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A State of Peace in Europe

A State of Peace in Europe: West Germany and the CSCE, 1966-1975

Petri Hakkarainen
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    A State of Peace in Europe
    Book Description:

    From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s West German foreign policy underwent substantial transformations: from bilateral to multilateral, from reactive to proactive. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) was an ideal setting for this evolution, enabling the Federal Republic to take the lead early on in Western preparations for the conference and to play a decisive role in the actual East-West negotiations leading to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. Based on extensive original research of recently released documents, spanning more than fifteen archives in eight countries, this study is a substantial contribution to scholarly discussions on the history of detente, the CSCE and West German foreign policy. The author stresses the importance of looking beyond the bipolarity of the Cold War decades and emphasizes the interconnectedness of European integration and European detente. He highlights the need to place the genesis of the CSCE conference in its historical context rather than looking at it through the prism of the events of 1989, and shows that the bilateral and multilateral elements (Ostpolitik and the CSCE) were parallel rather than successive phenomena, parts of the same complex process and in constant interaction with each other.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-294-8
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
    (pp. viii-x)
  2. Chapter 1 Introduction: Era of Negotiations
    (pp. 1-16)

    In his seminal work on the German role in Europe during the Cold War division, Timothy Garton Ash points out that an attempt to fairly characterise the CSCE³ position of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) would be a ‘mammoth’, bordering on a ‘virtually impossible’ task.⁴ Admittedly, Garton Ash’s comment refers to the entire duration of what became known as the Helsinki Process, whereas the focus here is restricted to the prehistory of the conference, with only the final chapter addressing the CSCE proper and its multilateral preparations. But the task is nonetheless ambitious.

    This book analyses the role of...

  3. Chapter 2 1966–69: Incubation of Strategies
    (pp. 17-66)

    By early 1967 at the latest, all the major parties in Bonn had come to understand that the foreign policy pursued until then was only pushing the FRG into self-inflicted isolation – not only in the East, but also in the West. Instead of stubbornly holding on to the so-called Hallstein Doctrine, a new, more flexible approach towards the East, and especially towards the other German state, was badly needed.³ The partners of the Grand Coalition, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), as well as the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), now in opposition, were each eagerly discussing...

  4. Chapter 3 1969–70: Bilateral Leverages and European Security
    (pp. 67-107)

    The pace of West German foreign policy during the first year of the Brandt Government was breathtaking to say the least. Before the end of 1970, the Federal Republic had concluded two cornerstone agreements of its bilateralOstpolitik– the Moscow Treaty with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Treaty with Poland. Official negotiating contacts had also been opened with the GDR, albeit so far with meagre results. On top of that, the Ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union had started their negotiations on the status of Berlin. All these new leaps forward...

  5. Chapter 4 1970–71: Transition to Western Multilateralism
    (pp. 108-141)

    At a high-level Anglo-German meeting in December 1970, the Deputy Under Secretary of the FCO, Sir Thomas Brimelow, told his West German interlocutors that in his view the FRG held the keys to the CSCE: ‘The Federal Government were the judges on Berlin and were conducting the inner-German talks. All questions regarding a European security conference were therefore dependent on the Federal Government’s view.’³ In identifying the potential for a West German lead within the West in CSCE matters, Sir Thomas was certainly not mistaken. As I will argue in this chapter, however, the consequences of this position in Bonn...

  6. Chapter 5 1971–72: Towards a European Peace Order?
    (pp. 142-211)

    In September 1971 at the very latest, the CSCE ceased to be a theoretical construction looming in the distant future. The signature of the quadripartite Berlin Agreement had fulfilled one further Western precondition set for the conference, and the opening of the multilateral preparatory talks (MPT) was increasingly imminent. Although complementary agreements were still needed for the Berlin Agreement to enter into force, this was only a question of time. As it became apparent even to the staunchest of sceptics that the process towards a CSCE could no longer be halted, the policy of the Federal Republic accelerated its shift,...

  7. Chapter 6 1972–75: Deutschlandpolitik at the Conference
    (pp. 212-245)

    When the multilateral preparatory talks (MPT) were opened in November 1972, none of the participants seated in the Dipoli conference hall in Espoo, on the outskirts of the Finnish capital Helsinki, can have foreseen how long a road they had just embarked on. The Dipoli talks alone lasted from 22 November 1972 to 8 June 1973. Divided into four intense and at times difficult rounds, these preparatory talks ultimately led to an agreement on the agenda, structure and rules of procedure for the actual conference. This final product of the MPT, the twenty-page Helsinki Final Recommendations, or the ‘Blue Book’,...

  8. Chapter 7 Conclusion: Evolution Instead of Revolution
    (pp. 246-257)

    This book has charted the prehistory of the CSCE from the viewpoint of the Federal Republic. As outlined in the introduction, the main aim has been to analyse the role of the FRG in the intra-Western preparations of the conference, with the final chapter focusing on the practical implementation of these preparations in the conference. At the same time, an attempt has been made to participate in and contribute to broader scholarly discussions on the history of détente, of the CSCE and of West German foreign policy. This conclusion first summarises each of the preceding chapters, and then moves on...

  9. Sources and Bibliography
    (pp. 258-274)