Change and continuity in German foreign policy in East Central Europe, 1990-2002
From the Kaiser Reich to the Berlin Republic, the weight of German foreign policy
has shifted from national greatness to international co-operation. As international
factors have played the major part in foreign policy making, the distinctive principle
of German foreign policy has been mutlilateralism since the end of WWII. The thesis
investigates Germany's foreign policy in East Central Europe in the period from 1990
to 2002 to explore whether and to what extent Germany's present foreign policy
corresponds to multilateralism and if there has been continuity in German foreign
policy since WWII. It employs modified neo-realist foreign policy theory assuming
that Germany's post-unification foreign policy behaviour will choose to strengthen
international institutions in which it itself participates and join in multilateral actions.
The thesis argues that the German government assists in the political and economic
reforms of the eastern candidates countries in order to speed up their entry to the EU.
The major contribution is to provide information and analysis on Germany's East
Central European policy after the demise of communism. The thesis demonstrates that
Germany's policy in East Central Europe best fits the modified neo-realist prediction
of loss of both influence and autonomy because Germany has chosen to
multilateralise its relations with weaker states (i. e. East Central European countries),
aiming at dealing with them within a multilateral framework (i. e. EU). The overall
conclusion is that with the Berlin Republic there has been some change in German
foreign policy, but underlying this is a basic continuity in the multilateralism of
German post Second World War political culture.