Generates insights into the institutional, political, cultural, and historical factors that shape our responses to deepening economic integration and the challenges of globalization. Current issues in the Business & Economics Program include the Debt Crisis, responding to the end of the years of plenty by comparing German and American responses to the crisis. It looks at macroeconomic discrepancies and their potential threat to national security, studies approaches to international macroeconomic policymaking in the face of the crisis, and analyzes transatlantic trade and growth. In the area of Corporate Regulations it examines corporate governance and the mechanisms of regulations.

Just off the main thoroughfare of Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse is the inconspicuous headquarters of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts. As the tourists pose for pictures outside Checkpoint Charlie – a potent symbol of the Cold War – Dr Christian Sperle provides our delegation with a talk about Germany’s famous ‘dual system’ of vocational training. The …Read More

For the first time, “Transatlantic Trends,” a survey of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) beginning in 2002, showed that a majority of Germans now prefer a more independent approach to transatlantic relations. The NSA scandal—data collection on foreign countries, including America’s ally Germany and its chancellor, as well as collecting huge …Read More

During our apprenticeship tour of Germany, France, and the UK, I was impressed at the respect that the general population held for apprenticeship programs. One of our taxi drivers in France was proud to tell us that his son finished his apprenticeship in construction and at the age of 21 is buying his own house …Read More

While our focus in Europe has been on the broad structure of apprenticeship systems, we should not lose sight of the apprentices themselves. Many times we have been told “no apprentice is alike.” This certainly is true given the varying ages and impressive experiences of those we met in Europe. Many enrolled in apprenticeship programs …Read More

Today we went to the MMBbS, an information technology and media vocational training school two hours south of Berlin by train, and learned about the school that was built on the grounds of the Expo 2000, a World Fair whose theme was developing and presenting solutions for the future. Today it is still focused on …Read More

Germany was derided not too long ago as the “sick man of Europe” after years of economic malaise. It is now lauded as the world’s Exportweltmeister; its current-account surplus even surpassed China’s in the past year. Undergirding the German economy is a highly structured, but remarkably efficient, system of work-based education that has survived these …Read More

As part of the AICGS site visit tour, my colleagues and I spent our first day in Paris getting an in-depth view of the French apprenticeship system. We started off at the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP) in the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Vocational Training, and Social Dialogue for a broad overview, and …Read More

After the hustle and bustle of the capital city, our train passed through the countryside. Small family farms with goats abutted a busy railway. Our destination also lay in between the pastoral and the modern—the Hungarian city of Kecskemét is host to not only a new factory that produces the latest Mercedes cars, but also …Read More


Dr. Paul Sullivan, AICGS Non-Resident Fellow, has been a professor of economics at the National Defense University (NDU) since July 1999. He has been an advisor to flag officers from the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and East Asia while at NDU. He was part of the initial point team to help establish …Read More

The French government recently announced that the age of austerity is finally over—at least for France. That it will now disregard most of its commitments on reducing fiscal deficits represents a serious challenge to fellow members of the monetary union. Although the primary intended target is the German rules-based approach and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s management …Read More