Germany and European Integration Since 1945

Kiran Klaus Patel

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Germany and European Integration Since 1945

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  • History
  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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Germany and the integration of Europe since 1945 is the main focus of this article. Finding its place in Europe and defining what its Europe should be is a leitmotif of Germany's history. Long before the twentieth century, its central position and size raised the question of how both Germany and Europe could be organized in a constructive, stable, and peaceful way that would work for Germans, as well as for their neighbors. In a basically chronological manner, this article analyzes the sea-shift in Germany's relationship to Europe since 1945, understanding ‘Europe’ not as a vague cultural or geographical entity, but rather as institutionalized forms of political and economic integration with a European focus. An analysis of West Germany as a post-national democracy untill the two Germanies reunites in 1990 concludes this article.

Keywords: Germany; European integration; geographical entity; political integration; democracy

Article.  10230 words. 

Subjects: History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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