Enhances understanding of the impact of culture on German- American relations and analyzes how cultural beliefs and values, evolving interpretations of historical experiences, and shifting conceptions of national identity shape perspectives and policy responses in the German-American dialogue. The Society, Culture & Politics Program is currently focused on issues of Immigration and Integration, considering the subject as it relates to education, organization, and technology. Under the topic of Reconciliation in Europe and Asia, AICGS looks to Germany for lessons for Japan’s international reconciliation in Northeast Asia.

For many in the international media and among casual observers of Asia, regional institution-building may appear a mundane subject. Strengthening existing regional institutions, or establishing a more substantive one, is generally a matter of secondary importance for policymakers in most capitals in Asia. This is more so in Washington, despite its founding member status in …Read More


Eva Jobs is DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow and a PhD candidate at the University of Marburg. In her dissertation, supervised by Prof. Wolfgang Krieger, she addresses the role trust, secrecy, and betrayal play for transatlantic intelligence cooperation. The historic approach, which focuses on the 1950s and 1960s, highlights not only the importance of personal relationships but …Read More

Carl Bildt, until recently Sweden’s foreign minister, told Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in 2003: “For a generation Americans and Europeans shared the same date: 1945. A whole trans-Atlantic alliance flowed from that postwar shared commitment, free markets and the necessity of deterring the Soviet Union. America saw the strength of Europe as …Read More

Now available in paperback, AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Director Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman’s book, “Germany’s Foreign Policy of Reconciliation: From Enmity to Amity,” highlights Germany as a model for reconciliation, especially in North East Asia. In this magisterial volume, Lily Gardner Feldman traces the development of German reconciliation policy in relation to France, Israel, …Read More

Pragmatic Necessity to Grapple with History Problems East Asian countries are now facing a situation often called the “Asian paradox,” in which deepening economic interdependence coexists with historical and territorial conflicts, and mutual suspicion. The ties of trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges have been deepening, yet these material interactions have not erased Chinese and Korean …Read More

Contrary to popular lore, the Berlin Wall did not fall on November 9, 1989. Nor did it fall in Berlin. It fell on October 9 some 120 miles away, in Leipzig. First, civil courage—a rare quality in German history—had to dissolve the four-decade-old mental wall of East German fear. Only thereafter could the cement wall …Read More

Borrowing institutionally from the German-Polish case, Polish-Russian reconciliation had been making small, tentative steps until the crisis in and over Ukraine. There is some effort to continue civil society interaction, but official initiatives such as the planned Polish-Russian Year in 2015, which was to showcase cooperation in culture and silence, have been stalled. If the …Read More

The rise of Asia has become a key issue for transatlantic relations. While the United States “rebalances” or “pivots” toward the Asia Pacific, its European allies are pursuing their own interests with rising powers. Germany has taken a leading role not only as one of the biggest exporters to the region, but also a key …Read More

Germany and America: Two Reluctant Pivotal Powers Germany and the United States rank as the two most influential and powerful Western liberal nations in a world challenged by the rise of non-Western and authoritarian powers. It is not an overstatement to argue that the future of the liberal world order will depend to a large …Read More

Time flies.  I am struck by how recent the events of the twentieth anniversary of the Mauerfall feel.  A rainy, but magical, memory. At first blush, 2009 seems a more innocent, more optimistic time than the more dangerous and uncertain environment of 2014.  While the various conflicts in the broader Middle East contribute to our …Read More