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The "German Problem" then and now: from the threat of a German Europe to the edification of an European Germany
The "German Problem" then an now: from the threat of a German Europe to the edification of an European Germany

Author(s): Emanuel COPILAȘ
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Departamentul de Studii Internaţionale al Universităţii Babeş-Bolyai din Cluj Napoca
Keywords: "German Problem"; national identity; Cold War; civilian power; European Germany.

Summary/Abstract: As Thomas Mann argued about postwar Germany, its future depended on its power to return to its European cultural, economical and political sources. The desideratum of a German Europe was eradicated from political and military agendas of its new leaders, but especially from the minds of the ordinary Germans. The core and also the stake of the Cold War, the ‘German Problem’ was offered a sustained European and international response which eventually transformed the former unstable and aggressive power into the stability center of the European project. The new German identity can be understood only in the broader context of the European Union as an enlarged form of a cultural and political community, both containing the ‘German Problem’ and also ensuring and enriching its development. Starting with Bismarck’s Germany and ending with the post-Cold War Germany, this study proposes an analysis of the metamorphosis the German identity was subjected to as a corollary of the German behavior within the international context. The source of change trough which the Germans perceived themselves and the others was, on its turn, internationally induced: as socio- constructivist theorists argues, states, as communities, extract their identities trough a peremptory interaction with the international environment. The process is ongoing and entails gradual transformations both for international actors and their milieu, which proves that identities are not given, objective, fixed, but permanently subjected to changes coming from a multitude of directions. The German identity experienced this kind of change most intensely after the end of the Second World War, when it renounced its Prussian legacy in favor of its European one.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 23-63
  • Page Count: 41
  • Language: English