The Effect of Early Political Opinion and the Political Positions on Willy Brandt's Policy towards America


  • Judith Michel Auswärtiges Amt



political and cultural conditioning, political office, Willy Brandt, policy towards the United States of America, Vietnam war, North-American policy towards Latin America, hermeneutic interpretation of sources, historic biographical research


Based on two case studies and using the hermeneutic interpretation of sources, this paper analyzes how Willy BRANDT's early political and cultural orientation and his respective political offices influenced his policy towards the United States of America. The example of the Vietnam war illustrates that his early biographical conditioning, as well as his government office, caused him to restrain from public criticism of American involvement in Southeast Asia. As an elder statesman, after leaving the office of Federal Chancellor, some of the orientations which he had developed during the early phase of the Cold War faded into the background while other early conditionings gained new strength in a modified form. He now took a much more critical line on the American policy towards Latin America which was consistent with his aims as Chairman of the "North-South-Commission" and President of the Socialist International. URN:


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Author Biography

Judith Michel, Auswärtiges Amt

Judith MICHEL, geb. 1979, ist seit 2011 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin bei der Edition der Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte in Berlin. Von 2007 bis 2010 war sie wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Dort wurde sie 2008 mit einer Arbeit über "Willy Brandts Amerikabild und ‑politik" promoviert. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Transatlantische Beziehungen, Emotionsgeschichte und Unternehmensgeschichte.



How to Cite

Michel, J. (2011). The Effect of Early Political Opinion and the Political Positions on Willy Brandt’s Policy towards America. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(2).