Transformation and Continuity in German Foreign Policy from the End of the Cold War to Present
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According to the Constructivist IR theory, the most basic factors affecting a state’s behaviour are ideas, perceptions and interests. However, at this point, by a constructivist structure, interests are associated with ideas rather than material power, and interests in question are shaped within the scope of socially constructed ideas and perceptions. Hence, ideas, perceptions and interests may change in accordance with the present situation. At the same time, the Constructivist IR theory discusses roles and identities guided by ideas and perceptions. On this basis, this thesis argues whether Germany grounds on continuity in its foreign policy based on a ‘‘civilian power’’ concept starting from the end of the Cold War and reunification until today. In this context, the change/transformation and continuity of the guiding foreign policy principles which Germany constructed in the aftermath of the Second World War are also questioned. In the meantime, it is discussed whether or not Germany has diverged from being a ‘‘civilian power’’ by breaking the taboo of the restraint on military power, which is one of the cornerstones of its foreign policy within the frame of the out-of-area missions it has joined so far with a sense of international responsibility.