Living with Europe: Power, Constraint, and Contestation

Kenneth Dyson and Klaus H. Goetz

in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Living with Europe: Power, Constraint, and Contestation

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines the concept of Europeanization and uses it to explore the changing relationship between Germany and the EU. It argues in favour of understanding ‘Europeanization’ as a complex, interactive ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ process in which domestic polities, politics, and public policies are shaped by European integration and in which domestic actors use this integration to shape the domestic arena. Europeanization may produce either continuity or change and potentially variable and contingent outcomes. Previous work has stressed the capacity of Germany to shape European integration through the use of ‘soft’ power; the coincidence of enabling and restrictive effects arising from progressive integration; and harmonious co-existence and co-evolution between the German political system and the EU level. However, a focus on Europeanization provides grounds for re-examining the conventional wisdom about the domestic conditioning and effects of integration. The chapter highlights how momentous changes in the European integration process are combining with domestic changes, summarized as the transition from the ‘Bonn Republic’ to the ‘Berlin Republic’, to situate Germany as part of a shrinking core and as marked by declining ‘soft’ power.

Keywords: Europeanization; Germany; EU; soft power; European integration

Chapter.  14016 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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