How do foreign policy beliefs affect German parliamentarians’ (MPs) support for European integration? Despite important advances, the literature has overlooked the effect of foreign policy beliefs on national representatives’ attitudes toward integration. This study provides a systematic investigation of the role foreign policy beliefs play in shaping German MPs’ support for European integration. I argue that given the complex and contentious character of European integration politics MPs derive heuristic cues from their foreign policy beliefs to form opinions on the desirability of integration. Using data from an original survey conducted with members of the seventeenth German Bundestag, I show that a belief in multilateralism increases support for European integration while isolationist and hawkish foreign policy orientations decrease support. These results indicate that support for European integration is not merely determined by party ideology, electoral pressure or economic considerations, but also has a psychological foundation shaped by politicians’ core beliefs about how the world of international politics operates.
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.