High expectations and broken trust? Cultural relations between Germany and the Soviet Union/Russia during the transformation process


In the Federal Republic of Germany, the policies of perestroika and glasnost introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev built up high expectations regarding future relations with the Soviet Union. Hopes for positive future collaborations grew further in the context of the German reunification. In the euphoric spirit of 1990, an extensive bilateral treaty was signed. Alongside issues of security politics and economy it comprised matters of cultural cooperation, the latter of which will be the subject of this PhD project. The thesis aims to discuss the following question: To which extent did the high spirits of the initial stage turn into mutual misunderstanding and distrust in the process of implementing the stipulated projects? Therefore, cultural collaborations between Germany and the Soviet Union/Russia and the negotiations over the restitution of cultural property will be analyzed, taking into account the deteriorating relations concerning security politics in the nineties. Debates, protagonists and proceedings on the levels of diplomacy, cultural institutions and society will be the focus of the analysis.

The project is part of the cooperative project “Drifting Apart: International Institutions in Crisis and the Management of Dissociation Processes”, organized by the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Leibniz-Institut Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung) and financed by the Leibniz Association.

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