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  • Author: Yannis Karagiannis
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: According to neoliberal institutionalism, states create international institutions to limit information asymmetries, monitor compliance, and ensure the credibility of commitments to agreed-upon policies-in short, to minimize transaction costs. Although this view can help explain the delegation of powers to supranational bodies such as the European Commission, it cannot account for the signature of the Élysée Treaty between France and Germany in January 1963, which reversed the logic of supranational delegation. Understanding the causes and the consequences of this apparently anomalous event is therefore a major challenge facing scholars of international organizations, European integration, and German foreign policy alike. To start addressing the issue, this article develops an explanation based on incomplete contracts theory. In a nutshell, I argue that the Élysée Treaty aimed at securing the equal treatment of French and German interests in the process of European integration, thereby allowing the deepening of European integration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Hans Kundnani
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: In this paper I examine the use of the concept of "normality" in debates about German foreign policy since unification. In the early 1990s, left-wing intellectuals such as Jürgen Habermas tended to criticize the idea of "normality" in favor of a form of German exceptionalism based on responsibility for the Nazi past. A foreign policy based on the idea of "normality" was associated above all with the greater use of military force, which the right advocated and the left opposed. Thus, "normality" became a synonym for Bündnisfähigkeit. Yet, from the mid 1990s onwards, some Social Democrats such as Egon Bahr began to use the concept of "normality" to refer instead to a foreign policy based on sovereignty and the pursuit of national interests. Although a consensus has now emerged in Germany around this realist definition of foreign-policy "normality," it is inadequate to capture the complex shift in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic since unification.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Germany