The GDR’s Deutschlandpolitik in the Early 1980s: Bloc Integration and the Search for Autonomy
The GDR’s security and foreign policy, including its Deutschlandpolitik, has to be analyzed within the context of hegemonic Soviet global strategies — either cooperative or confrontational — for maintaining peace, power and influence, world-wide and in Europe. The GDR’s Deutschlandpolitik is a central and very sensitive part of the overall European policy of the Warsaw Pact countries. It is under close watch by the superpowers, and more or less supported by the smaller countries whose own interests are not always in accordance with those of the GDR. The GDR’s Deutschlandpolitik can only make a positive contribution to the autonomy of its system in so far as the goals and interests, the strategy and tactics of the Eastern alliance are accepted in general. It enhances the autonomy and the legitimacy of its political system the most, perhaps, when it follows a line of détente and dialogue: that of fruitful cooperation and visible advantages for its citizens, of an independent standing in pressing for rapid progress in disarmament and in arms control negotiations, of reluctance to increase the defense budget or the GDR’s burden within the Warsaw Pact, and of avoiding excessive hostile propaganda and internal repression.
KeywordsForeign Policy Security Policy German State Eastern Bloc Economic Autonomy
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