The New Permissive Use of Force - A Window for Change in German Foreign Policy?

Master's Thesis, 2003

72 Pages, Grade: 8 (of 10)



List of abbreviations

1.Germany and the Dual Change: Unification and
The End of the Cold War
2.Focus and Scope of the Case
3.Concepts and Theoretical Literature
4.Argument and Outline of the Chapters

3.1 Case 1: Integration of the Bundeswehr in NATO/EU
3.2 Case 2: German participation in out-of-area operations

3.1 Case 1: Integration of the Bundeswehr in NATO/EU
3.2 Case 2: German participation in out-of-area operations

3.1 International norms and the dual change
3.2 Societal norms and the dual change
3.3 Case 1: Integration of the Bundeswehr in NATO/EU
3.4 Case 2: German participation in out-of-area operations

3.Where to go from here



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1. Germany and the Dual Change: Unification and the End of the Cold War

The West German state that emerged in 1949 out of complete military and moral defeat after the Second World War was from the very beginning severely restricted in its sovereignty. As a creation of the Western powers, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was designed as a result of a two-country solution, since inter-allied cooperation failed in the attempt to commonly govern the occupied zones with the rise of the Cold War. In the light of the new global confrontation between the USA and the Soviet Union, West Germany’s capacities were soon needed as an additional deterrent against the perceived Soviet military threat. It was thus the Allies need and additionally West German will to integrate with the West, which granted the young Federal Republic gradually some status and (limited) space for political action.

In particular, the much-debated West-German rearmament loosened the initial strong restrictions on political sovereignty. Due to recent historical reasons, the young FRG was heavily burdened with the past, especially when it came to military affairs. West Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, could therefore not be designed as a pure national instrument; it was supposed to contribute to the Western defense in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which served as a containment of both Soviet and West German power[1]. The FRG`s political rights were largely restored, but her sovereignty, freedom of action and military power remained limited in major ways. The FRG gained in the process of its rearmament considerable sovereignty[2], which nevertheless left the Allies rights concerning Germany and Berlin in its entirety untouched (Trachtenberg 1999: 96). Taken the German historical impediments and requirements of the Western powers in the context of the Cold War into account, the role for a West German force was clearly defined: the Bundeswehr was shaped as an alliance army that focused exclusively on territorial defense of the FRG and its NATO-partners and abstained consistently from military operations, whether they were conducted by NATO or by the United Nations (UN).

But security policy only played a minor role in the foreign policy of the FRG due to obvious reasons. Bearing the heritage of the recent Nazi-past and aiming at political equality with its Allies, West German foreign policy settled into the mould of a ‘civilian power’ (Maull 2000: 57) which was seen as a foreign policy identity that promoted multilateralism, institution-building and supranational integration. The FRG gradually matured into a stable liberal democracy with a social market economy and a flourishing civil society. As once portrayed by Henry Kissinger (Schäfer 2001: 39), it was an economic giant but a political dwarf, with a political character and an external presence in Europe marked by a culture of Bescheidenheit (modesty) and Zurückhaltung (reserve) (Hyde-Price, Jeffery 2001: 6) Apart from that, West German security was largely provided by the American presence in NATO so that German foreign policy in the decades of the Cold War could concentrate on the FRG`s establishment in the West, followed by an opening up to the East with Ostpolitik.

The status quo of the bipolar world and the restrictions on West German sovereignty came to a sudden end when the global and European political landscape changed drastically with the end of the Cold War in 1989. In the “2+4” treaty on the final settlement with respect to Germany the country gained full sovereignty, but had to give guarantees regarding Germanys borders, its peaceful policies and needed to limit the number of troops. The reunification in 1990 was largely hailed positively by the country’s partners and neighbors but raised doubtful and fearful voices of at the same time.[3] The gain in territory, population and potential economic resources of a united Germany did not only awake the fear of political leaders about the rising German Gulliver[4], who would eventually become the dominant power in Europe and who would attempt to pursue power oriented Weltpolitik again. Also among scholars of International Relations, in particular (Neo) realists (Krasner 1993a: 22; Layne 1993: 7; Waltz 1993:62-4), the assumptions went that Germany had significantly increased its power position that consequently lead Kenneth Waltz to assume that Germany will acquire the rank of a great power (Waltz 1993: 8) while John Mearsheimer (1990: 6) predicted that Germany will shake off NATO`s security structure that was, and further needs to be directed against eventual German aggression. According to him, scenarios in which Germany would use military force against Poland, Czechoslovakia or Austria became possible (Mearsheimer 1990: 33).

If we look back at more than a decade of united Germany’s foreign policy, then we know that these fears and predictions could not be confirmed so far. Nevertheless, there seems to be a shift away from the former military `culture of restraint` (Baumann & Hellmann 2001: 4). Throughout the 1990s, German troops have been increasingly deployed in military operations `out of area` and for the first time since the Second World War participated in combat missions in the Kosovo War in 1999. Consequently, the “FRG has read the signs of the new time and feels ready to take on the role of a European power” (Schöllgen 2001: 217). Has the reunited country actually gained power? Has the removal of the last boundaries of German sovereignty triggered a quest for more political autonomy that manifests itself in an increased military activity? Does this comparatively more `permissive` use of force indicate a fundamental shift away from former traditional principles of the Bonn Republic ? Or does the Berlin Republic[5] head toward a militarized German foreign policy in the context of Euro-Atlantic hegemony (Krippendorff 2000: 167)?

The question how the (perceived) increase in power would affect Germany’s foreign policy also triggered a heated debate inside Germany soon after unification that reached its peak in the mid-1990s (Peters 2001: 11). While there was common agreement on the new opportunities to pursue a more assertive foreign policy (Schwarz 1994a: 8; Großheim, Weissmann & Zitelmann 1993: 10; Schöllgen 1998: 28f) and to eventually abandon the policy traditions of the old `FRG`, disagreement rose whether that would be desirable (Haftendorn 1994: 140; Link 2000: 25f; Bertram 1997: 2).[6] A number of scholars, however, were convinced that “not much happened” (Risse et al 1999:167) or “while international and domestic contexts changed after 1990, German state identity did not”(Banchoff 1999b: 283).

2. Focus and Scope of the Thesis

In awareness of the historical background and that the memories of the past are still alive among Germans and Europeans, the Federal Republic’s government throughout the 1990s continuously employed the rhetoric of continuity (Hellmann 1999: 2). The question whether German foreign policy has changed since reunification implies thus an assumption that any deviation from the reliable, multilateral, integrating and peaceful policies of the `old` FRG could be seen as a change to the worse (Hellmann 1999: 1). That is the main reason why this question becomes important. However, whether this assumption is justified or not is not the topic of this work

It is Germany’s security policy as a cornerstone of foreign policy that I am going to examine between 1990 and 2003 to be able to make some inferences of foreign policy changes. Secondly, by looking of some factors that might have had an impact on these eventual changes one might additionally gain some further implications. The aim of this thesis is therefore twofold: I intend to contribute with this work to the debate whether since reunification change or continuity prevails in German foreign policy, while I additionally attempt a causal analyses of new elements in it. The scope of that debate will be in so far enhanced as it tries to generate causal inferences as well.

The focus on security policy is chosen since foreign policy covers many political strains that are too broad to accommodate in this work. Therefore one area is chosen that deals most suitably with the phenomenon that can be recognized in German foreign policy in the course of the 1990s: the increased military role the country played on the international stage.

The main question is thus whether this indicates a change to a fundamentally different foreign policy. Some sub-questions derive from that: What are the most striking differences in German foreign- and in particular security policy before and after 1989/1990? How do International Relations theories view and predict German foreign policy behavior? And finally, what has caused these possible changes?

This thesis comprises research on relevant literature in order to answer these questions. Descriptive, theoretical and empirical material of former research will be integrated and evaluated in the context of the research question. It should be emphasized that the aim of this thesis is an empirical point, although it draws to a large degree on theories. The `puzzle` is thus the unexpected increased military involvement of united Germany. Conflicting theories of International Relations will be merely consulted in order to predict and interpret these developments.

The question of change and continuity will be put to the empirical test on the basis of two cases in the area of security policy. It should be noticed that in this area of `high politics` some theories are more suited than others because the benchmarks that they focus on, are differently located. For instance, neorealism has a clear advantage in that field since it leans heavily toward military capabilities, while the benchmarks of utilitarian liberalism lie in the dominance of certain domestic actors. At the same time, the examination of the politicians public statements here are difficult to prove as their honest intention rather than mere rhetoric. Moreover, we cannot finally judge whether German foreign policy has made a significant turn in the 1990s based on a selection of theories and cases, that are limited due to the size of this work. Furthermore security is just one area in the broad field of foreign policy. Other aspects like humanitarian policies, foreign trade or constitutional foreign policy are not considered here. The final conclusions and implications are therefore to be treated with care and need to take these limits into account.

3.Concepts and Theoretical Literature

In order to generate insights of the empirical world of the case studies, I will employ two classical theories of International Relations, (neo) realism and liberalism and I will also include an approach that has gained tremendous significance in the last decade-constructivism.

Realism is a classical view on International Relations, which can be traced back to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. The 16th century philosophers Machiavelli and Hobbes have shaped to a large degree the understanding of the realist worldview. (Kegley&Wittkopf 1999: 29). The modern variant, called neorealism, has been strongly influential as a response to the shortcomings of the idealist paradigm resulting from the Second World War and is represented by the work of leading scholars, like John Mearsheimer (1990a, 1990b, 1991,1995) and Kenneth Waltz (1962,1993,1997). It basically refers to the central concept of a state’s power position as the independent variable of state behavior. In textbooks like that of Kegley and Wittkopf (1999:27), power is defined as “the factors that enable one actor to manipulate another actor’s behavior against its preferences.” In an attempt to formulate foreign policy theory, Rittberger et al (2001: 3) distinguish in their excellent work on German foreign policy since unification between neorealism and modified neorealism. While both views still treat a state’s power position as the explanatory variable, both strains disagree on how states weigh up the goals of influence and autonomy when both are at odds. Since (neo) realism is a traditional perspective and is moreover regarded as having shaped significantly the public discourse on German foreign policy (Rittberger 2001: 6) this view views is preferred in my analyses.

Liberalism is the other approach on International Relations and looks back to a tradition of influential philosophers like Hume, Rousseau, Kant as it places importance on the impact of ideas on behavior, the equality and liberty of the individual, and the need to protect people from excessive state regulation (Kegley&Wittkopf 1999: 24-25). Liberalism comprises many different strains that are labeled ideational liberalism, commercial liberalism and republican liberalism (Moravcsik 1997: 515).

Its modern neoliberal version (including institutionalism) is best put forward by scholars like Robert O. Keohane (1986, 1988), Joseph. S. Nye, (1990), Keohane & Nye (1977), Michael W. Doyle (1983a, 1983b, 1986) and Andrew Moravcsik (1997). Utilitarian liberalism (Rittberger 2001: 4) is a strain that focuses, according to the concept of homo oeconomicus (Rittberger 2001:69), on domestic interests as the explanatory variable shaping German foreign policy. This concept comprises the policy-network structure and the preferences of dominant societal actors. As utilitarian liberalism stands for another tradition of perceiving International Relations as it allows for identifying significant domestic actors in the German context, it will be included in this thesis as well.

A challenging view on International Relations theory has emerged with the rise of constructivism since the early 1990s, as it is described as inevitable (Zehfuss 2002: 2). Bridging the gap between realist-liberal and rational-reflective thinking, Alexander Wendt[7] introduced in his highly influential work `Anarchy is what states make of it` in 1992 the concept of identity, in particular the transformation of identities and interests which generate social norms that in turn explain state’s behavior. The underlying principle is the logic of appropriate behavior, shaped by social norms, which serves as the central concept in my third approach. Important contributions were that of Wendt (1987,1992,1994,1995), Peter J. Katzenstein (1996), and Jutta Weldes (1999) Constructivism divides into several strands that make it difficult to combine to one constructivist approach (Zehfuss 2002: 9) I will focus on the social construction of norms since I consider it most promising for any analyses on societal norms, which might have been changed due to Germany’s unification and the post-Cold War environment. Its importance derives from the fact that a growing number of researchers have turned to constructivist approaches in International Relations theory. There is also the argument that this field has even undergone a constructivist turn (Checkel 1998: 324-348).

Although these theories described above deal in many ways with state behavior, there is no coherent foreign policy theory yet in these three traditions. I will therefore utilize the work of Rittberger et al (2001), who attempted to construct testable foreign policy theories out of International Relation theory. Building upon their work, I will apply their constructed foreign policy theories on two case studies in the area of security policy and enhance them with further implications in my causal analyses of relevant factors of eventual changes.

By elaborating on domestic as well as international factors there arises in general, but in particular in the application of social constructivism, the structure-agency problem. The problem is that there is a lack of a self-evident way to conceptualize the entities and their relationship (Wendt 1987: 338). Although it is helpful to examine the relationship of actors to the wider whole around them, each one does not exist in isolation of its environment and remains artificially examined. The artificial division of each sphere thus might prevent us from getting a full understanding of the complex interactions that take place at both levels and mutually condition each other (Underhill 2000: 17). Therefore, the performance of the FRG cannot be seen independent of its institutional environment in which she is embedded. At the same token and vice versa, structures cannot be perceived different than a process, set in motion through agency, that means the policy of the FRG. The structure-agency problem is at least partly being bridged in the constructivist approach of chapter IV, which tries to integrate both domestic and international norms in their impact on German foreign policy.

One might miss a stronger emphasis on the role of the mass media and public opinion in my work. Although it is argued that the media has gained influence vis-à-vis the state (Entman 2000: 11) and that the Kosovo conflict in 1999 might have challenged the view that foreign policy would be of relatively little visibility and concern to the American public (Shiraev 2000: 304), the significance of the media is downplayed by Page (2000:85) who contends that many scholars hold the view that “foreign policy news coverage depends heavily upon official government sources.” Equally, Shiraev (2000: 304) attributes little significance for the role of public opinion since “the end of the Cold War has decreased public visibility of foreign policy because of the disappearance of the Soviet threat. (…) Often motivated by political interests and electoral concerns, public officials can exert considerable influence in framing the foreign policy agenda, as they face a public that is more detached from foreign policy issues and has less information and fewer attitudinal predispositions than in the 1980s”. As policy-makers seem to enjoy a pre-eminent role, the impact of the government on foreign policy is already largely covered in the utilitarian liberal approach in chapter III.

Lastly, since the focus of that thesis lies at Germany’s security policy, the concept of security should be defined as well: ‘Security` means “the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity” (Buzan: 1991: 18-19).

4.Argument and outline of the chapters

It is argued in this thesis, that the sudden and unexpected dual change that came about Germany in 1989/1990, namely the end of the Cold War and German reunification, did not leave the country’s foreign policy unaffected. Though it might be possible that the FRG`s principles of multilateralism, supranational integration and constitutional foreign policy express themselves differently in an altered political environment, there are signs that falsify the rhetoric of continuation. The Berlin Republic’s security policy obviously differs from that of the Bonn Republic. It is however not due to a more unilateral German performance that brought `Weltpolitik ` back on the scene, but largely results from altered international environment. In other words, while the behavior of post-Cold War Germany is distinct in the area of security policy, it cannot be ascribed to unilateral German decision-making that would confirm the fears of the well-known Sonderweg.

In order to assess whether continuity or change prevails with respect to security policy in the aftermath of German unification, I will consult foreign policy theory that stem from International Relations theory. The analytical frameworks will be firstly outlined and secondly the benchmarks of that respective theory will be highlighted, before it will be applied on two empirical cases on security matters: The integration of the Bundeswehr into NATO/EU and German participation in multilateral out-of-area operations. After that, the theory will be examined for the merit it has delivered and what is still left open or unexplained. The highly influential work of Allison and Zelikow (1999) ‘The Essence of Decision, Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis ’ serves as a model for my foreign policy analysis in a sense that theory and its application in each chapter deal with the same issues in German security policy[8]. Chapter II will focus on the power-centered neorealist approach, which has proven so important in this debate. Chapter III will leave the angle of a systemic structure and focus on internal aspects with the help of utilitarian liberalism. Chapter IV will introduce a rather new and challenging point of view, which emphasizes the social dimension of foreign policy. By doing so the different theories provide diverse angles that accomplish each other. Guided by theory, I will look in the empirical realm for some relevant factors at the domestic and institutional level, which could account for some changes in security policy. The idea of that is not just to provide an understanding of these causal factors, but also to develop some further implications concerning change and continuity in German foreign policy.

The differences concerning security policy in the aftermath of German unification that emerge from a comparison whether it represents rather change or continuity of German foreign policy as well as an elaboration on causal factors that might have generated some further implications will allow for cautious conclusion in Chapter V. By integrating the previous chapters one should gain a clearer, and less biased understanding of the performance of the FRG in the last decade. The thesis will close with an outlook on the future of German foreign policy and some suggestions for further research.


1. Contents

Borrowing from Kenneth Waltz’s theory (1979), John Mearsheimer (1994-1995) surveys realism in his article “The false promise of international institutions”. The quest for power lies at the heart of the international system, which is pictured a “brutal arena”, where states compete for power and take advantage of each other in order to achieve and equally prevent others from obtaining a pre-eminent position. War is not the usual state of international affairs, but hides behind the steady competition for security. Despite these conditions, states might enter into cooperation to enhance their security, but the effect of cooperation is regarded as limited since competition for security cannot be entirely neglected. Genuine peace is thus not likely. Mearsheimer distinguishes five assumptions that are at the core of realism[9]:

1. The international system is anarchic, i.e. it comprises independent political units (states) that have no central authority above them.
2. States possess offensive military weapons that enable them to hurt and destroy each other.
3. There is no absolute security since states cannot trust each other in that sense that they will not refer in a given situation to the use of their weaponry. The uncertainty is supported by short-lived and changing intentions of states.
4. The most basic motive driving states is survival in order to maintain their sovereignty.
5. The underlying principle is rationality. States think strategically for survival.

(Neo) Realists frequently analyze states behavior but have not after all introduced a coherent foreign policy theory, since they deal mainly with international politics, where the dependent variable is not the behavior of individual states but the properties of the international system. Despite of that, Baumann et al (2001) headed toward such a theory:

Neorealism holds that the interactions of states can be explained by the distribution of power in the international system. In order to formulate a neorealist foreign policy theory, the systemic variable `international distribution of power` has to be transformed into the positional variable `relative power position` of a certain state. Above all, however, it has to be shown how the relative power position of a state determines its foreign policy behavior. For this purpose, the fundamental assumption of a specific actor disposition (which underlies any foreign policy theory) will have to be explicated. A state’s foreign policy behavior as postulated by neorealism depends on its (power) position in the international system, which is thus the independent variable. A state`s power position is the function of its share in certain resources available and the number of poles in that system. In the case of the dependent variable, `foreign policy behavior`, autonomy-seeking policy and influence seeking policy can be distinguished as two forms of power politics (Baumann et al 2001: 38).

Power politics thus divides into struggling for autonomy and influence. Autonomy is understood as de facto, rather than simply formal independence of other actors. The less a state’s capacity for action is restricted by other states and international institutions, the more autonomous it is. On the other hand influence is defined as the measure of control a state has over its international environment (Baumann et al 2001:39-40).

For the explanatory variable, a states power, i.e. the control over resources as the control over actors and outcomes, is the point of departure. This power position in turn depends on its capabilities as well as the polarity of the international system, which comprises three characteristics. Two of them, international anarchy and states as entities are stable while the 3rd one, the distribution of capabilities remains unsettled. Capabilities of a state cover economic, political and military resources, which allow for assertive conduct in the international environment. For example, Waltz (1979: 131) listed properties like the size of population and territory, resource endowment, economic capability, military strength, political stability and competence as decisive factors. Neorealists in general place more importance on the economic and military aspect of the concept of capabilities as core components of power. The political realm is regarded as less significant. (Baumann et al 2001: 44).

The second determinant for power according to neorealists is the concept of polarity. The number of poles in the international system has a significant impact on the development of national power. According to neorealists, the poles influence the range of policy options, i.e. in how far a state can exploit its capabilities. In contrast to bipolarity, the freedom of action for states is enhanced in a non-bipolar environment, since the protection will not rest upon the former pole, so that it can improve its power position or itself may become a pole. .

Since survival of states is a core principle in neorealist thinking, these entities will naturally strive in the allegedly anarchic system for enhancement of their autonomy and influence, where power serves as its precondition. The correlation of power on influence and autonomy is positive: the more one state is powerful, the more it can increase its autonomy and influence. It derives from this logic that all states in the international system have an essential incentive therefore to improve their power position. If one anticipates for the empirical realm that states will, based on these assumptions, try to enhance their power as much as possible, it is quite justified to translate that logic into a neorealist foreign policy theory.

What are the consequences of that model for the theme of that thesis? How can this neorealist perspective be applied to German security policy since reunification? To be of hypothetical and explanatory value, we have to make sense of the model that is provided in this section. Now some flesh has to be added to the skeleton, i.e. the variables in that model need to be brought in accordance with the respective elements in the empirical realm before we can examine the course of events in the last decade


Now that the basic thinking of neorealism is circumscribed, the next step will be to highlight its significance for the foreign policy of the united Germany. It needs to be pointed out which benchmarks (that were specified in the neorealist paradigm) will be applied in the empirical realm and how they can be discovered.

Before we can take these steps, we firstly should have a closer look whether there happened to be any change in Germany’s capabilities. As mentioned in the previous section, a states power position rests upon its capabilities and the polarity of the international system.

Concerning the former aspect, it will be necessary to examine the difference in GNP and exports between the pre-and post united Germany. The same comparison goes for military strength, which can be assessed in expenditures. Political power cannot be measured in numbers, but an examination of Germany’s performance in the EU could at least give a rough idea about developments on that issue. Regarding polarity, it takes a brief general look in comparing the geopolitical world of the Cold War with that of the post-Cold War to assess the second neorealist requirement for a country’s power position.

In neorealist thinking, autonomy-seeking policies weigh heavier than influence-seeking policies since according to them autonomy is more closely linked to a state’s security than any possible influence on other actors.[10] Furthermore, international institutions are considered to constrain that autonomy (Baumann et al 2001: 53-54). Therefore, the general expectation is that Germany would try to counterbalance the dominant power, the USA. The gain in autonomy would consequently be raised at the expense of the transatlantic relationship that would necessarily be weakened. By referring to that strategy the loss in influence on the USA would on the other hand not account for the gains in autonomy it would yield. For this reason, even co-decision making with the USA would not be a desirable scenario, since it would prescribe the dominant US position toward the less powerful German ally. At the European level, realists expect German foreign policy to refrain from further promotion of European integration, since for neorealists supra-national integration enhances influence but equally diminishes autonomy.

The `old` FRG had no choice but to integrate its Bundeswehr into the structures of NATO, since the country was under Soviet threat and still lacked some sovereignty. With unification, which made an end to both conditions, the door opened for the pursuance of more independent policy on security matters. Therefore, neorealism would expect the Berlin Republic to be reluctant to further integrate and participate in NATO. Its enhanced power position would proof more valuable to the Germans since it would facilitate a more independent policy than exerting influence on their partners. As for military participation, neorealism would expect Germany to increase its military activity since the readiness to refer to military means as well as the readiness to cooperate with other states are at the core of that paradigm. If the Federal Republics security is affected, the likelihood to refer to military means has increased since reunification. Furthermore, post-united Germany will be reluctant to subordinate its troops under foreign command. With regard to the FRG`s constitutional foreign policy, the delegation of sovereignty to the European level would undermine the country’s autonomy. Following that logic, Germany is expected to oppose any further delegation of sovereignty to Brussels. Generally speaking, the following hypothesis can be defined to predict German security policy since 1990 (Baumann et al 2001: 65).

As Germany’s power position has improved, the country will in the aftermath of unification step up its power politics. Secondly, by means of intensified autonomy-seeking policy, post–united Germany will attempt to increase its autonomy. By means of influence seeking policies Germany will attempt to increase its influence. If both ends are at odds, Germany will prefer autonomy.

Now that the analytical neorealist framework is constructed, we can devote our attention after all to the empirical realm, i.e. the model will be applied to some significant cases in foreign policy, dealing with security policy in the post-united German context.


A condition for the pursuance of power politics is the availability of the respective means. Has Germanys power position improved since 1990 that it could indeed pursue power politics? Let us first take a glance at some figures:

Baumann et al (2001:59-62) contrasted statistics on German military spending, the GNP as well as the export performance in pre-and post united Germany with some other powers, namely the USA, Russia, the UK, France and Japan. According to their findings, the average German ‘share’ made up 10.2 per cent of the GNP out of the total number of the countries mentioned above for the period between 1985-1989. Between 1991-1995 the German share rose to 12 per cent, which is due to the drastic decline of the Soviet/Russian economy. For the exports, the German share fluctuated in the 1st period between 23.5 and 27.8 per cent while the range in the 2nd period (1991-1997) was between 23.8-26.1 per cent. The means compared, 26 per cent to about 25 per cent indicate a stable performance of the German economy. When comparing the military spending, a similar pattern can be discovered: in the 1st period the German share of the total sum of all the powers examined, averaged 6.18 per cent while it increased to 8.13 in the 2nd period (1991-1998). While the absolute figure of military spending of the FRG has even dropped the relative increase is due to the poor Soviet/Russian economic performance. The same goes for the number of troops. In the 1st period Germany shared 6.4 per cent of the total figure, which jumped to 7.6 in the 2nd. Once again, the dissolution of the Soviet Union accounts for this relative gain, although the absolute number has dropped as well.


[1] The Germans could accept these conditions since NATO safe- guarded them against Soviet intervention, while the Soviets in turn could live with that solution too. Though it was directed against them, it would prevent the threat of a resurgent and revisionist Germany (Trachtenberg 1999: 96)

[2] The political status of the FRG was lifted in preceding conferences in London and Paris (Paris Accords), where in exchange for the end of the occupational regime the FRG joined NATO, the West European Union and agreed with France on the status of the Saar area (Schöllgen 2001: 36-41)

[3] For example the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher epitomized this sentiment when she wrote that a united Germany must be constrained because it is “by its very nature a destabilizing rather than stabilizing force in Europe”. Cited in McCartney (2002: 101)

[4] Charles Krauthammer, Return of the German question in: Time Nr. 33, 25.09.1989. Cited in Hellmann 2000: 29

[5] The distinction between Bonn Republic and Berlin Republic became prominent when intellectuals like Jürgen Habermas and Johannes Gross as representatives of the political `left` and `right` referred to them (Hellmann 2000: 12).

[6] See for studies on the continuity/change debate of German foreign policy also the work of Helga Haftendorn : Deutsche Aussenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschraenkung und Selbstbeschraenkung 1945-2000. Stuttgart, München : Deutsche Verlagsanstalt 2001, Sebastian Harnisch, Hanns W. Maull.(eds) (2001) : Germany as a civilian power? The foreign policy of the Berlin Republic. Manchester : Manchester University Press 2001 and Rittberger, V. (ed.)(2001) German foreign policy since unification, Theories and Case studies Manchester: Manchester University Press.

[7] Wendt drew on the work of Nicholas Onuf, who firstly labeled social construction as constructivism: World of our making, (University of South Carolina Press, 1989).

[8] Allison and Zelikow elaborated three models (Rational actor model, Organization behavior and Governmental politics) of foreign policy analysis and applied them to the case of the Cuban missile crisis. In their work, each theoretical chapter was followed by its immediate utilization in the next chapter. In my thesis, the respective sections of the chapters fulfill this role.

[9] Mearsheimer labels these assumptions realist, although he leans heavily toward Waltz`s neorealist view. In fact they match largely with the neorealist perspective. See table 2.1, the quest for theory in the textbook World Politics Trend and Transformation (Kegley and Wittkopf 1999: 40) .The neorealists however emphasize the structure of the international system as a theory as distinct from mere realist thought (Waltz 1979).

[10] The trade-off in the ends between influence and autonomy is debated among neorealists. While Neorealists emphasize the primacy of autonomy as state`s goals, the so-called modified neorealists place more importance on the ends of influence; see Baumann et al (2001: 64-65). Due to the limited size of that thesis and its pre-dominance, the neorealist view is preferred here.

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The New Permissive Use of Force - A Window for Change in German Foreign Policy?
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