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Introduction

  • Bernhard Blumenau
Chapter
  • 206 Downloads

Abstract

On Monday, 17 December 1979, the United Nations’ (UN) General Assembly (GA) unanimously adopted Resolution 34/146. Thus began the procedures whereby states could sign the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages (hereafter ‘Hostages Convention’), which had been negotiated at the United Nations for the past three years. At the same time as the resolution was adopted and the signatures were made, 52 US diplomats were being held hostage at the American embassy in Tehran, which highlighted the particular and contemporary importance of the convention. A West German initiative to fight hostage-taking, a project that had seen many ups and downs (probably more downs than ups), had successfully been adopted by the international community. A few days later, an elated West German ambassador to the UN, Rüdiger von Wechmar, would put his signature under the convention. It was a project that had been sceptically viewed by the majority of states ever since the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) introduced it to the UN in September 1976. Dealing with terrorism — hostage-taking being intimately linked to that practice — the critics had argued, would be too complicated for it ever to be possible to find the necessary majority of states to agree upon it. And indeed, prospects had been poor.

Keywords

Foreign Policy United Nations German Democratic Republic Safe Haven International Terrorism 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ben Saul, Defining Terrorism in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 213.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Given the lack of military power, this term, broadly understood and borrowed from Joseph Nye, probably defines the concept of German influence. See, for instance, J. S. Joseph Nye, Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: PublicAffairs, 2004).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    A good discussion of the term is provided in Peter Romaniuk, Multilateral Counter-Terrorism. The Global Politics of Cooperation and Contestation (Oxon: Routledge, 2010), 7–12.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Ben Golder and George Williams, ‘What Is “Terrorism”? Problems of Legal Definition’, University of New South Wales Law Journal 27, no. 2 (2004), 270–95Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Alex P. Schmid, ‘The Definition of Tenorism’, in The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research, (ed.) Alex P. Schmid (London, New York: Routledge, 2011), 39–98.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    David C. Rapoport, ‘The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism’, in Attacking Terrorism. Elements of A Grand Strategy, (ed.) Audrey Kurth Cronin and James M. Ludes (Washington, D. C: Georgetown University Press, 2004), 46–73Google Scholar
  7. 26.
    Klaus Weinhauer, ‘Terrorismus in der Bundesrepublik der Siebzigerjahre. Aspekte einer Sozial-und Kulturgeschichte der Inneren Sicherheit’, Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte 44, (2004), 219–42Google Scholar
  8. 43.
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  9. 49.
    Tobias Wunschik, ‘Aufstieg und Zerfall. Die zweite Generation der RAF’, in Die RAF: Entmythologisierung einer terroristischen Organisation, (ed.) Wolfgang Kraushaar (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2008), 174–99Google Scholar
  10. 55.
    See, for instance, Michael März, Die Machtprobe 1975: wie RAF und Bewegung 2. Juni den Staat erpressten (Leipzig: Forum Verlag, 2007).Google Scholar
  11. 56.
    Jilian Becker, Terrorism in West Germany. The Struggle for What? (London: Institute for the Study of Terrorism, 1988), 9.Google Scholar
  12. 79.
    Matthias Dahlke, ‘Nur eingeschränkte Krisenbereitschaft. Die staatliche Reaktion auf die Entführung des CDU-Politikers Peter Lorenz 1975’, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 55, no. 4 (2007), 641–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Christoph Rojahn, Extreme Right-wing Violence in Germany: The Political and Social Context (London: Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Tenorism, 1996), 5Google Scholar
  14. 96.
    Klaus von Beyme, ‘Right-wing Extremism in Post-war Europe’, WestEuropean Politics 11, no. 2 (1988), 1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 102.
    On the history of right-wing tenorism in Germany, and particularly for more information on the NSU, see Andrea Röpke and Andreas Speit, eds., Blut und Ehre. Geschichte und Gegenwart rechter Gewalt in Deutschland (Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag, 2013).Google Scholar
  16. 134.
    This is a basic feature of the German security system that still exists today. See Victor Mauer, ‘Germany’s Counterterrorism Policy’, in How States Fight Terrorism. Policy Dynamics in the West, (ed.) Doron Zimmermann and Andreas Wenger (London: Boulder 2007), 59–78Google Scholar
  17. 135.
    A more detailed account of the evolution of antiterrorism instruments and policies within West Germany can be found in Karrin Hanshew, Terror and Democracy in West Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 164.
    Walter Laqueur, ‘Reflections on Tenorism’, Foreign Affairs 65, no. 1 (1986–1987), 86–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Bernhard Blumenau 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Blumenau
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of International and Development StudiesGenevaSwitzerland

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