Since its inception in 1949, the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany has been driven by its rejection of Germany’s militarist and expansionist past and its integration into Western liberal democratic institutions. The catastrophic consequences of National Socialism, war, and defeat led to a fundamental revision of Germany’s political identity and therefore produced an entirely new foreign policy. This policy built on the constraints imposed on Germany by occupation and the Cold War, but used them shrewdly to promote (West) Germany’s own objectives of rehabilitation, prosperity, security, peace, and, eventually, reunification. The resulting ‘grand strategy’ or foreign policy role concept has often been described as that of a ‘civilian power’, built around three central guidelines: ‘never again’, ‘never alone’, and ‘politics before force’. This chapter explores (West) German foreign policies towards Israel, towards pan-European security cooperation, and in the context of the United Nations. It also looks at Germany’s role in world trade. (Relations with the United States and NATO are covered by Chapter 26, while Chapters 20-22 focus on Germany’s policies in and towards the European Union.)

When the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) were founded in 1949, the two German states were products of the Cold War, created by the competing foreign and security policies of the two new superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union (Hanrieder 1989: 37-42; Haftendorn 2006: 9-17). The ‘two Germanies’ had no policy options outside the confines of the East-West conflict, as defined by their respective founding powers, whose political and economic systems they were obliged to replicate. Their political sovereignty, one of the essential assets of independent statehood, was heavily com - promised, and the other two most fundamental foreign policy objectives of any state, prosperity and security, were to be achieved through integration into the respective military and economic alliance systems built up by the two superpowers: NATO, the European Com munity, and the international economic order of Bretton Woods for West Germany (Hanrieder 1989; Von Bredow 2006: 82-90), the Warsaw Pact and Comecon for East Germany (Scholtyseck 2003: 80-5). The fourth principal foreign policy concern of any state, territorial integrity, above all

implied unification of the two German states, but also raised other issues (such as the Sarre (Saarland) region held by France, or the eastern parts of Germany in 1937, now absorbed into the Soviet Union and Poland).