Germany as a normal country: national identity and national security
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The reunification of Germany has raised renewed concerns regarding German national identity and national security. Germany has been a pivotal point for some of the most momentous historical events in Europe for over a century. The reunification of Germany in 1990 has once again created a large and powerful German nation at the center of the continent. Many of the initial reactions to reunification have reflected deep concern and skepticism regarding the power and role of a united Germany. Indications of extremist violence, xenophobia, and increased assertiveness in foreign affairs have fueled these concerns. Behind many of these fears is the belief that the German "national character" is unchanged and could reassert itself in renewed aggressive nationalistic policies. This thesis examines the development of German national identity and the problems of national security since the beginning of the nineteenth century. The primary aspect of national identity examined is the way that Germany seeks security for itself. During the Cold War, the Federal Republic developed a national identity based on a liberal internationalism. Although reunification will undoubtedly cause some changes, it is unlikely that Germany will deviate from its commitment to democratic ideals and further European integration.
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