This thesis aims to explain the changes in German policy on the use of force the last ten years. As of October 2008 the Bundeswehr participated with 7.200 soldiers in nine operations outside German territory. Varying both in intensity and mandate they range from blue helmet operations in Lebanon and Sudan, to EU operations on the Western Balkans and NATO operations in Afghanistan (BMVG, 2008). This is a scenario unconceivable across the political spectrum at the time of German unification, even unconstitutional until a landmark Federal Constitutional Court ruling in 1994. Undisputable, German policy on the use of force has changed profoundly. By relating these changes to regional dynamics, I examine the relations between Germany s legacy of the past and a new European security reality, or put more conceptually, I situate my analysis within the thematic framework of the relationship between European integration, security policy, and nation state identity. The more specific aim is to discuss how, and to what extent, the development of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) has influenced German policy on the use of force, in the period 1998 2007.
While the focus is one of domestic change as a response to European level developments, I do not presuppose a view of nation states as passive adaptators. Rather contrary, German domestic factors are considered crucial. I further take other external factors into account, most importantly the role of NATO and critical junctures in the international system. In order to give a sound answer to the research question I apply a theory-rich model of Europeanisation , encompassing both rationalist and constructivist contributions. Together with the chosen methodology it is considered to enable an analysis of the extent and nature of the EUs influence. The argument presented is that the EU has been influential, and increasingly so, but that much of the change in the period are due to other factors. Europeanisation should be largely understood as one of strategic adaptation. After some time challenges towards German security identity can to a certain extent also be witnessed, whereas these concepts carry more weight in explaining why the effects of the EU have been limited.