Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz

Committee Member

Frederick Lubich


Utilizing an heuristic model that incorporates aspects from several theoretical perspectives this dissertation examines the German Green Party debate on the use of military force from 1990-2002. From the absolute rejection of any use of force to evict Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War in 1991, the Greens evolved over the course of a decade to support the deployment of German forces to Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This dissertation argues that this evolution was the result of a conscious will to govern by German political leaders in particular and external shocks—Srebrenica, Kosovo, and 9/11. It also incorporates two factors that enabled this change—the end of the international system at the end of the Cold War combined with the rising German international responsibilities and a dynamic Party leadership to foster internal debate.

The shocks of the dire humanitarian crises first in Bosnia and later in Kosovo empowered the internalized Green norm of “never again Auschwitz” that sought to protect human rights and in turn challenged the other internalized norm of “never again war.” As more leaders saw the preeminence of the former idea, it in turn functioned as a facilitating norm that withered the Green idea of pacifism. Building on the evolutions among key Party leaders during the Bosnian crisis, the later pressure inherent in the will to govern, both before and during their tenure in government forced a strategic choice to either govern and support the deployment of German forces to Kosovo or remain true to traditional pacifist values. The choice by both political leaders and the Party's grass roots to govern rather than remained wedded to traditional values illustrated the desire to at first gain and then later maintain the influence on German policy. By 2002, even after the rejection of the Iraq war, the Green version of pacifism had been drastically altered into a new security identity with clearly established limits.