Governance in foreign policy-making in Germany and Poland and Polish-German relations
: the role of non-state actors

  • Alexander Wochnik

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines the influence of non-state actors on Polish-German relations by considering foreign policy-making towards Poland in Germany and vice versa. The approach chosen for this thesis is interdisciplinary and takes into consideration literature from domestic politics (Area Studies), Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations (IR). The thesis argues that IR, by purely looking into the quality of inter-state relations, too often treats these relations as a result of policies emanating from the relevant governments, without considering the policies’ background. Therefore, the thesis argues that it is necessary to engage with the
domestic factors which might explain where foreign policies come from. It points out that non-state actors influence governments’ choices by supplying resources, and by cooperating or competing with the government on an issue at stake. In order to determine the degree of influence that non-state actors can have on foreign policymaking two variables are examined: the institutionalisation of the state relations in question; and the domestic structures of the relevant states. Specifically, the thesis examines the institutionalisation of Polish-German relations, and examines Germany’s and Poland’s domestic structures and their effect on the two states’ foreign policy-making in general. Thereafter, the thesis uses case studies in order to unravel the influence of non-state actors on specific foreign policies. Three case studies are examined in detail: (i) Poland’s EU accession negotiations with regard to the free movement of capital chapter of the acquis communautaire; (ii) Germany’s EU 2004 Eastern Enlargement negotiations with regard to the free movement of workers chapter of the acquis communautaire; and (iii) Germany’s decision to establsh a permanent exhibition in Berlin that will depict the expulsions of millions of Germans from the East following WWII.
Date of Award19 Jun 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilliam Paterson (Supervisor) & Simon Green (Supervisor)


  • international relations
  • foreign policy analysis
  • domestic factors
  • European integration
  • comparative study

Cite this