Trust, Distrust and the Foreign Relations Law of the Weimar Republic

The provisions of the Weimar Constitution on the binding force of international law were one of its innovative elements. This Weimar ‘foreign relations law’ was intended to send a signal to the former war enemies, that the new German republic was trustworthy. In general, the public perception of the Treaty of Versailles demonstrates the unprecedented tension between international negotiation processes on the one hand and the expectations of domestic audiences in democratic constitutional states on the other.
My contribution will start with analysing continuity and change in the status of international law under the Weimar Constitution as compared to its forerunner, the ‘Bismarck Constitution’. In the main part, I will explore the tension between international law and mass democracy. Here, I will keep a focus on the special situation of a newly established order which seeks international trust and a widespread public distrust towards Versailles and international and foreign influences.