- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
By examining German reconstruction under the Marshall Plan, author Patrick Jackson shows how the rhetorical invention of a West that included Germany was critical to the emergence of the postwar world order. Civilizing the Enemy convincingly describes how concepts are strategically shaped and given weight in modern international relations, by expertly dissecting the history of "the West" and demonstrating its puzzling persistence in the face of contradictory realities.
"By revisiting the early Cold War by means of some carefully conducted intellectual history, Patrick Jackson expertly dissects the post-1945 meanings of "the West" for Europe's emergent political imaginary. West German reconstruction, the foundation of NATO, and the idealizing of 'Western civilization' all appear in fascinating new light."
--Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
"Western civilization is not given but politically made. In this theoretically sophisticated and politically nuanced book, Patrick Jackson argues that Germany's reintegration into a Western community of nations was greatly facilitated by civilizational discourse. It established a compelling political logic that guided the victorious Allies in their occupation policy. This book is very topical as it engages critically very different, and less successful, contemporary theoretical constructions and political deployments of civilizational discourse."
--Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University
"What sets Patrick Jackson's book apart is his attention, on the one hand, to philosophical issues behind the kinds of theoretical claims he makes and, on the other hand, to the methodological implications that follow from those claims. Few scholars are willing and able to do both, and even fewer are as successful as he is in carrying it off. Patrick Jackson is a systematic thinker in a field where theory is all the rage but systematic thinking is in short supply."
--Nicholas Onuf, Florida International University
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Assistant Professor of International Relations in American University's School of International Service.
When the rain began Pooh was asleep. It rained, and it rained, and it rained, and he slept and he slept and he slept. You remember how he discovered the North Pole; well, he was so proud of this that he asked Christopher Robin if there were any other Poles such as a Bear of Little Brain might discover.
"There's a South Pole," said Christopher Robin, "and I expect there's an East Pole and a West Pole, though people don't like talking about them."
Pooh was very excited when he heard this ... -A. A. Milne, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
On 7 may 1945, Admiral Karl Dönitz, recently appointed Führer of the Third Reich by Hitler's last will and testament, approved the signing of documents accepting an unconditional German surrender (Botting 1985: 89). The following day, three representatives of the German High Command signed an "Act of Military Surrender" in Berlin, bringing the Second World War in Europe formally to a close (Ruhm von Oppen 1955: 28-29). The country was in shambles, having been devastated by Allied strategicbombing and the "scorched earth" policy pursued by the retreating German army, as well as by the damage inflicted by the victorious armies themselves. "Out of a total of 16 million houses" in the occupied areas of Germany, "2.34 million had been completely destroyed and 4 million had sustained 25 percent (or more) damage. ... In western Germany as a whole 20 million people were homeless.... Less than half the locomotives in Germany were in working order and only a third of the coaches were reparable" (Botting 1985: 122-25).
A month later, on 5 June 1945, representatives of the four Allied governments-Eisenhower for the United States, Zhukov for the Soviet Union, Montgomery for the United Kingdom, and de Lattre de Tassigny for the Provisional Government of the French Republic-issued a "Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority with Respect to Germany," in which they proclaimed:
There is no central government or authority in Germany capable of accepting responsibility for the maintenance of order, the administration of the country and compliance with the requirements of the victorious Powers.... The Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, hereby assume supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority. (Ruhm von Oppen 1955: 29-30)
Germany thus ceased to exist as an independent member of international society, with responsibility for and authority over the lands it had occupied being assumed by the victorious Allies (Kelsen 1945).
On 5 May 1955, almost ten years to the day after the unconditional surrender of the Reich, Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD), signed documents officially making the BRD a party to the North Atlantic Treaty and terminating the occupation regime, except for a few residual rights pertaining to the status of Berlin (Ninkovich 1988: 100-11). Shorn of some of its eastern territories, the former enemy state was now a staunch military ally of many of the countries that had been bitterly fighting against it a decade previously, and it was bound by treaty to come to their defense-and vice versa. Unlike the declaration of ten years before, the Soviet Union was not a part of the festivities, except as the implied opponent of both the BRD and of the other members of the North Atlantic Alliance, against which the Alliance had been erected. Commenting on that occasion, Adenauer declared,
We had won the friendship of our former opponents.... The treaties were a serious commitment for us, and corresponded to our deepest inner conviction that there was only one place for us in the world: a place on the side of the free peoples of the world. This also conformed to the sense of German history and the striving, if in vain, of earlier governments to come to a firm friendly relationship with the nations of the West. (1966b: 434)
This is quite a startling transformation, both in the status of Germany as an entity and in the general texture of world politics that surrounded and produced that alteration in status. How should we account for this transformation, whereby the BRD was reconstructed as an actor on the world political stage? Reconstruction, as I will use the term, refers to the process by which a nonactor becomes an actor again: how the authority for various governmental functions, particularly for those involving interstate relations, was transferred to West German authorities, who thereby became the authorized representatives of a new actor in interstate relations. In particular, three aspects of this reconstruction stand in need of explanation: Why was a German state rebuilt so soon after the end of the Second World War-a war that had, after all, been fought against a German state? Why did the United States take the leading role in this rebuilding of the western zones of occupation? And why was this reconstruction carried out primarily through the Marshall Plan and NATO, placing the BRD on somewhat of an equal footing with the other members of what quite recently had been an anti-German coalition?
I believe that the key to explaining these aspects of reconstruction lies in the civilizational language that Adenauer deployed when discussing the Federal Republic's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty: the notion that the BRD belonged firmly within a community of Western nations. It is my contention that West German reconstruction can be satisfactorily explained by a focus on public rhetoric, on the rhetorical commonplaces that were used to render certain policy options legitimate and others unacceptable. The presence of the notion of 'Western Civilization' in the debates about German reconstruction made possible the integration of the western zones of occupied Germany into the institutional structures of what was ordinarily characterized as 'the West.' Absent this rhetorical commonplace, events might well have turned out quite differently.
Civilizations in World Politics
My emphasis on civilizational language participates in a broader intellectual movement within the social sciences that might be characterized as "bringing civilization and civilizations back in." Samuel Huntington's popular best seller (1996), while perhaps the best-known recent work on the subject, by no means exhausts the trend. Indeed, Huntington's "cultural" understanding of civilizations (Schäfer 2001: 310) places him somewhat at odds with many of the other contemporary civilizational analysts. Be that as it may, Huntington's central thesis-that increasingly, the most significant tensions and conflicts in world politics would be those between members of different civilizations-and the books and articles that he has written exploring it are undoubtedly partially responsible for the recent resurgence of civilizational analysis.
Published only a few years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Huntington's book represents part of a broader effort to rethink the study of world politics after the demise of the bipolar balancing dynamic that had captivated analysts for decades. As part of this effort, many scholars looked toward concepts and authors that had largely hovered on the fringes of the social-scientific mainstream during the height of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry. Huntington's deployment of "civilization" as part of a reconceptualization of world politics participated in a broader "return" of culture and identity to center stage in international relations (IR) theory (Lapid 1996), even as Huntington's specific implementation of that return came in for a not insignificant amount of criticism. Some argued that Huntington had inaccurately represented the fluidity and dynamism of civilizations-that his approach rested on theoretical or conceptual misstatements about the character of social identity (O'Hagan 2004: 32-34). Others argued that the primary problem with Huntington's analysis was empirical, in that it misstated the essential core of the civilizations under investigation, particularly Western Civilization. Along these lines, David Gress set out to provide "a fuller and more accurate delineation of Western identity" that divided the history of the West into two phases: "the Old West, identified as the synthesis of classical, Christian, and Germanic cultures, and the New West, the synthesis of reason, liberty, and progress" (Gress 1998: 16). These two phases are not separate, but essentially linked.
To see the new west as a radical break, begun in the fifteenth and completed in the nineteenth century, was to deny that its roots lay deep in the Old. To progressives and radicals, the secular, rational freedom of modernity was inexplicable as a fruit of the past; it was the original creation of the bold spirits of the Enlightenment and the era of revolution. Such a definition ignored the triple legacy of Western freedom-from the Greeks through the Romans, from Christianity, and from the Germans. (261)
Like Huntington, Gress advanced an argument about the need for the West to mount a vigorous defense of its fundamental values and institutions, while acknowledging the diversity of such values and institutions abroad. For both, civilizational analysis is primarily about conserving traditions, and in particular about ensuring that the United States return to its fundamentally Western heritage in order to ensure that Western Civilization as a whole survives (Gress 1998: 552-55; Huntington 1996: 306-7).
Much of the other contemporary academic work on civilizations rejects this stance. Although the concept of "civilization" had largely vanished from the social-scientific lexicon over the course of the twentieth century (Tiryakian 2001: 282-83), there was a vibrant older tradition of civilizational analysis that had been kept alive by world-systems theorists (Chase-Dunn and Hall 1997; Wallerstein 1974) and by members of the Annales historical school (Braudel 1995). This tradition was far more interested in the political economy of civilizations than Huntington had been, and it spent far more time analyzing how networks of interaction affected the dynamics of hegemonic rise and decline (Wilkinson 2000). Scholars influenced by this tradition relax the metahistorical assumption that civilizations are closed cultural systems (Arnason 2001: 397-98) and seek instead to specify the complex interrelationships of factors that affect long-term social change. "Civilizations" are a conceptual tool used to help make sense of such dynamics (Melko 1969: 4).
But for all their invocations of fluidity and flux, these civilizational analysts retain an essential continuity with Huntington inasmuch as they continue to insist that civilizations are objects with essentially continuous core features. To engage in civilizational analysis is to treat a civilization as a discrete object, as a "thing-like entity" with "an enduring essence" (Collins 2001: 422). This remains the case even when analysts qualify their specification of a civilization's essential qualities with references to the ambiguity and internal complexity of civilizations; in the end, they return to the position that civilizations are essentially different from one another. Huntington offers perhaps the most revealing qualification.
Civilizations have no clear-cut boundaries and no precise beginnings and endings. People can and do redefine their identities and, as a result, the composition and shapes of civilizations change over time. The cultures of people interact and overlap. The extent to which the cultures of civilizations resemble or differ from each other also varies considerably. Civilizations are nonetheless meaningful entities, and while the lines between them are seldom sharp, they are real. (1996: 43, emphasis added)
The assertion that civilizations are "real," coming on the heels of an ample demonstration of the flexibility and even the fuzziness of the concept, is striking. What does it mean to say that civilizations and the differences between them are "real," even though their boundaries and the precise content of their central cores change over time? If "both Magna Carta and Auschwitz are emblematic of European civilization" (Melleuish 2000: 118), why talk about an entity called "European Civilization" at all?
The West Pole Fallacy
There is an important conceptual continuity between the scholarly analyses of civilizations and political pronouncements about civilizations. Although politicians tend to be less nuanced in their specification than scholars are, the basic gesture is almost identical. To give only two examples:
1. In 2004, Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, accepted an invitation from French President Jacques Chirac to participate in the ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of the invasion of Normandy (D-Day). Schröder's acceptance was especially significant since his predecessor Helmut Kohl had declined a similar invitation two decades previously on the grounds that he did not want to celebrate an event in which many German soldiers were killed. Justifying his decision to participate, Schröder argued that his presence would be "a sign of recognition of the role of Germany, of postwar Germany, as an established democracy and as a part of the Western community of values" (Bernstein and Landler 2004).
2. The same year, U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) launched "The Western Civilization Project," an initiative designed to "ensure that the concepts and ideals embodied by Western civilization are effectively taught in public schools" in the United States. Chief among these principles were "democratic institutions and the rule of law, the concept of universal human rights, the development of science and technology, and religious tolerance" (Eagle Forum 2004).
I am not claiming that there are no significant differences between these two political expressions of civilizational loyalty and the existing scholarship on civilizations. Civilizational scholars have a far more precise and careful delineation of what a civilization (like the West) consists of, and ordinarily bring considerable empirical evidence to bear to support their claims. But like civilizational politics, civilizational analysis is an essentialist form of social activity. Both civilizational politics and civilizational analysis seek to identify an essential core to the civilizations to which they refer, and to draw conclusions about specific institutions and action from this specification. A civilization is presumed to rest on "continuities in human thought and practices through which different human groups attempt to grapple with their consciousness of present problems" (Cox 2002: 157), and this presumption animates both scholarly and political uses of the concept.
This connection between civilizational politics and civilizational analysis becomes clearer if we consider a basic logical problem iassociated with efforts to precisely define the essence of a civilization. Such exercises become tautological to the extent that they derive the essential character of a community from empirical observation of some subset of humanity and then use that essentialist definition to delineate the empirical extent of the community. Thus, Gress identifies a medieval synthesis of ideals and institutions that he calls "Christian ethnicity"; he opposes this to universalism and argues that the former, not the latter, represents the actual soil from which the modern West grew, and its truest heart (1998: 211-13). In so doing, he condemns most philosophers after Rousseau for abandoning this synthesis, and he critiques many if not most of the social movements of the twentieth century for having followed that false path (Jackson 1999: 146-48). So the logic is: the essence of Western Civilization is X; these people/movements do not uphold X; hence they are not Western. But this conclusion is in no way a surprise, because the exclusion of those people/movements is already built into the definition. Why not simply redefine the essence of the West to incorporate these currents of thought and action?
Excerpted from CIVILIZING THE ENEMY by Patrick Thaddeus Jackson Copyright © 2006 by University of Michigan . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|1||The West Pole fallacy||1|
|2||The language of legitimation||13|
|3||The topography of postwar debates||46|
|4||The power of 'western civilization'||72|
|5||Conflicts of interpretation, 1944-46||112|
|6||The turning point, 1947-48||149|
|7||Securing the new trajectory, 1949-55||196|
|8||The fate of 'western civilization'||239|