The extraordinary achievement of German reunification in 1990 merits a separate discussion because of its continuing impact on German thinking about Russia. The dramatic events of 1989–90 offered hope to Germans who had been on the front line of the Cold War of a new peaceful era in a unified country in an undivided Europe. Gorbachev’s acquiescence to reunification and post-Soviet Russia’s acceptance of it pointed to an era of stability and harmony in Germany’s relations with Russia, and an unprecedented opportunity for Germany to feel at peace with itself
1 The horror of the Nazi past in the reunification present: Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantiks We are separated from yesterday not by a yawning abyss, but by the same situation. (Camus) Everyone bears the guilt for everything, but if everyone knew that, we would have paradise on earth. (Dostoyevsky) These two epigraphs, from the opening and closing titles of Yesterday Girl (1966), Alexander Kluge’s pioneering work of Young German Cinema, provide an entirely apposite introduction to the concerns of this book; for here I will explore two recent works of experimental
This volume discusses the history, culture and social conditions of one of the less well-known periods of ancient Egypt, the Saite or 26th Dynasty (664–525 BC). In the 660s BC Egypt was a politically fragmented and occupied country. This is an account of how Psamtek I, a local ruler from Sais in northern Egypt, declared independence from its overlord, the Assyrian Empire, and within ten years brought about the reunification of the country after almost four hundred years of disunity and periods of foreign domination. Over the next century and a half, the Saite rulers were able to achieve stability and preserve Egypt’s independence as a sovereign state against powerful foreign adversaries. Central government was established, a complex financial administration was developed and Egypt’s military forces were reorganised. The Saites successfully promoted foreign trade, peoples from different countries settled in Egypt and Egypt recovered a prominent role in the Mediterranean world. There were innovations in culture, religion and technology, and Egypt became prosperous. This era was a high-achieving one and is often neglected in the literature devoted to ancient Egypt. Egypt of the Saite Pharaohs, 664–525 BC reveals the dynamic nature of the period, the astuteness of the Saite rulers and their considerable achievements in the political, economic, administrative and cultural spheres.
History overshadows Germany’s relations with Russia today, greatly complicating Berlin’s efforts to design effective policies to manage the challenge posed by Russia to Europe’s stability. This book examines the impact of Germans’ intense and dramatic relationship with Russia going back centuries to explain the failure of Berlin’s Russia policy after 1991. It focused heavily on ‘soft’ power by promoting people to people contacts and encouraging trade. Grateful for Moscow’s blessing of reunification and anxious to avoid confrontation, German policymakers ignored Russia’s drift to authoritarianism, its growing confidence fuelled by high commodity prices and its gradual alienation from Europe. Confrontation was inevitable once Russia no longer felt bound by the security principles that ended the Cold War. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a deep shock to the German elites. It caused a sharp shift in Russia policy as Chancellor Merkel led a European response to stabilise Ukraine, which included imposing economic sanctions on Russia. However, true to its old instincts, Germany continued to promote energy cooperation with Russia and even supported the expansion of a gas pipeline from Germany to Russia that was damaging to Ukraine. The book discusses these policies and their outcomes and argues that the economic relationship is overstated and camouflages the true state of overall relations. The analysis also considers the issue of Russian influence in Germany and the dangers it poses. The book concludes that Germany needs to think strategically about Russia and to define policy goals based on interests not emotions.
This book explores the ways in which the unashamedly disturbing conventions of international horror cinema allow audiences to engage with the traumatic legacy of the recent past in a manner that has serious implications for the ways in which we conceive of ourselves both as gendered individuals and as members of a particular nation-state. Exploring a wide range of stylistically distinctive and generically diverse film texts, its analysis ranges from the body horror of the American 1970s to the avant-garde proclivities of German Reunification horror, from the vengeful supernaturalism of recent Japanese chillers and their American remakes to the post-Thatcherite masculinity horror of the UK and the resurgence of hillbilly horror in the period following 9/11 USA. In each case, it is argued that horror cinema forces us to look again at the wounds inflicted on individuals, families, communities and nations by traumatic events such as genocide and war, terrorist outrage and seismic political change, wounds that are all too often concealed beneath ideologically expedient discourses of national cohesion. Thus proffering a radical critique of the nation-state and the ideologies of identity it promulgates, horror cinema is seen to offer us a disturbing, yet perversely life affirming, means of working through the traumatic legacy of recent times.
This book offers an overview of the principal features of the German political system. It emphasises four important characteristics of the system: the way in which twentieth-century history shaped the post-Second World War political system; the stability and adaptability of that system; the unusual importance within the political system of legal rules; and the significance of Germany's association with European integration. The book surveys the Basic Law, designed in 1948-1949 as a direct response to the failure of Germany's first experiment with democracy: the regime of the Weimar Republic. The book describes the events of the fateful years 1989 and 1990, which led to reunification, in three phases: the downfall of the old regime in the German Democratic Republic; the period of adjustment and transition to a democratic regime in Germany; and the process and consequences of reunification itself. The book also examines the principal influences which have shaped the present-day political system, the electoral system and electoral behaviour of the Federal Republic, and the features of the 'party state'. It reviews the structure, operation and political effects of Germany's particular version of federalism and analyses the core institutions of government. The structure and powers of the legislative chambers, the legislative process, and the role of the elected representative are also discussed. Finally, the book charts the path taken by West Germany to develop links to 'Europe', and explores the ways in which membership of what has become the European Union impinges upon the domestic politics of the Federal Republic.
appreciate how the reunification of the two parts of Germany came about, and what the effects of such reunification have been. The events of the fateful years 1989 and 1990, which led to reunification, can be examined in three phases: the downfall of the old regime in the GDR; the period of adjustment and transition to a democratic regime in that country; and the process and consequences of reunification itself. The decline and fall of the communist regime in the GDR Though there had been various expressions of dissent during the lifetime of the GDR, and especially in
country admits is also determined by the extent to which ‘non-discretionary immigration’ can be controlled (OECD 2006: 112–25). This ‘non-discretionary immigration’ includes reunification by immediate and extended family members, inflows of immigrants across free movement zones and humanitarian immigration. In many countries, non-discretionary immigration comprises the bulk of immigration intake and reducing such immigration has proven politically challenging. In the United States, for instance, attempts to reduce non-discretionary immigration and increase skilled
federal Chancellor. SPD and Green Party coalition takes office. 23 May 1999 Johannes Rau (SPD) elected as federal President. 22 September 2002 Bundestag election. SPD and Greens continue as governing coalition. The division and reunification of Germany 8 May 1945 Unconditional surrender of Germany ends Second World War
context and claim that, alongside the Bundestag and Bundesrat, the chancellor, the federal president, the Constitutional Court and the federal system, they are organs of the state, and not just a set of extra-constitutional voluntary organisations. The structure of the party system The party system of the Federal Republic prior to reunification in 1990 consisted of four parties with representation in the Bundestag: the Christian Democrats; 3 the SPD; the FDP and the Greens. In addition, a variety of smaller parties existed, few of which were ever of any