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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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Whom Did the East Germans Trust? Popular Opinion on Threats of War, Confrontation, and Détente in the German Democratic Republic, 1968–1989

Whom Did the East Germans Trust? Popular Opinion on Threats of War, Confrontation, and Détente in the German Democratic Republic, 1968–1989

Chapter:
(p.143) 7. Whom Did the East Germans Trust? Popular Opinion on Threats of War, Confrontation, and Détente in the German Democratic Republic, 1968–1989
Source:
Trust, but Verify
Author(s):

Jens Gieseke

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.003.0008

This chapter outlines ideological, official, and bottom-up trust regimes within East Germany, examining the attitude of the East German population toward its own government and that of the Federal Republic. It unearths, for example, how a noticeable sympathy and trustworthiness emerged among East Germans toward West German parties and politicians in the wake of Ostpolitik. However, the departure of West German chancellor Willy Brandt in 1974, the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and the renewed nuclear arms race and NATO's decision to position nuclear weapons in Western Europe helped to offset this asymmetry of trust relations by partially alienating East Germans from Western policies. In the first half of the 1980s, this decline of vertical trust relationships and emotional bonds in East Germany opened the space for the rise of horizontal trust regimes.

Keywords:   trust regimes, East Germany, West Germany, Ostopolitik, trust relations, vertical trust relationships, horizontal trust regimes

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