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No future for Germany's past ? collective memory and German foreign policy.

Wittlinger, R. and Larose, M. (2007) 'No future for Germany's past ? collective memory and German foreign policy.', German politics., 16 (4). pp. 481-495.

Abstract

Like most aspects of German politics and society after 1945, post-war German foreign policy has traditionally been greatly influenced by the legacy of Germany's National Socialist past and the Second World War. The semi-sovereign and divided nature of the West German state along with the strong argumentative force of collective memory in foreign policy discourse ensured a strong presence of Germany's historical legacy in both institutional and discursive terms resulting in a foreign policy which was characterised by self-limitation, a strong commitment to multilateralism and a civilian foreign policy culture. This article will argue that the interpretation of German collective memory of the Holocaust and the Second World War underwent significant changes under the red-green governments between 1998 and 2005, in particular with regard to the use of force. Although German collective memory continued to be present during this period, it lost its predictability and was used in a variety of crises to justify a range of responses, including military action.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09644000701652490
Record Created:24 Mar 2009
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:37

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