federal Republic (FRG) shaped and was shaped by material, institutional, and discursive developments in European broadcasting spaces from the end of World War II until the early 1960s. In particular, it examines the border regimes defined by overlapping zones of circulation via broadcasting, including radio hardware, signals and cultural products such as music. It examines these spaces in part from the view of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the federation of (then) Western public service broadcasters in Europe. By reconstructing the history of broadcasting in the Federal Republic within the frame of attempts to regulate European broadcasting spaces, it aims to show how territorial spaces were transgressed, transformed, or reinforced by the emerging global conflict.
Germany's growing weight on the world stage is indisputable, and its foreign policy is exceptional among powerful states. This article argues that while the original vision of cooperative security and multilateralism guiding German policy was shaped by occupation, division, and weakness, it has shown astonishing resilience, even as Germany has regained sovereignty, unity, and power. For a weak and divided Federal Republic, a vision that eschewed the exercise of power ensured survival; for a strong united Germany, a vision that minimizes the role of power is revolutionary and controversial. I argue that this revolutionary policy is now the most effective one to meet the challenges of a transformed world marked by new and unconventional threats and risks—a world in which traditional measures of power have lost much of their usefulness in securing the national interest. Ironically, however, while the policy vision that downplays the role of power persists, Germany's material power has grown. Germany's renewed power position makes it an influential actor in an international system where perceptions of power still matter. And the old policy vision makes German foreign policy the most appropriate for solving new global problems whose solution defies power politics. This paradoxical combination of power and vision in Germany's postunification foreign policy has introduced a new and effective form of "normative power" in global politics.