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About this book

This new textbook offers a path-breaking interpretation of the role of the European Union’s most important member state: Germany. Analyzing Germany’s domestic politics, European policy, relations with partners, and the resultant expressions of power within the EU, the text addresses such key questions as whether Germany is becoming Europe’s hegemon, and if Berlin’s European policy is being constrained by its internal politics. The authors – both leading scholars in the field – situate these questions in their historical context and bring the subject up to date by considering the centrality of Germany to the liberal order of the EU over the last turbulent decade in relation to events including the Eurozone crisis and the 2017 German federal election. This is the first comprehensive and accessible guide to a fascinating relationship that considers both the German impact on the EU and the EU’s impact on Germany. This book is the ideal companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students who are studying the European Union or German Politics from the perspectives of disciplines as wide ranging as Politics, European Union Studies, Area Studies, Economics, Business and History. It is also an essential resource for all those studying or practicing EU policy-making and communication.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Analysing Germany and the EU

Abstract
Germany’s relationship with the European integration process has been of central importance to European politics over the last sixty years. The relationship itself has been transformed over this period. In the aftermath of the Second World War Germany was a defeated state. Moreover, it was a divided state, reflected in the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, or West Germany) and of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) in 1949. The FRG was occupied as well, so overall it had pre-sovereign status, hedged in by discriminatory provisions (Paterson 2005: 261–2). The international organisation of European politics at this time was centred on two challenges: resolving the ‘German problem’, which had been a major source of conflict on the European continent; and addressing the new challenges posed by the Cold War division of Europe into two blocs. The division of Germany was one of the clearest illustrations of the Cold War, and it became even more vivid with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. European integration, together with transatlantic defence cooperation, was therefore an attempt to bring solutions to problems at which the epicentre was Germany. Germany in the early 1950s was largely a passive player in bringing about these solutions, overshadowed by, and subject to, the victor powers, lacking the full trappings of a sovereign state. However, even as a passive player Germany’s potential and geographic location allowed it to influence the response to these challenges.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 1. Germany and European Integration: Before Reluctant Hegemony

Abstract
In the immediate post-war period the themes of our analysis of Germany’s position in the EU were cast in a quite different light. German hegemony was a concern because of Europe’s experience of the Nazi regime. Not only this but the regime, its aggression on the continent and the Holocaust had been a catastrophe for Germany. The key question was how to avoid a recurrence of the turbulence that had come to the European continent in the time following the proclamation of a united German Reich (Empire) in Versailles in January 1871 after victory in the Franco–Prussian War. As Hans Kundnani (2014: 7) notes, ‘German power and French weakness upset the European equilibrium that had existed since the end of the Napoleonic Wars and had maintained peace in Europe.’ In different ways German expansionism had led to two world wars.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 2. Sources of Germany’s European Power

Abstract
Having reviewed Germany’s role in the EU in the period up to the Lisbon Treaty’s signature, this chapter and the rest of the book look at the contemporary era: chiefly the 2010s. This era has been characterised by a series of challenges faced by the EU, Germany’s principal reference point in its foreign and public policy. Jean-Claude Juncker (2016), the president of the European Commission, has gone so far as to refer to a ‘polycrisis’ afflicting the EU (see also Dinan, Nugent and Paterson 2017).
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 3. German Institutions and EU Policy-Making: Constraints or Enforcers?

Abstract
Having explored the resources Germany has in relation to the EU, we now turn to German policy in the EU and its formulation. The making of German European policy entails aggregating domestic economic and political interests (see Chapter 4) as well as processing them through the policy-making institutions. In this chapter we explore the institutional framework, guided by the proposition that Germany’s domestic institutions matter. Of key importance, of course, is how the institutions matter specifically to the issue of German power in the EU.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 4. German Political Actors and European Policy: A New Politicisation?

Abstract
The shaping of German European policy is fundamentally influenced by domestic political forces: public opinion, political parties and interest groups. These are the actors whose wishes have to be taken into account in different ways by the federal government and the other institutions considered in Chapter 3.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 5. German European Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Abstract
This chapter examines the character of Germany’s European policy in the post-unification period, focusing particularly on the Merkel governments. It explores the general principles and values behind German policy before examining integration policy as well as specific internal and external policies. Of particular importance we explore if there is evidence of Germany playing the role of hegemon, whether benign or otherwise, in the policies it pursues within the EU. Also important in the chapter is identifying the drivers of policy in light of our examination of the history, economic and political fundamentals, the institutions and political forces in the respective preceding chapters.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 6. Monetary Policy and The Eurozone Crisis: The Emergence of German Hegemony?

Abstract
Monetary policy is a key area to explore in understanding German power in the EU. It brings out Germany’s strongly held beliefs about the conduct of policy that diverge from those of its long-standing partner, France. These tensions date back to the first moves towards EMU in the early 1970s. They became a real concern during the Exchange-Rate Mechanism in the early 1990s but the German position was then assumed to have been diluted by the move to monetary union. After all, Germany had surely given up its powers and the Bundesbank was no longer determining interest and exchange rates. In fact when the eurozone crisis broke in late 2009 it soon became apparent that German influence over EMU remained great. For states requiring a rescue Germany was seen as being behind the imposed austerity policies, resulting in rising concerns about hegemony and even popular opposition in the streets, notably in Greece.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 7. From Political Dwarf to Potential Hegemon? German Foreign Policy in Transition

Abstract
At first glance foreign policy does not fit easily into the general argument of Germany poised between hegemony and domestic politics that underlies this book. In the founding years of the Federal Republic it possessed very few power resources and did not have the instruments to shape a foreign policy. The Occupation Statute remained in force until 1955 and during this period the Federal Republic is best described as ‘pre-sovereign’. It reflected the anti-hegemonic aspirations of both the Allies and the German authors of the Basic Law. Germany was in the words of Katzenstein ‘a tamed power’ (Katzenstein 1997). Externally it was often compared to Swift’s Gulliver, tied down by a web of international agreements. Officially it possessed neither a foreign minister nor a foreign ministry in its founding years. The power it had was potential and territorial. Its central geostrategic position meant its interests had to be taken into account but it relied on other powers articulating the arguments. Its aims were as far as possible to keep the German Question open, to ensure security by closeness to the Atlantic Alliance and through a European vocation to secure access to export markets and gradually increase its minimal actorness. Its methods involved a close alliance with France where France was the dominant partner in foreign policy.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson

Chapter 8. Conclusion

Abstract
Germany is unequivocally the EU’s most important member state. Familiarity with the character of its role in the EU, its European policy and the underlying determinants are therefore of central importance to the present and future of the EU. Our study has sought to give a comprehensive view of Germany’s relationship with the EU and to offer deeper illustration through the monetary and foreign policy areas.
Simon Bulmer, William E. Paterson
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