Reinventing Germany: German Political Development since 1945

Reinventing Germany: German Political Development since 1945

Reinventing Germany: German Political Development since 1945

Reinventing Germany: German Political Development since 1945

Synopsis

In this stimulating book, a leading expert on German affairs provides an overview of German political development since 1945. The key to the well-being and prosperity of Europe after 1945 was the creation of a stable and democratic West Germany. Unification in 1990 not only transformed Germany's role in Europe and the world but brought new political, social and economic problems caused by the vast expense of unity and high labour costs. The author argues that these great changes provide a new and daunting challenge to the Bonn system by calling into question the Berlin Republic's ability to meet the needs of the German nation.The difficulties resulting from Germany's commitment to European integration are also addressed. Within Europe, German insistence on deeper integration is often seen as evidence of a German wish to dominate Europe, even though the stated aim of Kohl's government is to prevent this from happening. The author believes that Germany's new power is clearly visible, and must be carefully managed if future conflict is to be avoided.

Excerpt

Most books about German politics emphasize that they have now become predictable, reliable, Western and ordinary. This account seeks to explain how, and why, this happened. It suggests that what we may today regard as normal about Germany is actually quite remarkable, and abnormal, judged by the standards of German politics before 1945. We see that this was the product of a very particular reinvention of Germany after 1945.

This book also attempts to address the question whether German politics will continue to be like this, now that Germany, after fifty years, is once more a single nation. Its answer is unsettling and, perhaps, surprising. We shall see that what the new Germany will become will rely as much on the policies of other nations as on the German people themselves, who almost certainly still do not want the new role as the motor of European political change, now being created for them by contemporary realities. This book has been written to interest the general reader who wants to understand the new Germany and its place in Europe and in the world today, as well as students of German contemporary history, politics and literature.

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