France and Germany were among the major powers that abruptly lost that status as a consequence of World War II. In the 1950s and 1960s, the governments of both nations sought ways to recover their great-power standing. Each saw the cooperation of the other as crucial for its own foreign policy aspirations and tried repeatedly to engage the other in commitments that would underwrite its own ambitions. But neither succeeded. In the 1970s, France and Germany began to reconcile themselves to the permanent loss of their great-power status. The process of accepting a diminished international role has been underway for more than two decades, and, in Kocs's judgment, is very likely to continue in the future. Far from opening the door to a stronger world military role for Western Europe, the end of the Cold War is likely to serve merely to consolidate the existing situation.
About the Author:
STEPHEN A. KOCS is an Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. He has published articles on international relations theory and on the causes of war.