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A State of Peace in Europe West Germany and the CSCE, 1966-1975 by Petri Hakkarainen

A State of Peace in Europe West Germany and the CSCE, 1966-1975

Part of the Contemporary European History Series


A State of Peace in Europe West Germany and the CSCE, 1966-1975 by Petri Hakkarainen

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s West German foreign policy underwent substantial transformations: from bilateral to multilateral, from reactive to proactive. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) was an ideal setting for this evolution, enabling the Federal Republic to take the lead early on in Western preparations for the conference and to play a decisive role in the actual East - West negotiations leading to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. Based on extensive original research of recently released documents, spanning more than fifteen archives in eight countries, this study is a substantial contribution to scholarly discussions on the history of detente, the CSCE and West German foreign policy. The author stresses the importance of looking beyond the bipolarity of the Cold War decades and emphasizes the interconnectedness of European integration and European detente. He highlights the need to place the genesis of the CSCE conference in its historical context rather than looking at it through the prism of the events of 1989, and shows that the bilateral and multilateral elements (Ostpolitik and the CSCE) were parallel rather than successive phenomena, parts of the same complex process and in constant interaction with each other.


In a balanced way the author blends German views with those from Britain, France, and the United States, using these countries
official documents as well. His book represents a very serious piece of scholarship and is interesting to read. It excels with a novel hypothesis, a very careful use of varied archival sources, and an ability not to lose his argument in the wealth of material.

* Helga Haftendorn, Free University, Berlin

I don't know of any other book that deals so thoroughly with German CSCE policy in the years described here - The author has done a vast amount of research, using documents from different archives and different countries - While he is of course not the first scholar to write about the origins of the CSCE, the author does contribute new elements and interpretations to the topic.

* Benedikt Schonborn, University of Tampere, Centre for Advanced Study

About the Author

Petri Hakkarainen received his doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford in 2008. In 2009 he was awarded the Willy Brandt Prize for the advancement of outstanding young scholars by the Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation. He joined the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2006 and currently works at the Finnish Embassy in Berlin.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th January 2012


Petri Hakkarainen

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Berghahn Books


304 pages


European history



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