Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Decoupling: German Public Diplomacy and Unification (디커플링 - 독일 공공외교와 문화교류의 원칙 그리고 통일)

Eun-Jeung Lee – 2014

In West Germany after the World War II a number of institutions werecreated in order to promote communication and exchange with peoples in foreign countries. Politically, these institutions, which nowadays would be considered as part of “public diplomacy”, were decoupled from day-to-day foreign policy of the German government and pursued their own agenda. The pluralism of actors and their autonomy are the specific characteristics of West German “public diplomacy” after World War II. This approach to “public diplomacy” decoupled and uncontrolled by diplomacy seems to contribute much to the high reputation of Germany in foreign countries, which recently came to light in a BBC global poll. This paper focusses on the principle of decoupling in the relations between West and East Germany. Even in the face of adverse political conditions in and relations between the two countries, cultural, social and economic exchanges could be sustained continuously over 40 years of division due to decoupling. In this case too, as is true of most forms of communication and exchange, it is practically impossible to predict and measure the impacts of such exchanges in a satisfactory way, in particular when there are many actors with very diverse agendas. Yet, in hindsight, it is quite clear that West German decoupling helped mutual understanding of the people and played an important role in the creation of conditions favourable to German unification. East Germans considered, long before unification, West Germany to be an alternative to their own system. Therefore it should be worth the effort to give some serious consideration to the meaning and role of decoupling in foreign relations.

Decoupling: German Public Diplomacy and Unification (디커플링 - 독일 공공외교와 문화교류의 원칙 그리고 통일)
Erschienen in
담론201, 17권 3호 (2014). pp 59-84.