After the fall of the Wall revealed the precariousness of GDR loyalties and precipitated the rush to unity, the enlarged Federal Republic can no longer be considered a provisional construct; it is forced to rethink its own role and purpose as a nation-state. In order to probe this new uncertainty and to explore the consequences of unification for German politics, history and culture, political scientists, historians and literary scholars have come together in this volume to focus on the main issues of the current debate such as the shadow of the Nazi past, the threat of xenophobia, new regional tensions, persistent problems of gender relations, and the future shape of Europe. From these interdisciplinary essays a complex picture of competing and complementary identities emerges that challenges traditional and simplistic Anglo-American stereotypes and offers compelling evidence of a self-critical spirit and the democratic nature of the political culture of the new Germany.
"What emerges from this collection is a picture of a complex society that was neither fully modern nor fully totalitarian ... The dense book provides and illuminating discussion of the difficulties inherent in characterizing the GDR and, in so doing, points the reader in directions that might prove more fruitful."����German Studies Review