When Germany elected a new government on 27 September 2009, it did so not with an eye to the party, economic, or political successes of the previous sixty years. Rather, the election displayed a startling realignment of the party system. This election, occurring as it did in the middle of a celebration of sixty years of the Federal Republic of Germany, can perhaps be seen as the beginning of a new period of German politics, and its impact on transatlantic relations will continue to be seen…

As Germany approaches its September federal election, how will this election shape German-American relations in the coming months? In Issue Brief 30, Jessica Riester, Research Program/ Publications Coordinator at AICGS, examines the policy challenges facing the two countries and the expectations each country has for the other before and after the election, arguing that the German-American relationship can flourish in 2009 and beyond.

Differing Catholic Communities While the Pope is making his historical visit to Washington and New York this week, he is grappling with a community of Catholics that looks different from the one in the Pope’s native country. Contrasting with a very vocal, diverse, and large group of some 70 million American Catholics is a smaller …Read More

The European Union is a powerful group of states seeking to pool their resources. But it remains a work in progress, uneven in its economic and political consensus and in its ability to steer its capabilities. As long as Europe continues the process of defining itself, the U.S. will need to be in direct communication with the key national leaders in European capitals, such as Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Although the U.S.’ focus is no longer on Europe as it was during the Cold War, the transatlantic partnership—and Germany—continues to play an important role.

For many observers, both inside the United States and abroad, the financing of American political campaigns is regarded with skepticism and some disregard as a system which is influenced too much by wealthy donors and special interest groups. The sentiment goes, that political decisions are driven by financing and connections…

It has become fashionable to contrast a religious United States with a secular Europe. As with most broad generalizations, this one contains some truth. Levels of religious self-identification and practice are higher in America than in Western Europe. Religious rhetoric plays a more prominent role in public discourse in Washington, DC, than it does in London, Berlin, Paris, or other European capitals. In making broad comparisons, however, much depends on how key terms are defined…

Germany and the United States are facing similar challenges of aging populations. While the aging trend is stronger and more dramatic in Germany, both societies will have to deal with massive challenges over the coming decades to both pension and healthcare policies…

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s announcement on May 22, 2005 of early national parliamentary elections took many Europeans by surprise…

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