Four months after Germans went to the polls to set the stage for a new government, they are finally a step closer. The vote at the January 21 SPD party conference resulted in a slim majority supporting negotiations with the CDU and CSU to form a coalition. The fact that almost half of the 645 …Read More

Harry Katz is lucky.[1] As a man who has had a life-long love of numbers, he knows the odds were stacked against him from the beginning: He was born a Jew in Hitler’s Berlin on March 4, 1933. And yet he survived. As he sits in a penthouse suite of Caesar’s Palace in the gambler’s …Read More

As the German political parties begin negotiations that could lead to yet another Grand Coalition, they should reread one of the best books written on contemporary German political culture, Ralf Dahrendorf’s Society and Democracy in Germany (New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1967). Although published in 1965 in West Germany, it captures the essence of Germany’s long …Read More

Political surprises have been a theme in 2016 and 2017, starting with the Brexit referendum, to the election of Donald Trump, to the success of Emmanuel Macron’s new party in France, to a weakened Angela Merkel and her difficulty forming a government. With growing populism and disruption seen on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s …Read More

With the beginning of exploratory talks between SPD and CDU/CSU on January 7, 2018, the German political system offers a last opportunity to form a stable government after the September 2017 national elections. Final results cannot be expected any time soon. After the exploratory talks the SPD will hold with Chancellor Merkel and her CDU/CSU …Read More

If 2017 felt like a roller coaster ride, then tighten your seatbelt for 2018. The challenges confronting the German-American partners are only going to accelerate and the choices are only going to grow more complex. In both Germany and the U.S., the domestic arena will be filled with conflict and controversy, all within a global …Read More

On December 5, 2017, the European institutions—Commission, Council, and Parliament—reached political agreement on reforming the EU’s trade defense instruments. This “modernization” of anti-dumping legislation is, in fact, an attempt to provide the EU with stronger tools to tackle the allegedly “unfair” practices of its trade partners. On its website, the Commission advertises that the deal …Read More

The National Security Strategy (NSS) released by the White House this week—the only time in the first year of a new presidency—is a sober and realistic assessment of the state of play of international relations and the place of the United States within it. Notably, it embraces the value of the international order and its …Read More

Political surprises have been a theme in 2016 and 2017, starting with the Brexit referendum, to the election of Donald Trump, to the success of Emmanuel Macron’s new party in France, to a weakened Angela Merkel and her difficulty forming a government. With growing populism and disruption seen on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s …Read More

Until late on November 19, 2017, Germany was one of the few large countries in Europe not afflicted by a major crisis. This perception of Germany as a pillar of stability in an uncertain and unpredictable world changed suddenly when the negotiations for forming a new government collapsed. Since 2005, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been …Read More

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