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Title: Soft power politics : the role of political foundations in Germany's foreign policy towards regime change in Spain, Portugal and South Africa 1974-1994
Author: Poppen, Jens-Ulrich
ISNI:       0000 0001 3495 146X
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explores new analytical ground in analysing and describing power in the pursuit of Germany's postwar foreign policy, particularly during the Cold War era. With reference to Germany's party foundations, the dissertation provides an introductory discussion of the prevailing narratives on power in the discourse over Germany's postwar foreign policy, namely 'forgetting power', civilian power, tamed power and middle power. It advances the critical argument that the realist 'forgetting power' narrative remains too narrowly focused on coercive and unilaterally realised power projection capabilities while appreciating multilateral forms of external action only as an expression of weakness. On the other hand, the largely constructivist approaches of civilian, tamed and middle power analysis put too exclusive an emphasis on multilateral frameworks of diplomatic action in the pursuit of the FRG's foreign policy. Instead, this research concludes that postwar Germany's foreign policy cannot be fully understood without paying ample attention to the two-layered operational nature of the FRG's diplomacy, which is based on the systemic relationship of transnationally operating nongovernmental actors and state institutions. Postwar Germany was therefore neither 'forgetful of its power' nor did it play out its power resources solely within multilateral organisations. In fact, it pursued state interests regularly through non-multilateral channels and by mobilising noncoercive power potentials. The thesis utilises Joseph S. Nye's concept of soft power as the ability to shape the preferences of actors through inducement and attraction rather than coercion and threat in order to highlight the specific configuration of the FRG's postwar foreign policy displayed on a sub-state level. This model is then applied to analyse the democracy promotion activities of two German political foundations or Stiftungen, the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation (FEF) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF) during the regime change processes in Spain, Portugal and South Africa respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available