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Main German question: the evolution of the FRG's multilateral policy of detente in a decade of major crises and changes, 1975-1985

Varotto, Paola (2015) Main German question: the evolution of the FRG's multilateral policy of detente in a decade of major crises and changes, 1975-1985. Advisor: Varsori, Prof. Antpnio. Coadvisor: Bonfreschi, Dott. Lucia . pp. 278. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the evolution of the FRG’s multilateral policy of détente between 1975 and 1985. During this decade Cold War relations went through major crises and changes which affected directly political balances in Europe. This work investigates how Bonn’s federal government – and the Auswärtiges Amt in particular – rethought its détente strategy after the conclusion of the first Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Helsinki in order to adapt it to changing international conditions. It highlights the increasing importance of the CSCE process within the West German broader international strategy towards the Western allies and the Eastern partners. The FRG’s CSCE policy during the first half of the Seventies has commonly been described as a completion or multilateral guarantee of Bonn’s bilateral Eastern policy (Ostpolitik). Its development after the 1975 signing of the Helsinki Final Act has been largely overlooked by historical research. This thesis aims at offering a new interpretation of its later evolution. It argues that the CSCE process affirmed itself after 1975 as a FRG’s priority foreign political domain. Undoubtedly, Bonn’s efforts to rescue multilateral détente in the late Seventies-early Eighties were directed to shelter the prosecution of its bilateral cooperation with the East from escalating Cold War tensions. However, pursuing a proactive CSCE policy became increasingly important per se. Indeed, the series of conferences on security and cooperation in Europe offered the adequate diplomatic framework wherein Bonn could chase its national interests and foreign political ambitions, in years in which the FRG was called to greater international responsibilities and was trying to emerge as a more influent political actor on the global stage. Based on a foreign policy-centred approach, this thesis is the result of the careful investigation of a wide range of primary sources from the Political Archive of the German Federal Foreign Office, as well as of newspapers articles from the Seventies and Eighties. The work offers a contribution to the study of West German foreign policy and Cold War history during the decade which paved the way to the important transformations of the late Eighties.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
PhD Course: Political Science and Institutional Change
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/174
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 09:49
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/174

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