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HomelandsShifting Borders and Territorial Disputes$
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Nadav G. Shelef

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453489

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453489.001.0001

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The Shifting Contours of the German Homeland

The Shifting Contours of the German Homeland

(p.35) 2 The Shifting Contours of the German Homeland

Nadav G. Shelef

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the transformations in the area that counted as part of the homeland in post-World War II Germany. The West German setting is especially useful because it features the simultaneous loss of territories that differ in their ethnic composition; in economic value; whether they came to be excluded from the homeland, and, if they did, when this redefinition of the homeland occurred. Political movements in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) also differed in when, and even whether, they withdrew homeland territoriality from the various parts of the homeland Germany lost. The chapter then traces the withdrawal of homeland territoriality from Germany's lost lands and, leveraging the internal variation that characterizes the German experience, explains the timing of the changes that took place, and accounts for the absence of change where one might have expected it to occur. This historical process tracing shows that different logics of legitimation and domestic political mechanisms played a crucial role in explaining the pattern of stability and change in conceptions of the German homeland.

Keywords:   German homeland, West Germany, lost lands, Federal Republic of Germany, homeland territoriality, domestic politics

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