Germany and the European Union

This week we bring you the fourth in a series of podcasts on the “Political Cultures of the European Union”. The series of thirteen events was organized by Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, as part of the Institute for Human Sciences European Commission sponsored project “Getting to Know the European Union: European Culture(s) in Focus.” The lectures explore the diversity of political perceptions and traditions among the citizens and member states of the European Union, addressing philosophical issues as well as empirical ones.

As we have mentioned, we were only able to record six of these events and the quality of the recordings is not up to our usual standards; however, all of the discussions were extremely interesting, so we have opted to podcast the unedited recordings where available.

On November 2, 2009, Peter Pulzer, Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, discussed Germany’s interaction with the European Union and the process of its re-integration with the rest of the West in the years following World War II. After World War II, Germany desired to reassimilate into Europe. Membership in the European community provided Germany with a chance to redeem itself – to “serve out probation” as it were and try to prove its ethical character. Germany even turned down an invitation to NATO to display its new commitment to peace.  After 1989, Pulzer argued, Germany had proven its legitimacy and was no longer on “probation.” He suggested that Germany has since become a key leader and decision-maker.

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