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German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century

A Different Republic After All?

German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century by Ruth Wittlinger
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The national identity of West Germany – the Bonn Republic – was based on a consensus the main pillars of which were a legacy of Germany's Nazi past. In spite of numerous assurances by the political elites at the time of unification that united Germany would be characterised by continuity rather than change, two decades after the fall of the Wall the overall picture is rather different.

In order to illustrate the changes that have taken place, Ruth Wittlinger examines those areas which provide significant component parts of Germany's new identity. Her analysis focuses on the recent dynamics of collective memory of Germany's Nazi past, the question of 'inner unity' between east and west, the decline of the Modell Deutschland and its impact on German political culture, the new Germany in the enlarged European Union and, in more general terms, Germany's new foreign policy identity which has abandoned its traditional 'culture of restraint' and is characterised by a much more participatory approach to international affairs.

This book takes a fresh look at German national identity in the twenty-first century and shows that it has undergone considerable changes since unification in 1990. Due to the external pressures of the post-Cold War world but also due to domestic developments, Germany has re-emerged as a confident nation which is less hesitant to assert its national interest.
Palgrave Macmillan; October 2010
199 pages; ISBN 9780230290495
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Title: German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Ruth Wittlinger