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The Foreign Policy of Germany and Thailand in the Era of Otto von Bismarck and King Chulalongkorn in Comparative Perspective

Thailand and Germany have a successful history of almost 160 years of bilateral relations, in the fields of trade and economic cooperation as well as in the cultural, scientific and educational fields and are intensifying their people-to-people relations. During the 19th century, Prussia, and later the German Empire, was an absolute monarchy. Domestically, it was at the crossroads between the old policies of an institutional balance of power and a new policy of Realpolitik. Internationally, Bismarck decided to bind the other European powers to Germany with secret alliance and treaties in order to maintain the status quo. At the same time, Siam (Thailand) made efforts to resist colonial powers. King Chulalongkorn (r. 1868–1910) had the wisdom to understand that Thailand would have to be modernized if she wanted to preserve her independence. Therefore, the King visited Europe twice, in 1897 and 1907. Significantly, the two visits to Europe of King Chulalongkorn were considered vital for the survival of Siam in the time of European colonization. They strengthened the diplomatic relations between Thailand and Germany which were forged during the Eulenburg mission of 1862. In this lecture, Social Constructivism and Linkage Politics are used as theoretical frameworks to analyze the foreign policies of both Germany and Thailand in terms of national identity building through foreign policy action as well as to compare the bilateral relations of the two countries.

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 3.15 p.m.
Room 122 Universität Hamburg Asien-Afrika Institut
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, Flügel Ost
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