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Elite Consensus and Dissensus in West German Foreign Policy

  • David Broughton
Chapter

Abstract

The development of the Federal Republic of Germany into a democratic and stable polity can only be regarded as a remarkable achievement. The postwar political culture exhibits a cautiousness in both outlook and action; and it has provided the continuity needed to rebuild the country. In the absence of the Federal Republic’s remarkable political stability, its present economic power could not have been secured and sustained. The emphasis on the value of a broad consensus and the conciliation of divergent interests has been instrumental in the slow but sure conquering of the past. The political parties have been the key actors in this process, because the Grundgesetz (Basic Law) explicitly gives the parties the role of helping to form and represent public opinion.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Federal Republic Coalition Formation Grand Coalition Party System 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ursula Hoffman-Lange, ‘Changing Coalitional Preferences among West German Parties’, in Geoffrey Pridham (ed.), Coalitional Behaviour in Theory and Practice: An Inductive Model for Western Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) pp. 45–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Emil J. Kirchner, ‘Genscher and What Lies Behind “Genscherism”’, West European Politics, 13 (1990) pp. 349–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Helmut Norpoth, ‘The German Federal Republic: Coalition Government at the Brink of Majority Rule’, in Eric C. Browne and John Dreijamanis (eds), Government Coalitions in Western Democracies (London: Longman, 1982) pp. 7–32.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hans-Ulrich Derlien, ‘Continuity and Change in the West German Federal Executive Elite, 1949–1984’, European Journal of Political Research, 18 (1990) pp. 349–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Emil J. Kirchner and James Sperling 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Broughton

There are no affiliations available

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