Please join AICGS on Thursday, April 18, 2013 for a seminar with Dr. Gale Mattox, Senior Visiting Fellow of the AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program, and Dr. Kuniko Ashizawa, Visiting Fellow at the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS, on “The Place of Regional Institution-Building in German and Japanese Foreign Policies: Current Approaches.” The discussion will take place from 2:00 to 4:00pm in the R.G. Livingston Conference Room of AICGS, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700. All visitors are now required to check in at the entrance to the building for security measures.

On April 17, 2013, the AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Program hosted a roundtable discussion on “Polish-Russian Reconciliation: Achievements and Challenges” with Dr. Sławomir Dębski, Director of the Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding. Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman, Harry & Helen Gray Senior Fellow and Director of the Society, Culture & Politics Program at AICGS, provided comments highlighting similarities and differences between Polish-Russian and Polish-German reconciliation.

AICGS, the Goethe-Institut’s Mapping Democracy Series, the German Embassy-Cultural Division, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association are pleased to host Donald Kommers and Russell Miller, co-authors of The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (2012), for a panel discussion on “The Constitutional Framework for German Democracy.” The event will take place at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St, NW.

On April 8, 2013 AICGS and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) hosted an off-the-record conference on “Climate and Energy Risks: A Transatlantic Cooperation.” The conference was generously supported by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesregierung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi). An interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts from Germany and the United States discussed the following topics on four different panels: energy security, the shale gas challenge, nuclear energy, and mitigating and adapting to climate risks. This conference was part of an ongoing project on “New Systemic Risks: Challenges and Opportunities for Transatlantic Cooperation,” which examines the impediments and opportunities for transatlantic risk management.

On March 29, 2013, AICGS hosted a seminar entitled “Private Health Care Insurance: Efficiency and Accessibility of Options in the U.S. and Germany” with Ines Läufer, DAAD/AICGS Fellow. Ms. Läufer discussed the effects of regulation of the private insurance market in the U.S. and Germany and the role of private health insurers in the health care system in light of rising premiums and a lack of integrated health care management.

Do citizens care about public debt? Due to the lack of research on this topic it is hard to provide a concise answer to this question, but through research projects similar to Dr. Karsten Mause’s, an answer might be possible. On March 28th, Dr. Mause presented his research on a number of public opinion polls that addressed the concerns of citizens on public debt. Dr. Mause analyzed different polling outcomes, like the Pew Research Center’s studies, to formulate his perspective on the public opinion of debt. By using different public opinion polls, Dr. Mause was able to determine that citizens are concerned about their countries’ public debt.

Adrian Wooldridge joined us on March 27th to discuss his analysis of the Nordic model, and how that model can be applied to other countries. Prior to explaining the Nordic model, Wooldridge presented some important caveats. One was that the Nordic countries have a combined population of about 25 million people. This is important to note because Germany has a total population of about 80 million; and such a disparity highlights the potential difficulty of applying this model to countries with populations larger than the Nordic region. The other caveat was that the Nordic countries focused on structural reform and budget balancing during the 1990’s; this is important because during this period other countries were experiencing prosperity, not stagnation. The focus on promoting growth accompanied by the aforementioned factors aided in the success of the Nordic model.

On March 4, 2013, AICGS, in conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, hosted a discussion with Members of the German Bundestag’s Armed Forces Committee. The topics covered included the current state of European security; Germany’s relationship to NATO; and Germany’s role in Mali, Syria, Afghanistan, and Asia.

On February 28, 2013, the AICGS Harry & Helen Gray Program hosted a seminar entitled “Territorial Tensions in North East Asia: Lessons from German Reconciliation.” The main topic of discussion was the difficulty of solving the territorial dispute between South Korea, Japan, and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu and Dokdo/Takeshima islands.

On February 27, 2013, AICGS hosted a seminar entitled “The Stakes of the Italian Elections on the Euro Crisis” with Carlo Bastasin, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and columnist for the Italian financial newspaper II Sole-24 Ore, and Thomas Klau, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who joined via video from Paris. The discussion focused on Italy’s stalemate resulting from last week’s elections. Presenters discussed changes in the Italian economy, the results of the election, the short-term future of the Italian government, as well as divergent perspectives on the election’s impact on Europe.

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