Contextual Change and Continuity

In document Ritualized Rhetoric and Historical Memory in German Foreign and Security Policy (Page 68-72)

The authors included fo r th e review com pleted an outline of seven categories o f

change th a t occurred in Germ an foreign policy. These changes are observed in th e

overall structure of th e international system, in G erm any's status, in a geopolitical

42 Sperling, "The Foreign Policy o f the Berlin Republic: The V ery M odel o f a Post-Modern M a jo r Power? A Review Essay" 2.

43 Beverly Crawford, "The Norm ative Pow er o f a Norm al S tate.Pow er and Revolutionary Vision in Germanys Postwall Foreign Policy " Germ an Politics and Society 95, no. 25 (2010): 168.

44 W illiam Paterson, "Does Germany Still Have a European Vocation?," German Politics 19, no. 1 (2010). 45 Ibid, 51

context, in the rules th a t govern th e EU, in th e in tern atio n al economy, in th e ongoing

relationship w ith th e U.S., and in political restraints th a t translated to change in

domestic policy.46 Overall, one o f th e strongest changes could be seen in Germ any's

status w hile th e contextual change th a t occurred due to th e m odified relationship w ith

both th e EU and the U.S., specifically in regards to EU enlarg em en t and th e lack o f a

security th re a t by th e Soviet Union, resulted in strong changes th at, according to

neorealist theory, should have caused a change in G erm an foreign policy.47

W h ile them atically analyzing change and its potential effects on G erm an foreign

policy, scholars address G erm any as a relative p o w er in Europe and reject th e claim th a t

Germ any is a realist state. Rather, G erm any is view ed as a post-m odern state. According

to Robert Cooper, post-m odern states integrate w ith o th e r states and are m arked by

th e orderly and voluntarily erosion o f sovereignty w hile a decline in th e collective is

observed as the state is liberated and th e n ation-state becomes less o f an id en tity.48

Post-m odern states practice neutral in terferen ce in foreign policy and openness,

transparency, and th e rule of law are crucial attributes. Such states advocate human

rights and support organizations such as th e ICC. In regards to foreign policy, post­

modern states act on behalf o f th e g reater good rath er than acting fo r national

46 Sperling, "The Foreign Policy o f the Berlin Republic: The V ery M odel o f a Post-M odern M a jo r Power? A Review Essay" 2.

47 W hile discussing th e change th a t occurred due to th e im pact o f th e domestic political process, Sperling addresses th e addition o f the five eastern Lander and th e notion th a t th e change in g overnm ent from th e Kohl era to th e newly form ed red-green alliance "prom ised" foreign policy choices th a t w ere not as bound to Westbindung and more towards national interest goals th a t includes economic partners in th e east (p.


48 M ary N. Ham pton, "Living in a W orld o f Dangers and Strangers," G erm an Politics an d Society 29, no. 3

interests. The concept o f civilian p o w er aligns w ith th e attributes o f th e p o st-m odern

state: conflicts are resolved peacefully and th e use o f force is not an option in regards to

foreign policy unless an intervention is w arran ted on th e basis of hum an itarian efforts.

In analyzing Germany's role in Europe, Hyde-Price offers six roles o f G erm an

grand strategy: civilian pow er, tra d itio n -n atio n , m o to r o f European integration, loyal

transatlantic partner, advocate o f pan-European cooperation, and "m e d iato r b e tw ee n

East and W est".49 O ther authors, w h o also discuss G erm any's roles, agree th a t G erm any

will assume a leadership role in Europe, citing G erm any's role in th e European project.

Scholars place focus on roles but m ay d iffe re n tiate am ong th em according to perceived

pow er capabilities and interests.50 The change observed in relative p o w er and continuity

in Germ an foreign policy has sparked th e search fo r altern ative explanations fo r

observed policy choices. The au th o r explains th a t G erm any is viewed as m ainly an

economic pow er, yet economic strength has not necessarily increased since unification.

Further, Germ any has rem ained com m itted to m u ltilateral operations in regards to

policy preferences, to include NATO and EU m atters.

W h ile analyzing continuity and change in regards to Germ any's use o f pow er,

Beverly Crawford questions w h e th e r th e bid for a p e rm an e n t seat on th e UN Security

council can be interpreted as th e Republic's w ay o f seeking recognition as a g reat p o w er

(rath er than showing an increased c o m m itm en t to m ultilateralism ). G erm any's foreign

49 Adrian Hyde-Price, Germany and European Order: Enlarging N ato and the Eu. (M anchester, UK: M anchester University Press, 2000), 44.

50 In this section, Sperling also addresses vertical and horizontal contexts o f decision m a k in g , th e European M o n etary Union (EM U ), and re-visits bargaining b etw een th e Federal G overnm ent and th e Lander governments.

policy choices can be interpreted and explained through various th eo retical

fram ew orks.51 Some analysts have view ed this as a break w ith m ultilateralism , w h ile

others have used th e refusal of participation in th e invasion of Iraq as evidence fo r soft

pow er balancing (against U.S. legitimacy), w hile constructivists have argued fo r a sign of

a deepened c o m m itm en t to antim ilitarism .52

Tw enty years a fte r unification, Bulm er & Paterson analyze continuity and change

in Germany's use o f pow er, guided by th e question most dom inant across all th e

literatu re under review: w ould th e changes o f unification and the end o f th e Cold W a r

eventually lead to a change in G erm an (European) policy? Authors approach this

question by examining specific criteria o f structural continuity to see w h e th e r a shift in

th e exercise o f pow er occurred, focusing on th e im pact o f Germ an dom estic policy on

th e EU. Similarly, Crawford argues th a t although factors such as dom estic politics,

political culture, and international institutions con trib u te to foreign policy behavior in

Germ any, pow er (and th e econom y) is th e driving force th a t defines policy choices. The

author approaches th e future o f Germ any's foreign policy and potential contextual

changes from an interesting perspective: through th e lens o f the G erm an Chancellor,

elected in 2015, pointing to weaknesses in NATO's ability to adeq u ately address security


51 This has been done extensively in regards to Germany's refusal to contribute to th e invasion o f Iraq in 2002 and th e overall analysis of th e use o f force.

52 Crawford, "The Norm ative Power o f a Norm al S tate.Pow er and Revolutionary Vision in Germanys Postwall Foreign Policy " 168.

W hile addressing historic continuity in foreign policy, Crawford exclaims th a t

"Germ any has changed, must change, and will change", exam ining th e driving forces

behind these potential changes.53 Here, th e debates in th e past decade largely reflect

such change in th e future, and scholars have analyzed several aspects of th e new

'G erm an Q uestion'.54 One of these questions includes a debate surrounding w h e th e r

international regimes provide a "veil behind which G erm any exercises self-interested

dominance, both in Europe and on th e in tern atio n al state".55 These questions have

guided scholarly debates in regards to continuity and change in G erm an foreign policy

since th e end o f th e Cold W ar and unification. W h ile some analysts, such as G unther

Hellm ann, John M easheim er, and V olker Rittberger, caution against self-in terest and

dominance, many other authors argue th a t a co m m itm en t to m ultilateralism and th e

rise of 'civilian pow er' have put aside fears o f the 'G erm an Q uestion'.56

In document Ritualized Rhetoric and Historical Memory in German Foreign and Security Policy (Page 68-72)