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The Resilience of the Nation State: Cosmopolitanism, Holocaust Memory and German Identity

Welch, Stephen; Wittlinger, Ruth

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Authors

Ruth Wittlinger



Abstract

The aim of this paper is to offer a critique of the proposal of “methodological cosmopolitanism“ in theoretical terms and to substantiate this critique by providing an account of the dynamics of collective memory and identity in postunification Germany. In the first part, we look at the arguments about methodological cosmopolitanism and their derivative, the idea of cosmopolitan memory, illustrated by the case of Holocaust memory. In the second part we look at the case of Germany: firstly at its postwar experience of the attempted construction of “postnational“ identity, and then at more recent trends, contemporaneous with the Berlin Republic, towards a “normalization“ of national identity in Germany. The Holocaust plays a crucial, but different, role in each phase, we suggest. In the conclusion we return to more general themes, asking what the German case tells us about the cosmopolitanization thesis more generally.

Citation

Welch, S., & Wittlinger, R. (2011). The Resilience of the Nation State: Cosmopolitanism, Holocaust Memory and German Identity. German Politics and Society, 29(3), 38-54. https://doi.org/10.3167/gps.2011.290303

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2012
Publicly Available Date Sep 7, 2012
Journal German Politics and Society
Print ISSN 1045-0300
Electronic ISSN 1558-5441
Publisher Berghahn Journals
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 38-54
DOI https://doi.org/10.3167/gps.2011.290303
Keywords Cosmopolitanism, Holocaust memory, German identity, Berlin Republic.

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Copyright Statement
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in German politics and society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Welch, Stephen E. and Wittlinger, Ruth (2011) 'The resilience of the nation state : cosmopolitanism, holocaust memory and German identity.', German politics and society, 29 (3). pp. 38-54 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/gps.2011.290303







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