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The Paradox of German Power$
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Hans Kundnani

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245504.001.0001

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Idealism and Realism

Idealism and Realism

(p.23) 2 Idealism and Realism
The Paradox of German Power

Hans Kundnani

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the two distinct currents of West German foreign policy—Westbindung and Ostpolitik. The main arguments in West German foreign policy centered on Germany and its relationship to the West. Westbindung sought to deepen the ties of Germany with the U.S., even at the cost of dividing up East Germany from West Germany. Ostpolitik emphasized the unity of Germany, therefore rejecting the Westbindung arguing that it would cause a division between the two. These opposing foreign policies resulted in a political rift between the Christian Democrats who wanted to integrate West Germany into the U.S., and the Social Democrats who challenged this approach, and kept open the possibility of German reunification.

Keywords:   Christian Democrats, foreign-policy goals, Ostpolitik, Social Democrats, Westbindung

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