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West German foreign policy towards the Arab states, 1967-1979: history of a disappointment



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Hirsch, Philipp 


Over the past ten years, a large amount of research on Germany in the Middle East has been undertaken, with many studies focusing on the period of the World Wars or, later, German-Israeli relations. Less well studied, however, are relations between West Germany and the Arab states after 1945. The thesis addresses this gap by providing original research, based primarily on archival material, on West German foreign policy towards the Arab states during the Cold War. It shows how, during the 1970s, West Germany attempted to engage in a specific ‘Arab policy’, which ran along five dimensions: the dynamics of the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian question, oil politics, and common European foreign policy making. The findings shed new light on the role of the Arab states for German politics more generally, while also providing a number of new insights based on thus far unused archival material. The thesis shows how the Cold War was a key framework structuring the relevance of the Arab states for the Bonn government, linking with each other the geopolitics of Central Europe and the Middle East. Overall, the thesis adds to research on German foreign policy history, on the role of external powers in the Middle East as well as on diplomatic studies more generally.





Simms, Brendan
Zarakol, Ayşe


German history, Middle Eastern politics, German foreign policy, Foreign Policy Analysis, Energy Security, Terrorism Studies, European foreign policy, German Middle Eastern policy


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
PhD funding generously provided by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German National Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung)