CIAO DATE: 10/07
When German foreign policy is being described, a reference to multilateralism is rarely ever omitted. Together with Westbindung, restraint in using military force, and a trading-state orientation, Germany's preference for multilateral settings is recognized as one of the central elements of its foreign policy. In recent years, a number of studies have shown that, in contrast to realist expectations from the early 1990s, the more powerful unified Germany has continued to embrace this multilateralism. This applies to Germany's willingness to bind itself to NATO and other European and Euro-Atlantic security institutions, 1 to Germany's policy within and vis-á-vis the EU, and to its foreign policy on a global scale.
In the years since unification, Germany's political parties have faced a number of formidable challenges. They range from incorporating the citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the Federal Republic's political processes, reassessing Germany's role in the wider world, overcoming gridlock on many pressing policy questions at home (perhaps best understood as the overcoming of the Reformstau), to finding a way out of Germany's much maligned economic malaise. Such challenges have had a not inconsiderable effect on the German party system, the end product of which has been that this system, once a bastion of cast-iron stability, has become characterized by diversity and genuine electoral competition in a way that it has not been since the late 1950s. Therefore, the electoral position of the much-vaunted Volksparteien, if perhaps not their control of the political process, has slipped considerably.
The German model of political economy that had been an enviable alternative to the liberal market until the late 1980s in the literature of political economy was under serious structural crisis throughout the 1990s, causing serious doubts about its viability. Many neoliberals and industrial experts in Germany began to doubt whether Germany was an attractive place for business activity, initiating the Standort Deutschland debate. Even German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder conceded "the end of German model." Many political economists and journalists expected and recommended imitating the American model of a liberal market. Prominent German newspapers and magazines such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and Die Woche ran articles titled "The Discovery of America" and "Jobwunder in Amerika." Wolfgang Streeck, one of the main proponents of the German model, expected the convergence of the German economy toward an American-led liberal market economy under globalization because of "a secular exhaustion of the German model." Streeck believed that the postwar German model was based on the politics between labor and capital within a national boundary, but globaliza-tion represents a fluidity of financial and labor markets that extricates whatever coordination has been nationally accomplished.
Wolf-Dieter Eberwein and Karl Kaiser, Germany's New Foreign Policy: Decision-Making in an Independent World (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2001)
Adrian Hyde-Price, Germany & European Order: Enlarging NATO and the EU (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000) Matthias Kaelberer, Money and Power in Europe: The Political Economy of European Monetary Cooperation (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001)
It is striking to read books about German foreign policy written before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many of what were truisms then are no more. Adrian Hyde-Price aptly concludes his analysis by observing: "Politicians, Harold Macmillan once remarked, have only one thing to fear: 'events, old boy, events.' Academics reflecting on future developments should bear Macmillan's admonitions in mind when tempted to prognosticate about the future" (223). Little could he know how these words would resonate two years later.
Sascha Anderson, Sascha Anderson (Cologne, 2002)
Jörg Magenau, Christa Wolf. Eine Biographie (Berlin, 2002)
Christa Wolf, Leibhaftig. Erzahlung (Munich, 2002)
Volker Weidermann, a journalist writing for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, seemed somewhat puzzled when he reviewed the spring 2002 literary season. After having just told his readers that for many years the GDR had been curiously absent from discussions in the Federal Republic, he exclaimed with a palpable sense of surprise: "But now it's back again, the GDR." (Doch jetzt ist sie wieder da, die DDR). Weidermann is not the only journalist to have reacted this way to the sudden accumulation of books about life in the former GDR, which included the first postwall biography of Christa Wolf, written by Jörg Magenau; Christa Wolf's novel Leibhaftig, and several autobiographical novels by the former GDR's most unsavory authors: Hermann Kant, the long-time president of the GDR's author's union and an active Stasi collaborator, Fritz Rudolf Fries, author and Stasi informer, and, finally, Sascha Anderson, the infamous poet and cultural manager of the Prenzlauer Berg, who presented his autobiographical novel Sascha Anderson to a public eager to learn the details of his strange life as avant-garde artist in the service of the Stasi. Finally, a group of younger authors entered the scene with stories about everyday life in the GDR of the 1980s.
Daniel Arasse, Anselm Kiefer, Mary Whittall, trans. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001)
Lisa Saltzman, Anselm Kiefer and Art after Auschwitz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
In the Uffizi gallery in Florence, if you quit the main rooms, leaving behind Giotto and Lippi and the other masters of the Italian Renaissance, and if you then crane your neck to examine the ceilings of the three connecting halls running the length of the museum, you will be looking up at what survived of the gothic imagination in the midst of the renaissance-the so-called grotesques. These are the enchanting but also nightmarish miniatures of nature and mythology that decorate the hallway ceilings of the museum. There are forty-six rectangular bays, each of them populated with the bizarre offspring of the renaissance imagination: Bosch-like humans with bird-heads and beaks, overfed putti with dead geese slung over their shoulders, fan-tastic garden scenes with hanging trees, sculptures, and castles in the distance-all painted in a delicate, ornamental style but also with irreverence and a sense of creeping disorder. This is where the gothic went to hibernate when it was no longer in vogue. The grotesque as miniature, as decoration, looking down at you, gargoyle-like, from the stately hallways of the Medici offices. But there's nothing frightening about them, since nothing this small can evoke terror.
Rudy Koshar, From Monuments to Traces; Artifacts of German Memory 1870-1990 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000)
Rudy Koshar, German Travel Cultures (New York/Oxford: Berg, 2000)
Since the 1980s, German historians have tried to apply the promising methodological concept of collective memory, pioneered predominantly by French social historians, to the always contentious arena of German history. Predictably, the politics of memory have tended to divert attention away from the larger framework of German history in all its regional, social, and chronological diversity, towards a narrow focus on the history and pre-history of Nazism. In the mid-1980s, for example, conservative-nationalists in the so-called Historians' Dispute implicitly invoked the concept of collective memory by arguing that the legitimacy of the Third Reich derived in part from the geopolitical and psychological threats felt by Germans during the Weimar Republic. Conversely, in the late 1990s, the Goldhagen debate focused on the much contested theory suggesting a causal link between the 2,000-year-old Christian collective memory and the apparent willingness of ordinary German citizens to assist in the Nazi war on the Jews after 1933.
Dieter Gosewinkel, Einbürgern und Ausschließen. Die Nationalisierung der Staatsangehörigkeit vom Deutschen Bund bis zur Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001)
Daniel Levy, Yfaat Weiss, ed., Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration (New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2002)
Barbara Marshall, The New Germany and Migration in Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
Jan Motte, Rainer Ohliger, Anne von Oswald, ed., 50 Jahre Bundesrepublik - 50 Jahre Einwanderung: Nachkriegsgeschichte als Migrationsgeschichte (Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 1999)
David Rock and Stefan Wolff, ed., Coming Home to Germany? The Integration of Ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe in the Federal Republic since 1945 (New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2002)
Stefan Wolff, ed., German Minorities in Europe: Ethnic Identity and Cultural Belonging (New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2000)
The period from 1989 through 1991 constituted a watershed in twentieth-century German and European history. The rapid collapse of the communist regimes in east central Europe, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the devastating war in Yugoslavia, which lasted throughout the 1990s and brought the post- World War II order to an end, evoking memories of the destruction of the pre-1914 Imperial order in central and eastern Europe during and after the Great War.
Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000)
Robert Gellately and Nathan Stolzfus, ed., Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001)
The authors of The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies and Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany employ similar methods for examining ostracism and annihilation under National Socialism. They document similarities in registration, surveillance, ghettoization, deportation, and, in many cases, murder. However, the conclusions of these two volumes authors are strikingly different. Guenter Lewy uses his data to demonstrate that Nazi policy against Gypsies in the Reichprotektorat was murderous, but only partially genocidal, since Gypsy policy was inconsistent over the course of twelve years: while Gypsies did suffer greatly under the Nazis, the Nazis had no program for systematically exterminating them. In contrast, the essayists of Social Outsiders are less likely to use the word "genocide," since the concept suggests that there is an easy distinction between racial and social outcasts under National Socialism. They collectively reject this notion and prefer instead to establish a close connection between racial and social discrimination that goes beyond ethnic and national boundaries. Gellately and Stolzfus's collection of essays see inconsistency in Nazi policy as evidence that persecution can easily become murderous, although intent may not be initially present.