Referring to the research done for my book „A Spectre is haunting Arabia. How the Germans brought their Communism to Yemen„, this article in the German daily newspaper „Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung“ quoted a longer section of one of my papers on the project, where I elaborate on the important role of South Yemen for East geramny’s foreign policy.
The case study conducted between 2010 and 2014 is the first comprehensive analysis of the German Democratic Republic’s activities in South Yemen, the only Marxist state in the Arab World and at times the closest and most loyal ally to the Soviet Union in the Middle East during the Cold War. The dissertation analyzes East German Foreign Policy as a case of Socialist state- and nation-building and in doing so produces one major hypotheses: The case of South Yemen may be considered both, an ‘exceptional case’ and the possible ‘ideal type’ of the ‘general’ of East German foreign policy and thus points to what the GDR’s foreign policy could have been, if it hadn’t been for the numerous restraints of East German foreign-policy-making. The author critically engages with the normative and empirical dimensions of the ‘Limits of Foreign Policy’ by including a constructivist perspective of foreign policy. Apart from the case study itself, the dissertation provides the reader with a thorough overview of forty years of East German foreign policy with a focus on the interests and influence of The Soviet Union as well as the first introduction and methodological approach to East Germany’s foreign policy in the Middle East. The empirical side of the analysis rests on archival documents of the German Foreign Office, the German National Archive and the former Ministry of State Security of the GDR. These documents are reviewed and published for the first time and are complemented by personal interviews with contemporary witnesses. The interdisciplinary approach integrates and expands methods of both History and Political Science, applicable to other cases. Conducted research is intended to contribute to academic discourse on South Yemen’s unique history, divided Germany’s role in the Cold War, East German foreign policy, but also the long-term impact of Socialist foreign-policy-making in the Global South which so far has been neglected almost completely in academia.
Where to get the book…