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British-German Relations and the European Question: A Complexity Approach


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Ludwig, Andreas N.:
British-German Relations and the European Question: A Complexity Approach.
Veranstaltung: 42nd Annual Conference of the British International Studies Association, 14.-16. Juni 2017, Brighton, Vereinigtes Königreich.
(Veranstaltungsbeitrag: Kongress/Konferenz/Symposium/Tagung, Paper)


While complexity thinking (CT) has slowly found its way to International Relations’ (IR) cutting-edge discussions, its application in research remains on the margins. This is especially true for the often neglected analysis of bilateral relations. In a first step, this paper reminds the reader of the origins of CT and summarises its key concepts. It then proposes a new approach to the study of bilateral dynamics: Drawing on CT, it intends to complexify relations research by conceiving a bilateral constellation as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Highlighting the nonlinear, contingent interaction of individuals, internal and external factors in a particular historical context, these considerations are further applied to the analysis of macro changes in a bilateral system. The example of British-German relations and one of its critical junctures, the period at the end of the Cold War (1987-1990), illustrate this complexity-informed research design and exposes that British-German relations witnessed signs of transformation long before the often discussed episode of German reunification. It argues that these shifted the bilateral focus mainly to the again sharpened divergence about the future shape of European integration. An ongoing dissent to which British-German relations have not adapted and which increasingly stresses them in recent years.

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Publikationsform:Veranstaltungsbeitrag (unveröffentlicht): Kongress/Konferenz/Symposium/Tagung, Paper
Institutionen der Universität:Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät > Politikwissenschaft > Lehrstuhl für Internationale Beziehungen
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 24. Apr 2018 14:36
Letzte Änderung: 24. Apr 2018 14:36
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