Angela Merkel has experienced a challenging 18 months.  Events of the past week nonetheless indicate that she remains firmly in control of German political life.  Eleven years is an awfully long time to be chancellor, but she’s showing no signs of wanting to step aside. Indeed, Merkel indicated on Sunday, November 20, that she plans …Read More

Germany has traditionally been seen as a country where corruption is under control. This was further supported when Transparency International (TI), the largest and most prominent anti-corruption NGO, published its 11th annual progress report on the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery in August 2015 (see here for the full report). The Convention (see here for …Read More

There is always a unique drama to an election night in Britain, but the events of Thursday, May 7 surprised even the most hardened of British election watchers (see here for a full breakdown of the results). Indeed, if Quentin Tarantino directed results’ nights, then they would probably look like this – ministerial blood everywhere …Read More

A well-known German comedian once sang a song about the state of Thüringen decrying the Land’s apparent anonymity. “Thüringen,” bemoaned Rainald Grebe, “is a Land that David Bowie once flew over.” It’s also a place “full of walkers wearing very long red socks” and where Heike Drechsler, one of the superstar 1980s East German athletes, …Read More

A strange outbreak of consensus seems to have engulfed Germany’s Left Party (Linke/LP). The recent party convention, held from May 9-11, illustrated that the days of internal bickering seem to have passed. Indeed, crises like those in Ukraine appear to have brought the differing factions in the party together. For now at least. The situation …Read More

When, on 27th September 2009, Die Linke (the Left Party) polled just under 12 per cent of the vote in Germany’s federal election, it looked as if a new era in federal party politics was beginning. Indeed, Germany appeared to be following the path previously trodden by many other European states; a party to the …Read More

“Football is not a matter of life or death,” claimed Bill Shankly, a former manager of Liverpool, one of England’s most well-known football clubs. “It’s much more important than that!” While most would agree that Shankly was over-egging the significance of what Pele once called “the beautiful game” ever so slightly, it’s been hard to …Read More