West German Leadership and Foreign Policy

West German Leadership and Foreign Policy

West German Leadership and Foreign Policy

West German Leadership and Foreign Policy

Excerpt

From the establishment of the German Federal Republic in 1949, almost until the time of the third Bundestag elections in 1957, the basic orientation of West German foreign policy was determined primarily by factors beyond the control of political leaders in Bonn. The Adenauer government was in a favorable position to bargain about details, but its scope for making major foreign policy decisions was limited.

The studies assembled in this book represent an effort to increase our knowledge about the foreign policy decisions German leaders are likely to make as the range of possibilities open to them increases. To this end, the contributors to this volume have sought to ascertain the political views prevalent among those who control some of the major public and private institutions of West Germany, and to examine the characteristics of these institutions which are likely to affect future foreign policy decisions. The comprehensive nature of the subject matter has made it necessary to use a variety of approaches to it. But before describing the research procedures followed, it may be useful to sketch briefly the political background against which these studies have been made.

When Konrad Adenauer visited Washington in April, 1953, John Foster Dulles said in his welcoming statement, . . . we are encouraged that the large majority of the German people are ready to unite their fate with the rest of the free nations. American hopes for the realization of unity and strength in Europe are largely due to the contribution which . . .

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