THE FORMATIVE DEBATES AND ARGUMENTS SUSTAINING GERMANY’S SUPRANATIONALISM: A Rhetorical History of Political and Economic Ideas

Author: Ruppert, Bryan
Year:2009
Pages:320
ISBN:0-7734-4679-6
978-0-7734-4679-3
Price:219.95
Germany holds a special place among those driving forward the idea of a United States of Europe. Its constitution not only enables the nation state to transfer sovereignty to supranational institutions, it directs the state to incorporate international law into domestic law and to pursue a course of European integration. This comparatively unique feature of Germany’s Basic Law results from the country’s experience with National Socialism, which led to a fundamental reappraisal of a deeply-rooted faith in the state as the ultimate vehicle for human political, economic and social organization.

Reviews

“To see the whole picture, we have to step out of the frame. This book invites those outside the frame to step into it. Its author, a German-American dual national, born and raised in the United States and subsequently educated in Germany and the United Kingdom, walks his readers through the mythologies and historiography of Germany’s post-war political elites. Much of the first-hand material included here has not been published in English before. It offers its readers a unique glimpse inside the frame and, it is hoped, will diminish anxieties and reduce confusion about Germany’s reliability on the world stage by engendering a contextualized understanding of, and appreciation for, the choices Germany makes in an uncertain world.” – Prof. Werner Weidenfeld, Ludwig-Maximilians-University

“Ruppert’s investigative textual analysis reveals a critical historical narrative that is far too little known in the Anglo-American world, where explanation has been dominated by economistic reasoning. It carries a great deal of explanatory force and contributes to the growing body of evidence that culture, too, must be taken into account when analyzing the genesis and pursuit of state policy. It helps us understand why the then German government was able to support intervention in Afghanistan, but not in Iraq, and why Chancellor Angela Merkel, like her predecessors, is so firmly committed to the European Constitution. It provides important constants to consider in predicting German action and reaction on the international stage.” – Prof. William E Paterson OBE, Birmingham University
“Much of this material has remained in German archives, untranslated and hence inaccessible to a wider, English-speaking academy. Ruppert’s translations are faithful and, where necessary, he provides further contextual information. He is thus able to demonstrate that language is a chronicler, a creator and a sustainer of ideas crucially shaping policy trajectories.” – Prof. Wilfried van der Will, University of Birmingham

Table of Contents

Foreword Prof. h.c. Werner Weidenfeld
Acknowledgements
1. The German constitution and commitments to Europeanism and international law
Constitutionally-embedded internationalism and Europeanism
Level 1 — an adherence to international law
Level 2 — an enabler to transfer sovereignty
Level 3 — a directive to pursue international cooperation and European integration
The uniqueness of Germany’s starting position
2. The German resistance and Europe
‘True patriots’ and the approach to Europe — the case of German conservatives
Revisionism
Benevolent hegemony
Recognizing new realities
Towards the recovery of a European identity — centre-left intellectuals in the Kreisau Circle
An historical appraisal of European identity
Rejecting revisionism in favor of political and economic integration
3. German exiles and Europe
Isolation and fragmentation — the SPD and the KPD in the 1930s
The Sopade
Communists in exile
Towards pockets of consensus in the early 1940s
The International Group of Democratic Socialists in Sweden
The Council for a Democratic Germany in the United States
The Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain
4. Europe in the public-political discourse of the immediate postwar period
Fundamental concepts
Democracy and federalism
Capitalism, socialism and socialization
Limiting the power of the state
Human rights
The rule of law (national and international)
Creating a higher order in Europe
Defining Europe
Analyzing history
Building European solidarity and setting concrete proposals for a European framework
5. Europe in the party-political discourse of the immediate postwar period
Historical analyses and conceptual starting points
Rejecting nationalism and limiting state power
Political and economic models
Consensus on the need for a European framework
A community of interests in the European battleground of competing worldviews
Ensuring equality and pursuing union
6. Early constitutional drafts and the constitutional convention at Herrenchiemsee
Early drafts
Party and multiparty drafts
Levels of commitment
Länder constitutions
The constitutional convention
7. The Parliamentary Council and the Basic Law of 1949
Levels 1 and 2 — Art. 25 and Art. 24
International law
Transfer of sovereignty
Level 3 — preamble
8. The Basic Law as a tool for consolidating European and international policy objectives in German political culture post-unification
Consolidating European policy objectives
New European policy objectives within a constitutional framework
An awareness of historical continuities
Consolidating international policy objectives
Appendix 1 A commitment to international law in the constitutional texts of EU member states
Appendix 2 An enabler to transfer sovereignty in the constitutional texts of EU member states
Appendix 3 A directive to pursue general international cooperation or specifically European integration in the constitutional texts of EU member states
Bibliography
Index