Die Beziehungen zwischen der BRD und Frankreich (1949–1974) – Demokratisierung als Weg zu modernen bilateralen Beziehungen.
The Franco-German Relations (1949–1974) – The Democratization as a Way to Modern Bilateral Relations
This article deals with the qualitative change of Franco-German relations between 1949 and 1974, from the constitution of the FRG to the resignation of the German chancellor Brandt and the death of the French president Pompidou. Modernization is seen through the prism of democratization, i.e. as a process which involves ordinary citizens in the consolidation of bilateral contacts and incorporates new, less elite issues in bilateral cooperation. After describing the beginnings of Franco-German cooperation immediately after the end of World War II the paper looks into the intergovernmental relations between 1949 and 1974. The following section analyses four different catalysts for democratization in Franco-German relations: providing information about the other country, teaching its language, enhancing mobility between the countries and establishing contacts between their citizens who had similar interests. The article then concludes by delineating the extent to which have these methods stimulated higher involvement of ordinary citizens in Franco-German relations.
Keywords: Franco-German relations, modernization, democratization, bilateral cooperation, France, Germany, 20th century