France and Germany in Europe
The opening chapter introduces this book’s two main questions, placing them in historical, political, and theoretical context: Why have France and Germany hung together in a particularly tight bilateral relationship for half a century amidst fundamental domestic change and international transformation, and in spite of enduring basic differences between the two? And why has the joint Franco-German impact on shaping Europe’s polity and European policies, while fundamental, proved so uneven across different types of political decision making, political domains, and time? In order to address both questions at once, the introduction then develops “embedded bilateralism” as a general perspective on regional integration and European politics since the late 1950s. It then contrasts embedded bilateralism from the main macro-perspectives on European integration and regional politics from the early post-war era until today. The introduction concludes with a brief overview of the plan of this book.
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