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German Foreign Policy: Navigating a New Era

Scott Erb
German Foreign Policy: Navigating a New Era
ISBN: 978-1-58826-168-7
2003/272 pages/LC: 2003041367

"Erb weave[s] a serious theoretical argument into an historical narrative in a way that gives the reader a solid grasp of more then 50 years of German foreign policy.... [He] has made an extremely useful contribution."—Emil Nagengast, Perspectives on Politics

"A stimulating assessment of German foreign polic and its underlying elements of continuity.... Erb's book deserves attention both for its survey of German foreign policy since the 1940s and for its interpretation of this record and its possible implications."—Roger Morgan, International Affairs

"Erb offers an intriguing view of Germany as a postmodern state.... an important contribution to the international relations literature."—Randall E. Newnham, Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus


Despite an array of predictions that Germany's foreign policy would be unable to adapt easily to the postunification, post–Cold War environment, it has in fact remained effective, even as it evolves in response to myriad challenges. Scott Erb analyzes German policy, with an emphasis on the transitions from 1980 to the present.

Erb argues that Germany's success in dealing with a rapidly changing world rests on principles of multilateralism and cooperative institution building developed during the Cold War. These principles are especially well suited now, he finds, as interdependence and turbulence bring traditional notions of sovereignty and self-interest into question. Germany, he concludes, offers a sound model of foreign policy in an age of globalization.


Scott Erb is associate professor of political science and chair of the International Studies Program at the University of Maine at Farmington.


  • The Puzzle of German Foreign Policy.
  • The Double Consensus: West German Foreign Policy, 1945-1980.
  • Missiles and Protests: The Early 1980s.
  • Uniting Germany and Ending the Cold War,1985-1990.
  • Uniting Europe: Germany and Integration,1985-2002.
  • Security and Conflict After the Cold War: From Iraq to Macedonia.
  • Terrorism and German Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Century.
  • Foreign Policy in Era of Globalization: The German Model.