The resounding response from the press to the death of Hans-Dietrich Genscher reminds us of how much German political equilibrium depends on the existence of central, idealized, larger-than-life figures.  Mr. Genscher’s career typifies German voters’ need for stability through long periods in office.  Germans also seem to have a great need to keep important political …Read More

Hans-Dietrich Genscher was German foreign minister when I first met him.  On 1 October 1982, I was in Bonn to consult with Wolfgang Ischinger, his office director.  Our meeting was suddenly interrupted by the televised report about Genscher, who announced he and his party, the FDP, were leaving the governing coalition with Helmut Schmidt and …Read More

Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s impact on politics in Germany did not begin with foreign policy but in domestic politics and that is where I met him first. As Minister of the Interior he was in charge of the environment, then a new field of politics, which the freshly formed coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals had taken …Read More

The twenty-first century is a century that is and will be increasingly marked by changing patterns of interdependence, influence, and interests among states, regions, and non-state actors. The structures of global political economic and social interactions will become at once more interconnected, while also adjusted to account for the changing equations of power, legitimacy, order, …Read More

For those who wished for an improvement in the Middle East, the New Year certainly started with plenty of disappointments. Drastic deterioration of Saudi-Iranian relations, calamitous attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the persistent menace of the Islamic State (ISIS) are conspiring to erase all traces of optimism. At home in Europe, mass assaults on …Read More

2015 did not end well for President Obama. 2016 did not begin well for Chancellor Merkel. But they will both face even more serious challenges in the new year. For Obama, it is his final year in the White House. For Merkel, it could help determine whether she will have several more years in the …Read More

Germany is a Rechtsstaat—a country anchored in law. The German constitution, or Basic Law, is a mirror of German thinking about its democracy, just as the U.S. constitution reflects American interpretations of the rule of law, justice, and the parameters of government. When it comes to foreign policy decisions, Germans are particularly meticulous about the …Read More

Winston Churchill reminded us that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Even within democracy, the many variations that have been attempted sometimes have trouble speaking the same language – literally and figuratively. Two of them, in the United Stares and in the Federal Republic of Germany, …Read More

This year’s Symposium is framed around the idea of “A New Transatlantic Generation.” We know that German-American relations have long been shaped by the personal connections that were established after World War II and held firm throughout the Cold War. Since reunification, however, there has been a rapid drawdown of the American troop presence in …Read More

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of German unification, author Rita Kuczynski, who experienced life in both East and West Germany before the reunification, sits down with AICGS President Dr. Jackson Janes to share her experience of the changes and transitions that unification brought from the perspective of an ordinary citizen, an intellectual, and …Read More

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