Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft
International Politics and Society 1/2004


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Adam Krzeminski
Between Renationalization and Europeanization. A Polish View of Germany

Anne-Marie Le Gloannec
The Unilateralist Temptation: Germany’s Foreign Policy after the Cold War

Stephen F. Szabo
Germany and the United States after Iraq. From Alliance to Alignment

Joscha Schmierer
In Search of Ways through the Labyrinth. National Interests between a World of States and a World Society


Adam Krzeminski

Between Renationalization and Europeanization
A Polish View of Germany

The attacks on 11 September 2001 and their consequences not only shattered the previous coordinates of international politics but also gave new impetus to the debate on a special German path. In fact, the difficult search for a new German identity after reunification has gradually shifted, leading to emancipation from self-imposed historical constraints and taboos. Thus, Walser’s protest against the “moral cudgel” of Auschwitz evidently struck a chord, particularly with the younger generation. Jokes and widely disseminated negative views about Poland indicate that the inhibition threshold as regards the victims of German history has receded somewhat and historical aversions are again gaining ground in public discourse. Germany’s reappearance on the world stage is at the same time characterized by a gradual emancipation from the restrictions of the post-war period. With the withdrawal of Russian troops from German soil the dissolution of the old deference towards Moscow became manifest. Emancipation with regard to the USA materialized 10 years later in connection with the Iraq war and brought deep-lying anti-American resentment to the surface. Revision of the special relationship with Israel and the Jews, scarred by the Holocaust, is not yet complete, but desired by many. However,  German attempts to portray themselves as victims for the purpose of self-reconciliation seem to constitute a successful third revision of Germany’s post-war state of mind. This gives rise to fears among the “other victims”. Particularly in Poland there are widespread concerns that the emphasis on German suffering could perpetuate claims against Poland, such as those made by expellees’ organizations. It is true that the German search for identity also contains progressive aspects, such as compensation of the victims of forced labor, the new citizenship law, or support for EU enlargement. But still the renationalization of history and shift in German identity is in Polish eyes taking place at the expense of the desired Europeanization and empathy for the victims of Germany’s past. The relationship with Poland requires a rethinking of the kind which has already taken place with regard to France. Calls for a Paris–Berlin–Moscow axis, on the other hand, are as detrimental to German–Polish partnership and the European search for identity as attempts to obtain old privileges in an exclusive “Core Europe”.


Anne-Marie Le Gloannec

The Unilateralist Temptation:
Germany’s Foreign Policy after the Cold War

Continuity or change? This has been a major question structuring the debate on German foreign policy since unification, in particular with regard to Germany’s traditional multilateralist orientation. Germany’s embeddedness in multilateral institutions was not only an obligation, but it also has furthered German interests and over time has become internalized as a key aspect of German self-understanding.  This orientation has remained part of German foreign policy since the end of the Cold War: participation in military operations, for example, has run in parallel with diplomatic initiatives for multilateral, peaceful solutions. Nonetheless, multilateralism under both the Kohl and the Schröder governments has come under fire. The staunch refusal to take part in the US-led war against Iraq was only one of many unilateralist steps which have affronted Germany’s partners. Reduced resources is one important factor in understanding this shift: Germany has changed from EU economic motor to liability, exercising a “hegemony of weakness”. The German government has lost the means and willingness to promote European interests over narrower national or sectoral ones. Second, the number and heterogeneity of the German Länder have increased since reunification and their power has grown. This has made possible a territorialization of politics which is not conducive to Europeanization and globalization. Finally, public opinion polls, while reflecting a growing level of Europeanization as regards German identity, suggest growing opposition to the further transfer of competences to the European level. However, German unilateral tendencies are linked to trends in international and European multilateral structures. Changes in the pattern of multilateralism are most obvious in the European Union. In the latest rounds of enlargement, the rules of the game have been altered. Negotiations are increasingly characterized by free-floating coalitions, “multi-bilateralism”, an orientation towards short-term gains, and loose commitments. Franco-German cooperation also reflects these changes. It is suffering from disinvestment on both sides. A return of the old partnership is rather unlikely, since many Germans consider the relationship unbalanced. Furthermore, the historical legitimacy of the Franco-German axis in the EU leadership is called into question by the accession of new EU members with different historical backgrounds, whereas legitimacy based on efficiency has been undermined by the economic weakness of both countries. Given the effects of the recent unilateralist diplomacy of the German government, but also structural shifts in Europe and US unilateralism, Germany will no longer be able to play its former role as bridge and intermediary, neither within Europe nor across the Atlantic. If Germany proves its continuing ability to shape European politics, however, it may regain the position of privileged interlocutor.


Stephen F. Szabo

Germany and the United States after Iraq
From Alliance to Alignment

The crisis in the relationship between the United States and Germany was formally brought to an end with the meeting between George W. Bush and Gerhard Schröder on the fringes of the UN General Assembly in September 2003. Yet the relationship will not revert to what it used to be and this is due not only to personalities in the current regimes. The strikingly rapid and sharp deterioration of the relationship in the Iraq crisis signals underlying, longer term structural and secular changes. The most important change is the radical alteration of the strategic landscape after the Cold War, leading to a sovereign and reunited Germany no longer so dependent on the United States. Furthermore, a generational change has brought about a certain “guilt fatigue” in Germany which is combined with a declining sense of gratitude for the role of the United States during the Cold War. On top of this the Iraq crisis dented the image of the United States in Germany. Opinion polls showed a growing anti-Americanism in a country which used to be the most pro-American large country in Europe. The economic relationship is still dense and stable, but it cannot replace the strategic and cultural bond. All this means that the relationship will in future no longer be based on sentiment, friendship, or common values but rather on cold calculations of interest. In this respect, however, we can observe a certain degree of alignment between Germany and the United States, stemming from the lessons learned in the Iraq crisis. It is possible to identify an agenda around which a new strategic consensus is likely to emerge. First, as regards the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction the divergence over strategy remains deep. Yet there is also some rapprochement as Germany accepts the need to underpin a non-proliferation regime by the threat of force, and the United States is more willing to accept a multilateral approach. With regard to failed states and interventions, doctrines diverge equally, but both sides see the need to develop criteria and procedures for dealing with the problem. On the regional agenda, the prospects for German–American cooperation regarding Eastern Europe are promising, given converging interests such as on NATO enlargement or Russia. With regard to the Greater Middle East, Europe and the United States have always diverged in terms of interests and strategies, but both have a common stake in stabilization of the region, which may facilitate cooperation. The key to the future of the relationship, however, is likely to be broad global governance questions, such as environment, international law, and international trade. But even if the United States return to a policy of supporting international rules and institutions, it may be too late to salvage the Atlanticist foundation which reassured Germany’s European partners. Thus, a deepening of the French–German alliance in a broader European project is needed to compensate for what used to be the Atlantic pillar.


Joscha Schmierer

In Search of Ways through the Labyrinth
National Interests between a World of States and a World Society

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification there can be no question of a return to normality on the part of German foreign policy. It is much more a matter of finding answers to new challenges: since 1989 the world has been characterized by revolutionary upheavals. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the age of European empires came to an end. With the end of confrontation between power blocs, the repressive regulatory mechanism of the Cold War era has given way to new, complex power constellations and new forms of inter-state cooperation. Fundamental to the new world political situation, however, is accelerated globalization, characterized by, on the one hand, transnational worldwide economic networks constituting one world economy and, on the other, the development of an all encompassing  world of states defined in terms of territorial sovereignty. Relations between these dynamics are tense, potentially destructive and, possibly, liable to heighten domestic differences and international rivalries. Globalization requires a regulatory framework. The framework provided by the United Nations, however, stands on shaky ground due to the numerous failing states and state-building processes. Moreover, clear decision-making rules and comprehensive implementation mechanisms are lacking. The “sole remaining superpower”, the USA, cannot substitute the regulatory mechanism which disappeared with the end of the bipolar bloc system. In search of a new world order the EU and the USA must pull together. Precisely because America and Europe respond differently to the question of the balance between a world of states and a world society shaped by globalization they could combine to help resolve this tense relationship. Their cooperation could establish an alliance of democracies which, within the framework of the UN, could serve as an authoritative regulatory power and defend the benefits of globalization. Determination of Germany’s fundamental foreign policy interests should part company with the pre-democratic understanding that “national interests” can be derived from the country’s geographical position or other objective considerations. At the same time, the old European view of foreign policy as a zero-sum game is outdated. It is crucial rather to forestall zero-sum logic in international relations and instead to put center-stage the connection, evident in Germany’s own recent history, between national interests and the interests of integration. If the new world order which has yet to be created is to be influenced in terms of German raison d’état a comprehensive integration policy must be developed which encompasses the domestic dimension, the European level, and the transatlantic “integration of the West”.


Alfred Pfaller

The Imperative of Global Stabilization
Key Elements of a Foreign Policy Strategy for Germany

Many expect – or demand – that the reunited Germany (whose post-war “special situation” has finally come to an end) pursue its national interests more assertively in the arena of world politics. However, such “normalization” would not correspond to the real challenges German foreign policy is now facing. The security and well-being of the German people are threatened by the prospect of escalating inter-state conflicts which will not leave neutral states unscathed, the rise of international terrorism, and destabilizing “problem imports” (transnational crime, uncontrolled migration, diseases) that emanate from anomic tendencies in various parts of the world. Foreign policy that intends to ward off these threats must aim at (i) a “civilized” world order, which effectively prevents inter-state war, and (ii) stable societies throughout the world. However, a global regime that effectively discourages aggression by credibly threatening adequate sanctions is not in sight. Such sanctions will depend from case to case on inter-state negotiations that are highly susceptible to opportunistic considerations. Consequently, countries have an incentive to rely for their security on their own military strength and/or on alliances that make for collective strength. This quest for military strength, in turn, creates rivalries and related security dilemmas. While weak states may be disciplined by stronger ones “superpowers” cannot be subjected to such discipline. It is illusory to hope for an enhanced UN capable of doing this. Forestalling superpower rivalry that might get out of control (for example, USA–China) requires a different, bottom-up approach. Its essence is increasing international cooperation geared to the solution of problems that defy the unfolding of national power. Germany’s and most other countries’ security interests are best served if such cooperation, based on a win–win logic, successively diminishes the importance of zero-sum power games. And this is what Germany, together with as many allies as possible, should try to promote – with a particular eye to involving the superpowers. The other long-term security threat, global destabilization resulting from countries’ internal problems, has as one of its major causes the syndrome of stagnating economies, rent-seeking societies, and clientist polities. This syndrome is socially exclusive and inherently violence-prone, but highly resistant to change. The most promising way of drying it up little by little is by providing an international (regional and/or global) environment of rapid economic growth, thus giving non-clientist patterns of social organization a chance. A foreign policy that aims, for long-term security reasons, at global stabilization must assign priority to international efforts to (i) speed up global economic growth and (ii) improve backward countries’ chances of participating in that growth. This last point implies a pro-South bias in international economic regulations ranging from trade and investments to foreign debt. A German foreign policy that gives priority to global stability has to put European integration into perspective. Making Europe a “great power” in its own right, with an eye to balancing US unilateralism, could well prove counter-productive. But European integration can serve as an example of the civilizing effect of supranational cooperation. Nevertheless, the focus of foreign policy must be shifted from the European to the global arena. While an enhanced UN system might well provide, one day, for the institutional underpinning of an effective world peace order, at present the UN cannot be of much help in getting there. German foreign policy that aims to civilize the inherently dangerous world of states should focus for the time being much more on the substance of cooperation than on the normative frame of UN rules.

Sergei Medvedev

Putin’s Second Republic: Russian Scenarios

In the run-up to the presidential elections in March 2004, it is relatively easy to predict the victory of the incumbent. But the nature of Putin’s Second Republic, and Russia’s evolution after the elections, are open questions. Based on an analysis of the status quo, five scenarios for Russia’s future can be sketched and compared for the purpose of forecasting medium-term prospects. The results of Putin’s first term are mixed. The two principal themes of Putin’s First Republic have been centralization and modernization. The president has succeeded in rebuilding vertical power in Russia by “cleansing” the oligarchs, “embedding” the media, reining in the regional barons, and installing a system of “managed democracy”, with a pocket parliament, non-existent opposition, and predictable elections. On the other hand, Putin’s promise of reform remains unfulfilled. Centralization has occurred without modernization. Stability has ruined democracy and civility, while the corrupt and clannish fundamentals of the regime, based on the nexus of power and property, remain unchanged. Russia is a classical rentier state living off “natural rent”. The political class is oriented towards the redistribution of resources and the maximization of state power, not towards modernization. In this sense, the most probable scenario for Putin’s second term is Bureaucratic Capitalism, which means the evolution of the current state of affairs. The state bureaucracy and the siloviki (law enforcement agencies, secret services, and the Army) will privatize the state and control key vertically integrated business groups, possibly through partial renationalization. The closest historical analogy could be Indonesia under Suharto, with its mix of crony capitalism and five-year plans, complete with authoritarian rule. However, this scenario is only sustainable with high oil prices and in the absence of major natural, technological, and social catastrophes in Russia. Should any of the latter occur, however, Russia may either embark on authoritarian modernization or move towards left populism. In the Authoritarian Modernization scenario, Putin will re-orient his authoritarian rule to developmental purposes. He will opt out of the contract with the corrupt elite, and pursue the “second wave” of liberal reforms. Authoritarian modernization in Russia would take on a form of neo-corporatism reminiscent of East Asian models: post-Second World War Japan, South Korea under Park Chung Hee, Mohammed Mahatir’s Malaysia. A less likely scenario is Left Populism. Pressured by the growing social dissatisfaction, and/or by falling oil prices and natural disasters, Putin may opt to play the role of a “Russian Peron” (a closer analogy could be the charismatic President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez). The populist anti-oligarch policy, based on the ideology of paternalism and solidarism, would include a review of the privatization deals of the mid-1990s, and a redistribution of “natural rent”. The probability of this scenario is low; despite the populist appeal to a large social periphery and a part of the middle class, there are no major elites with financial clout behind it. The two extreme-case scenarios – Counter-Reformist Mobilization (the “Alexander Lukashenko scenario”) and Democratic Modernization (the “Vaclav Klaus scenario”) – can be discarded as improbable. Barring the extreme cases, and rating the Left Populism scenario as unrealistic, the choice boils down to a single alternative – between Bureaucratic Capitalism and Authoritarian Modernization. This is a choice between stagnant evolution, which means preservation of “crony capitalism” with administrators at the top, loyal oligarchs and praetorian siloviki – and an attempt at modernization, leaving behind the current system of clans and rents. This choice will be driven by external factors (most significantly, by the oil price, with lower prices inducing modernization), but also by Putin’s personal commitment to reform and Westernization.


Peter Gey

North Korea: Soviet-Type Reform and Erosion of the State Economy

The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe has failed to reach the northern part of the Korean peninsula. In North Korea, history has allowed the communist regime some extra time, and the consequences have been disastrous for the bulk of the population. Since 1998, the North Korean leadership has been trying to reorganize institutions and to implement new economic rules in order to improve production and the supply of consumer goods. The most important reform measures are the enlargement of private plots on state farms and producers’ cooperatives; legalization of private commerce; and an attempt to reorient management decision making away from centrally fixed, quantitative production targets and towards economic criteria such as costs and profits, while maintaining state ownership and the system of administratively determined prices. This indicates that the North Korean leadership is following the principles of Soviet-type economic reform. For three and a half decades, communist state and party leaderships in Central and Eastern Europe tried to save their regimes by following more or less the same economic reform approach. Since they all failed for systemic reasons, will the North Korean leadership still have the option of switching to Chinese-style reforms once they recognize that they have chosen the wrong path? Three considerations point to a negative answer. First, the core of the Chinese reform project was the disintegration of the “People’s Communes” by contracting land out to individual households and handing over draft animals and farm equipment to the former members. Will Kim Jong-Il go that far? Second, land erosion and over-salted soils have undermined the basic conditions of agricultural production. In China, however, agriculture was the engine of economic progress from the beginning of the reforms in the late 1970s. Third, North Korean  agriculture is far too small to lift the economy as a whole, in contrast to China. In the meantime, the erosion of the state economy continues. While production at state owned companies is almost stagnant, private markets are mushrooming all over the country, offering commodities produced in the so-called second or parallel economy or smuggled from China. The most striking outcome of the new economic policy so far, however, is skyrocketing prices. Hyperinflation on such a scale has never been experienced in any other socialist country. This puts an end to any illusions about “socialist” prices and has left an even larger proportion of the population at the mercy of starvation.


Wolfgang Merkel and Mirko Krück

Social Justice and Democracy: Investigating the Link

Social justice and democracy are among the central concepts of philosophy, sociology, and political science. However, theoretically and empirically these concepts are usually discussed separately. Their connections have so far barely been explored. In the present work, trends and hypotheses concerning the relationship between social justice and democracy are examined, in exploratory fashion, using a sample of 124 states outside the standard OECD world. The concept of democracy and its operationalization are – notwithstanding some methodological criticisms – based on Freedom House data. The concept of justice is derived from the theories of John Rawls and Amartya Sen. It is oriented above all towards the just (here: equal) distribution of opportunities and life-chances. This concept is operationalized by means of five dimensions: averting poverty; promoting equal opportunities by means of education; socially inclusive markets; gender equality; and provision of solidarity-based social security. The results indicate that social justice and the quality of democracy in a country reinforce one another. Correlation analysis produces a significant connection between social justice and the level of democratization. Regression analysis endorses the assumption of a causal relationship between democracy and social justice. A society becomes more socially just as civil liberties and political rights increase. The connection is confirmed also by the comparison of different regions. Generally, the more social justice, the more democracy, and the more democracy, the more social justice. To be sure, this connection is partly broken in the cases of Latin America and the Caribbean, Southern Africa, East Asia, and North Africa. The first two regions listed have been unable to convert their “democratic advantage“ into social justice, while East Asia and North Africa obviously do not need developed democracy in order to establish relatively just conditions. Apart from these exceptions democratic political regimes put social justice on the agenda sooner and implement them more effectively than autocratic regimes wish to or can.



Herbert Kitschelt

Origins of International Terrorism in the Middle East

International terrorism is a strategy which the opponents of predatory regimes are liable to take under specific conditions: most importantly, if they face strong repression at home and cannot forge a broad anti-regime coalition. At the root of today’s Islamist terrorism is predatory rule, which characterizes much of the Middle East and North Africa. Here, an institutional legacy from pre-modern times, oil wealth, and a lack of serious foreign threats have together consolidated a regime type whose incumbent rulers have a strong incentive to secure for themselves and their supporters a large part of the country’s resources. Islam is not a discernible factor in this development. Predatory regimes hinder economic growth with their rent-seeking policies that resort to arbitrary coercion, patronage, and tight control of markets. As soon as resource wealth is no longer able to keep up with population growth and thus imposes ever narrower limits on the strategy of co-opting potential opponents these regimes are confronted with mounting discontent. Against this background, a fundamentalist reading of Islam has become a powerful tool in the political mobilization of the various dissatisfied groups (the urban poor, the young intelligentsia, and the traditional petit bourgeoisie) into a (temporarily) united opposition movement. Its communitarian model of society appeals to those who have been uprooted and displaced by modernization. Furthermore, it has attained a sort of interpretive monopoly because all other ideologies presently available – notably those with socialist leanings – have failed. Only where repression foreclosed the path of mass mobilization did Islamist activists turn to terrorism as a strategy for challenging the regime. Terrorism became internationalized as a consequence of opportunity (Saudi-financed proselytism has created a transnational community of fundamentalist Muslims), need (effective repression at home), and a salient target (Western support for predatory regimes). In fact, the surge of Islamist terrorism heralds the decline of the Islamist ideology which is losing its appeal due to its trajectory of failures (Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan). However, the structural conditions that might give rise to a new surge of terrorism once the “right” ideology became available exist in various parts of the world, above all in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.

© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | net edition malte.michel | 1/2004