Translating Economics into Politics in Cold War Germany
Abstract:Economics and economic history have a fundamental role to play in our understanding of Cold War Germany. Yet, it is still difficult to establish concrete links between economic phenomena and the most important questions facing post 1945 historians. Obviously, one may evaluate West Germany's “economic miracle,” the success of western European integration, or the end of communism in 1989 from a purely economic point of view. To achieve a deeper understanding of Cold War Germany, however, one must evaluate whether the social market economy represented an adequate response to Nazism, if memory and perspective provided the decisive impulse for European integration, or if the Cold War ended in Europe because of changes in western nuclear strategy. Economic history operates in relation to politics, culture, and historical memory. The parameters for economic action are often as determined by the given political culture of the moment, as they are by the feasibility of alternative economic philosophies.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2007
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- German Politics and Society is a joint publication of the BMW Center for German and European Studies (of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University) and all North American universities associated with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
A peer-reviewed journal, it is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies. It provides a forum for critical analysis and debate about politics, history, film, literature, visual arts, and popular culture in contemporary Germany. Every issue also includes contributions by renowned scholars commenting on recent books about Germany.
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