Berlin has been a central issue in the postwar dispute between East and West and was often the spark that brought the Soviet bloc and the West to the brink of confrontation. Although the city's role in international politics has been muted in the nearly quarter century since the erection of the Berlin Wall, its political status remains unsettled, and its potential to precipitate a crisis and even a military conflict has lessened only by degree. The contributors to this volume discuss Berlin's future from the perspective of all the major national actors involved. Just as the Quadripartite Agreement of 1971 was a necessary prerequisite for East-West detente, any future change in the division of Germany or in East-West relations will require fundamental shifts in long-held positions on the status of Berlin. The authors show how the perceptions, stakes, and even risks of the Berlin issue vary by nation and explore the reasons why Berlin is likely to continue to be an obstacle to East-West cooperation.
Foreword -- Introduction: Divided Berlin in Postwar Politics -- The West -- The United States and Berlin -- Western Europe and West Berlin -- Paris, Moscow and the Berlin Problem -- The East -- West Berlin-GDR Relations: A West German Perspective -- The Relations Between West Berlin and the Warsaw Pact States -- Berlin and East German-Soviet Relations -- Berlin and the GDR: From Crisis Point to Bargaining Chip -- Prospects for Berlin: Economic and Social Trends -- West Berlin and the Two Germanies: The Interplay of Political and Economic Motives -- Postwar Berlin: Divided City