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Germany's European Policy: A Constructivist Perspective (PSGE 8.1 1998), Thomas Banchoff.

Germany's European Policy: A Constructivist Perspective (PSGE 8.1 1998), Thomas Banchoff.

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This paper sets out a constructivist analytical framework and applies it to post-reunification German policy towards the European Union. Although the structural constraints facing Germany shifted dramatically with the end of the Cold War and reunification, the direction of its European policy did not. The more powerful Federal Republic contin­ued to press for deeper economic and political integration, eschewing a more independent or assertive foreign policy course. Neorealism, neollberalism, and liberalism cannot adequately explain this continuity in the face of structural change; a constructivist account centered around state identity can. During and after reunification, German leaders across the political spectrum identified the Federal Republic as part of an emergent supranational community. This European identity, with roots in the postwar decades, drove Germany's unflagging support for deeper integration across the 1989~90 divide. ·For their helpful comments and suggestions, I would like to thank Andrew Bennett, Eric Bleich, Beverly Crawford, Thomas Diez, Gunter Hellmann. lain Johnseon. Rev Koslowski. Joseph Lepgold, Andrew Moravcsik, Michael Ross, Paul Wapner, Alexander Wende, and William Wohlforth.
This paper sets out a constructivist analytical framework and applies it to post-reunification German policy towards the European Union. Although the structural constraints facing Germany shifted dramatically with the end of the Cold War and reunification, the direction of its European policy did not. The more powerful Federal Republic contin­ued to press for deeper economic and political integration, eschewing a more independent or assertive foreign policy course. Neorealism, neollberalism, and liberalism cannot adequately explain this continuity in the face of structural change; a constructivist account centered around state identity can. During and after reunification, German leaders across the political spectrum identified the Federal Republic as part of an emergent supranational community. This European identity, with roots in the postwar decades, drove Germany's unflagging support for deeper integration across the 1989~90 divide. ·For their helpful comments and suggestions, I would like to thank Andrew Bennett, Eric Bleich, Beverly Crawford, Thomas Diez, Gunter Hellmann. lain Johnseon. Rev Koslowski. Joseph Lepgold, Andrew Moravcsik, Michael Ross, Paul Wapner, Alexander Wende, and William Wohlforth.

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02/18/2014

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ProgramfortheStudyof
GermtD'l1
and
EuropeWorkingPaper
Series#8.1
Germany'sEuropeanPolicy:AConstructivist
Perspective"
by
ThomasBanchoff
ThomasBanchoff,AssistantProfessorofGovernmentatGeorgetownUniversity,isaJamesBryantConantFellowattheCenterforEuropeanStudies,HarvardUniversity,in1997~98.AbstractThispapersetsoutaconstructivistanalyticalframeworkandappliesittopost-reunificationGermanpolicytowardstheEuropeanUnion.AlthoughthestructuralconstraintsfacingGermanyshifteddramaticallywiththeendoftheColdWarandreunification,thedirection
of
itsEuropeanpolicydidnot.ThemorepowerfulFederalRepubliccontin-uedtopressfordeepereconomicandpoliticalintegration,eschewingamoreindependentorassertiveforeignpolicycourse.Neorealism,neollberalism,andliberalismcannotadequatelyexplainthiscontinuityintheface
of
structuralchange;aconstructivistaccountcenteredaroundstateidentitycan.Duringandafterreunification,GermanleadersacrossthepoliticalspectrumidentifiedtheFederalRepublicaspart
of
anemergentsupranationalcommunity.ThisEuropeanidentity,withrootsinthepostwardecades,droveGermany'sunflaggingsupportfordeeperintegrationacrossthe1989~90divide.
·Fortheirhelpfulcommentsandsuggestions.Iwouldliketo
thank
AndrewBennett.
Eric
Bleich.BeverlyCrawford.ThomasDiez,
GunterHellmann.lainJohnston.RevKoslowski.JosephLepgold,AndrewMoravcsik,MichaelRoss,PaulWapner,AlexanderWende,
andWilliamWohlforth.
 
TheendofthecoldwarmarkedadecisiveshiftintheexternalcontextoftheFederalRepublicofGermany(FRG).ReunificationlefttheFRGthemostpowerfulcountryinEuropeandconfronteditwithnewpolicychallengestotheEast.WhilethecontextofGermanforeignpolicyshifted,however,itsthrustdidnot.ThenewFederalRepublic,likeitspredecessor,continuedtopressfordeeperEuropeanintegration.ThegovernmentofHelmutKohlledthedrivetoformulate,ratifyandimplementthe1992MaastrichtTreaty,withitsprovisionsforCommonForeignandSecurityPolicy(CFSP)andEuropeanMonetaryUnion(EMU).WhydidthemorepowerfulGermanynotembraceamoreassertiveandindependentforeignpolicy?AndwhydiditnotmakeanactiveOstpolitikapriorityoverdeeperEuropeanintegration?Theleadingrationalistapproachestointernationalpolitics-neorealism,neoliberalism,andliberalism-cannotprovidesatisfactoryanswerstothesequestions.Theirrespectiveemphasesonconstellationsofpower,institutions,andpoliticsspecifyimportantconstraintsonFRGforeignpolicy.Buttheycannotadequatelyexplainitscourse.Iputforwardanalternative,constructivistaccountcenteredaroundtheeffectsofstateidentity.Overthepastdecade,theconstructivistclaimthatstateidentitiesandpracticesdriveworldpoliticshasgeneratedconsiderabletheoreticalcontroversy.
I
Onlyrecently,however,haveconstructivistsbeguntobuttresstheirtheoreticalclaimswithempiricalresearch.'Inanefforttoadvancetheconstructivistresearchprogram,thispaperaddressesthreerelatedsetsofquestions.
I
Onconstructivism,seeWendt1992,1994andforthcoming;Adler1997;Kratochwil1989;Onuf1989;andKratochwilandRuggie1986.Forcritiques,seeKeohane1988,389-93andMearsheimer1995,37-47.
2
See,forexample,thecontributionstoKatzenstein1996;Weldes1996;Finnemore1996;Klotz1995;Kier1995;Johnston1995;andKoslowskiandKratochwil1994.OnGermanyinparticular,seeKatzenstein1997a;Risse1997;Katzenstein1996a,153-90;andBerger1996.
1

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