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Beyond the Swastikaby Peter O'brien
Synopses & Reviews
Since unification, fears of resurgent German nationalism have mounted. In particular, many believe United Germany is reverting to a xenophobic nationalist stance. Peter O'Brien argues that these fears are exaggerated. He documents in the Federal Republic's policies a longstanding, steadily increasing committment to the liberal principles of the Basic Law which protect foreigners against hostile German nationalism. The author goes on to criticize the very entrenched liberalism which holds German nationalism in check. He traces among West German political elites the appeal and uses of technocratic liberalism--an overzealous protection of German's liberal democracy which, paradoxically, preventss minority groups from achieving full rights of political participation.
Beyond the Swastika is both unconventional and orginal. Peter O'Brien resists the widespread alarmist temptation to distort the political influence of German nationalism and instead uncovers sources of inequality in German liberalism which have until now gone unnoticed.
The author of this volume argues that fears of a resurgent German nationalism are exaggerated. He highlights the "technocratic liberalism" of the elite, which, paradoxically, hinders full rights of political participation for minorities.
'A brilliant romp through West German postwar politics. The author shows how the crusading zeal of West German liberalism can lead to rather illiberal results when applied to backward foreign residents or, even worse, to East Germans.' --Peter H. Merkl, 'Univ. of California at Santa Barbara'
Includes bibliographical references (p. 129-132) and index.
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