Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Democracy and Foreign Policy: Conversation with Karsten Voigt, Coordinator for German-American Cooperation in the German Foreign Office, 2/16/01 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation With History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest today is Karsten Voigt, who is the Coordinator for German-American Cooperation in the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. At the center of the foreign policy debate in Germany for the last twenty-five years, Karsten Voigt was a leader of the German Social Democratic Party, a member of the Parliament, and today heads the efforts to coordinate cultural exchanges between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany.

  1. Background ... influence of mother ... growing up in the l940s ... early socialization into politics ... German guilt and German responsibility ... student concerns about the stability of democracy ... shock of Cold War events ... students and history ... Germany's complicated view of history ... impact of the sixties
  2. Foreign Policy in a Democracy ... focusing on foreign policy ... educating the constituency ... understanding the structure of international politics ... taking controversial stands ... trust and the need to explain
  3. German Foreign Policy ... commitment to multilateralism ... an answer to the German problem ... German self-confidence
  4. German - U.S. Relations ... personal perspective on the U.S ... cultural differences... understanding each other ... national missile defense ... European rapid deployment force
  5. Lessons Learned ... implications of globalization ... accepting change ... optimism, humor, and irony ... psychological devaluation of value system for East Germans ... advice to students

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