Leadership from the centre: a new foreign and security policy for Germany
Ballard, Joseph T.
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Germany in 2016 finds itself in the midst of a political and diplomatic revolution, the meaning of which is unclear for United States policy other than this process constitutes a break with custom and tradition in statecraft. This thesis analyzes the evolution of German foreign policy and security policy since revival of statecraft in 1945 and the changes in policy determinants since 1990. This evolution can be separated into phases beginning with the policy of reconciliation associated with the birth of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 culminating with the reunification of Germany in 1990. Having achieved the goals of reconciliation—regaining sovereignty, ensuring security, and achieving reunification, the determinants of the security policy shifted as Germany’s relative geographic and diplomatic position in Europe shift during NATO and EU expansion. This led to policy eventually evolving into a focused effort towards European integration and ultimately—as the new generation of Germans raised under the peace and economic success after reunification—becoming a civilian power. Emerging from this period, a new Germany confident enough to declare leadership from the centre assumed de facto leadership in the European Union. The dichotomy of Germany’s past and ambitions in foreign and security policy and the effects of its shifting geographic position within Europe are the key drivers of foreign policy.
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