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.
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.
Asylum as an Individual Right in the 1949 West German Grundgesetz
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.
John S. Brady and Sarah Elise Wiliarty
In December 1995, the Center for German and European Studies at
the University of California at Berkeley hosted the conference, “The
Postwar Transformation of Germany: Prosperity, Democracy, and
Nationhood.” During the proceedings and in the edited volume that
resulted, conference contributors explored the reasons for Germany’s
success in making the transition to a liberal democratic polity
supported by a rationalized national identity and a modern, dynamic
capitalist economy. In charting postwar Germany’s success, the contributors
weighed the relative contribution institutional, cultural, and
international variables made to the country’s transformation.
John S. Brady
Riva Kastoryano, Negotiating Identities: States and Immigrants in France and Germany, trans. Barbara Harshav (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002)
Zafer Senocak, Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture, 1990-1998, trans. and ed. Leslie Adelson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000)
Luke B. Wood
Germany’s increased power capabilities in foreign affairs since reunification have prompted scholars to argue that the country should be viewed as a regional hegemonic power, exercising significant influence not only over smaller countries in Eastern and Southern Europe, but also over the institutions of the European Union. After providing a critical assessment of the literature on hegemony in Europe, this article outlines three main trends in the scholarship on German power in European affairs. First, scholars tend to exaggerate Berlin’s power capabilities relative to other major European states such as France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Research shows that Europe is best understood as a multipolar regional order, not a hegemonic system dominated by one powerful state. Second, German leadership in Europe is contested and often delegitimized. Since 1949, German political elites have not been able to exercise influence in Europe without the support of other European states. This remains true even after the collapse of the Franco-German “tandem” in the wake of the European debt crisis. Third, scholars fail to adequately address how American power in the North Atlantic impacts regional polarity. Since reunification, the role of the United States in Europe has only increased and American influence over Eastern Europe, in particular, surpasses that of other European powers, including Germany.
Since the 1960s, Germany’s historical culture has continually reprocessed
the Nazi past and later the Holocaust for the purposes of education,
remembrance, and entertainment. The objective of this process,
Vergangenheitsbewältigung, is the self-centered and self-designed
therapeutic treatment of the descendants of the perpetrators and
bystanders of Nazism. It seems that Germans, who were better fascists
than other Europeans, are also determined to excel at the task of
working through Nazism and the World War II era. Therefore,
attempts at mastering the past have given rise to hectic cultural activity
as the field of contemporary history illustrates: “[I]ncessantly the
German business for contemporary history generates fast-food products.
It is based on a perpetual mobile of commissions, projects and
mini-grants, temporary employment and welfare-to-work subsidies,
conferences and lecture series—a perpetual mobile of pedagogical historiography
and history obsessed pedagogy.”
Andrei S. Markovits and Joseph Klaver
The Greens' impact on German politics and public life has been enormous and massively disproportional to the size of their electoral support and political presence in the country's legislative and executive bodies on the federal, state, and local levels. After substantiating the Greens' proliferating presence on all levels of German politics with numbers; the article focuses on demonstrating how the Greens' key values of ecology, peace and pacifism, feminism and women's rights, and grass roots democracy—the signifiers of their very identity—have come to shape the existence of all other German parties bar none. If imitation is one of the most defining characteristics of success, the Greens can be immensely proud of their tally over the past thirty plus years.
A Discussion of New Right Elements in German Right-wing Extremism Today
Germany: come out on the streets and show what you support!” 51 Cultural Hegemony: The Paradigm of the Unconditional Pursuit of Influence Although the New Right of the Federal Republic of Germany has constantly experienced both highs and lows in
The year 2011 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the bilateral recruitment
agreement that the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) signed with
the Republic of Turkey in 1961. According to official figures, the immigrant
group with roots in Turkey and its offspring make the second largest
group currently after ethnic German emigrants (resettlers) in Germany.
Understanding this migration experience and the broader issues of immigration
in Germany is the motivation behind this special issue.