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Civilian Power Status Questioned: The Curious Case of Post-Unification German Foreign Policy Toward Iran

KINTZINGER, STOWE,ANDREW (2019) Civilian Power Status Questioned: The Curious Case of Post-Unification German Foreign Policy Toward Iran. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



By approaching post-unification German foreign policy toward Iran from an original, civilian power perspective, this thesis not only offers a new way of explaining the relationship, but considers, for the first time, the wider implications of this relationship for prevailing understandings of German foreign policy and interest.

Despite concern that with unification, Germany would return to rationalist and materialist aims in its foreign policy, instead, the prevailing characterisation remains one of ostensible continuity as a civilian power. Notwithstanding the prevalence of this explanation, existing literature has advanced a fundamental question regarding the extent to which Germany remains a civilian power, or is, in fact, pursuing an increasingly normalised approach to foreign policy. In this manner, case studies of German foreign policy, identity, and interest, capable of addressing this issue, are of particular value.

Although German foreign policy towards Iran is prominent, it remains greatly under-evaluated, and has never been substantively addressed from any theoretical or analytical perspective, despite appearing to challenge civilian power understandings of Germany’s foreign policy and interest.

In approaching this case from a civilian power perspective, this thesis not only advances a new way of understanding Germany’s relationship with Iran, but critically, it considers the extent to which this relationship may, in fact, problematize wider, prevailing understandings, of post-unification German foreign policy, identity, and interest, as a civilian power.

Ultimately, by addressing Germany’s relationship with Iran from this new perspective, this thesis makes an original and significant contribution to knowledge, by demonstrating that contrary to prevailing, civilian power explanations, Germany’s foreign policy towards Iran is primarily explained by economic interests, albeit with a crucial, civilian power contingency, to ensure diplomatic solutions to conflict and avoidance of using force.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Germany, Iran, German-Iranian Relations, German Foreign Policy, German Politics, Civilian Power, Berlin Republic, Economics, Trade, International Relations, Human Rights, European Union, Transatlantic Relations, German-American Relations, Europe-Iran Relations, Foreign Policy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Mar 2020 08:37

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