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Political relations between the two German states, 1979–1989

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posted on 12.01.2018, 16:09 authored by Sarah L. Matthews
The thesis discusses the development of German–German relations in the 1980s in terms of their interaction with the overall East–West climate. An examination of the basic positions of the major parties in the two German states on Deutschlandpolitik since 1949 establishes the domestic parameters within which the governments had to conduct their relations in the 1980s. The international framework for those relations was created by the conclusion of a series of treaties in the early 1970s within the process of detente. The treaties the Federal Republic concluded with the East European states and the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe are therefore evaluated. An outline of the onset of the second Cold War considers the issues of rearmament, nuclear parity, crises in the developing world and the economic situation in Eastern Europe, and their relative roles in the deterioration of the superpower relationship. The main focus of the thesis investigates whether the two German states were able to counter East–West confrontation and play a constructive role in continuing and developing the detente process. By assessing the development of German–German relations in the early 1980s, it is possible to determine how much room for manoeuvre the two German states were able to develop, independent of their alliance leaders, and whether this provided them with sufficient influence to act as a facton for the preservation of peace in Europe. The period after 1985 is examined in the same light, with a consideration of whether the apparent synchronisation of German–German and superpower relations relieved the two German states of their function as champions of dialogue. Within this context, the development of a security dimension in German–German relations is explored, and emphasis is given to the role of the SPD and SED in this sphere.



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies


© Sarah Louise Matthews

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.



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