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The Myth of German Pacifism

Brian C. Rathbun

Germany's behavior during the lead-up to the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003 seemed to confirm that the country is marked by a strategic culture of pacifism and multilateralism. However, a closer look at German actions and pattern of participation in military operations reveals that German pacifism is a myth. There was no cross party consensus on German foreign policy in the 1990s around a principled opposition to the use of force. Even in the early years after the Cold War, the Christian Democrats began very quickly, albeit deliberatively and often secretively, to break down legal and psychological barriers to the deployment of German forces abroad. Pacifism persisted on the left of the political spectrum but gave way following a genuine ideological transformation brought about by the experience of the Yugoslav wars. The nature of Germany's objection to the Iraq invasion, which unlike previous debates did not make ubiquitous references to German history, revealed how much it has changed since the end of the Cold War. Had the election in 2002 gone differently, Germany might even have supported the actions of the U.S. and there would be little talk today of a transatlantic crisis. It is now possible to treat Germany as a "normal" European power.

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Humanitarianism, Between Situated Universality and Interventionist Universalism

Didier Fassin

leading alleged humanitarian military interventions, like in Somalia, northern Iraq, former Yugoslavia and even Libya, or should it be recognised in other parts of the world in the form of vernacular humanitarianisms? This is the main question posed by the

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Transnational Politics in Video Games

The Case of German Military Intervention in “Spec Ops: The Line”

Justin Court

concerning military intervention abroad, and explores how the issue is inflected in the recent video game Spec Ops: The Line (2012), a moderately successful first-person shooter about a fictional conflict in the Middle East. It argues that the game

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The End of Bipartisan Consensus? Italian Foreign Policy and the War in Iraq

Osvaldo Croci

The military intervention in Iraq by the United States (US), supported

militarily by Great Britain and politically by a “coalition of the willing,”

which included a large number of current and future European

Union (EU) members but not Germany and France, was undoubtedly

the major foreign policy event of the year. It generated much debate

on concepts such as immediate threat, pre-emptive war, unilateralism,

and multilateralism, as well as on the question of whether the

US, as the sole superpower, has the responsibility to act as a security

provider of last resort when multilateral organizations devoted to this

task become paralyzed. The intervention divided not only the permanent

members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) after

a decade of co-operation but also caused a split in the Atlantic alliance

and among EU members, probably one of the worst to have occurred

on a foreign policy issue in the history of both organizations. Finally,

it put an end—at least temporarily—to that bipartisan consensus in

Italian foreign policy, which had emerged at the end of the 1970s and

consolidated in the 1990s.

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Using Popular Culture to Trace and Assess Political Change

Niko Switek

younger generations. In his contribution, Court contrasts anxiety concerning military intervention abroad, as an element of contemporary German political discourse, with the recent video game Spec Ops: The Line (2012), a first-person shooter about a

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German Foreign Policy Rules for Action during the 2011 Libya Crisis

Hermann Kurthen

the Libyan conflict? 10 Was Germany's behavior an expression of a policy without vision, strategy, or principles? 11 Did German skepticism of military intervention disprove the assumption of “normalization”? 12 Was the Libya abstention a break with

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Lukas Ley and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

-led international military intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s that was eclipsed in literature by 9/11 as the foundational moment of the post-Cold War state of exception. Drawing on over 25 years of ethnography of the former Yugoslavia and Albania, and other

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Performing humanitarian militarism

Public security and the military in Brazil

Stephanie Savell

and structural response to problems and almost always results in loss of human life ( Atack 2002 ). Fundamentally, military intervention, “even dressed up in the cloak of humanitarian morality,” is “always a military action—in other words, war

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Beyond the American culture wars

A call for environmental leadership and strengthening networks

Kate A. Berry

capitalism, and multinational financial and regulatory institutions) as well as a degree of regional political integration (through, for example, military interventions, strategic alliance initiatives, and the advocation of democratic institutions). Yet, the

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Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski, Julian Pänke, and Jochen Roose

positive view of Germany's use of “soft” power since World War II clashes with international frustration over a Germany that is an “unreliable” partner in the un Security Council and an “unwilling” participant in international military interventions