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State, nation, nationalism and borders in the Danish-German relationship 1820-2020

State, nation, nationalism and borders in the Danish-German relationship 1820-2020 is the first of the four main themes, that will be addressed at the MatchPoints Seminar 2020. This particular theme has these sessions:

Border Issues prior to and after 1871

Chair: Professor Steen Bo Frandsen, University of Southern Denmark
Invited speaker: Associate Professor Jes Fabricius Møller, University of Copenhagen

The proclamation of the German Empire in 1871 following the spectacular military triumph over France changed the balance of power in Europe. A new centre emerged in the middle of the continent. As a consequence of the Prussian dominated Reichsgründung, the new German state became associated with military power and economic strength. The traditional picture of a Kulturnation composed of many small states was fading. A growing German self-confidence was met with a stronger reserve by the neighbouring countries, and the nation-building process demanded a clarification of physical and mental borders: Political, economical and cultural borders were re-invented, kinship and relations redefined. In this session, we wish to address the changing map of Europe between 1871 and the First World War.

Issues of interest include but are not limited to:

  • The changing cultural relations and the growing reluctance between the neighbours resulting in a new kind of division between Nordic and German.
  • The new border regions between regionalisation and nationalisation after 1871
  • Centre-periphery relations and the new meaning of "big" and "small" as a defining characteristic in the relations between Germany and its European neighbours
  • The importance of continuities and path dependencies in the relations between Germany and Denmark and other neighbouring countries after 1871

German-Nordic relations and the Re-making of the European Order after 1919

Chair: Associate Professor Karen Gram-Skjoldager, Aarhus University
Invited speaker: Senior Lecturer Michael Jonas, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.

1919 is a watershed moment in European history. With the Treaties of Versailles and Saint Germain, Europe’s two central land empires, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were broken up, and the nation states that define Europe today emerged out of the peace settlements. This split-up of Europe into nationally defined political entities created a series of new – mainly German – minorities across Europe, and so the year 1919 also marks the beginning of international minority rights regimes. In this session, we wish to address the meaning and consequences of the post-World War I peace settlements for borders and national minorities across Europe.

Issues of interest include but are not limited to:

  • The cultural and political meanings ascribed to the new borders
  • How and by whom the new borders were used as tools for political and national mobilisation
  • The intercultural exchanges, contestations and mobilisations that played out around the new borders
  • The interplay between the new international minority rights regimes and the political, cultural and economic dynamics at the local and national levels
  • The economic consequences of the 1919 borders and the new centre-periphery dynamics that were kicked off by the breakup of existing, integrated imperial economies

The German model and its Role in the European Economic Space after 1945

Chair: Associate Professor Rasmus Mariager, University of Copenhagen
Invited speaker: Associate Professor Morten Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen

1945 is often described as Germany’s Stunde Null, but no more than ten years later, it was rather the German Wirtschaftswunder that captured the headlines. By combining catholic inspired welfare state philosophy and a liberal market, West Germany soon outmatched its Eastern counterpart and re-established itself as the dynamic engine of the Western European economy. However, critics in the OEEC and elsewhere maintained that the economic recipe - later known as the German economic model - consisting of tight state budgets, price stability policies and increasing export surpluses worked well for Germany, but not for Europe. Similar criticism was voiced during the oil crisis of the 1970s, mainly within the EC and the G7, now further sustained by the argument that West Germany had a special responsibility due to its control of the strongest currency of the time, the D-Mark. In other words, it is obvious that the German model has been a topic of discussion long before the establishment of today’s Eurozone. In this workshop, we will focus on the role and perception of the German economic model for the reconstruction and growth of the European post-war economy from 1945 to 1989.

Issues of interest for the workshop may include:

  • The role of Germany for Danish, Nordic and/or Western European reconstruction and growth  -  a longue durée perspective
  • The ideological foundations of the German model
  • European and German perceptions and appreciations of the German model
  • The power of the D-Mark economically and politically
  • German and European Monetary cooperation from the Werner Plan to the EMS 

Germany, Denmark and the New Geopolitical Turn in European Politics

Chair: Senior Researcher Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Danish Institute for International Studies.
Confirmed speaker: Associate professor Hagen Schulz-Forberg 

The belief that 1989 not only marked the end of the Cold War, but also the end of history with “the universalisation of Western liberal democracy” has not been able to stand the test of history. As the long-standing liberal consensus on key principles such as free trade, multilateralism and human rights crumbles, and as the system’s liberal superpower embraces a new particularistic outlook encapsulated by “America First”, the international society of states is seemingly reverting to a more traditional nationalist mode of politics characterised by the return of geopolitics and great powers rivalry. This is seen globally, but also more specifically in Europe, where a more assertive Russia, Trump declaring the EU a foe, Chinese investment strategies, Arctic rivalries, and even Brexit point in the direction that European states need to rethink their security and international policies in a very fundamental way. This may prove a real challenge as it might involve a new German responsibility in the field of security, new ways of perceiving security, new political alignments and cooperative frameworks and new efforts to strengthen political and security cooperation in the EU, which will challenge Denmark’s EU security cooperation opt-out.

To address these challenges, this workshop welcomes papers addressing issues such as:

  • The new geopolitical turn and its European challenges and consequences
  • Recasting the understanding and foundations of European security
  • Geopolitics and liberal values
  • The German security dilemma between the historical legacy and the present challenges
  • Nordic adaptions to Europe’s new security imperatives