While environmental concerns have recently taken a backseat to the economic and financial crisis, scientific projections on climate change continue to call for action. Yet, international cooperation has been hampered and a rift between developed and developing nations is increasingly evident. Companies from developed countries are interested in recouping their investments in clean energy technology through property rights; developing nations contend, however, that such technology must be made available to all nations. This Policy Report, featuring essays from Robert Percival and Miranda Schreurs, examines American and German views on this contentious issue, focusing on what roles technology transfer and intellectual property rights play in the climate policy debate.

When the Lisbon Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009, no one quite knew how this would impact transatlantic relations or how an EU with increasing responsibilities would act toward its neighbors. In the months since, we have seen successes and setbacks: Implementation of the Lisbon Treaty is progressing within the EU with a new President and High Representative already in office, yet transatlantic tensions over the sharing of SWIFT data have called internal EU cooperation into question. In Policy Report 44, authors Frances Burwell and Ludger Kühnhardt examine the Lisbon Treaty and discuss what its influence will be not only on the EU, but also on transatlantic relations and the EU’s neighborhood.

In Policy Report #43, “Promoting Energy Innovation and Investment Through Transatlantic Transfer of Community Energy Policies,” Dale Medearis, Peter Garforth, and Stefan Blüm look to the European Union and Germany to draw lessons about community energy planning at the national and sub-national levels that can be transferred to the U.S. The authors examine issues such as the integration of land-use and transportation planning policies and the development of finance mechanisms and performance measures for energy efficient building construction.

In Policy Report 42, Annette Zimmer and Steven Rathgeb Smith look at social service and health care provision in the United States and Germany, examining the historical development of the different styles of welfare state, the role of public and private expenditures and providers, and current trends in the two countries. The authors offer answers to questions such as how is social service and health care provision affected by the new approach of designing social policy? They also address whether path-dependency in the two countries is still in place; or if German and American nonprofit social and health care providers, confronted with similar problems, tend to adopt similar strategies in order to keep or even enlarge their share of a growing market of social service provision.

While analyses on the integration of immigrants and especially Muslim immigrants have multiplied in recent years, debates in the U.S. and Germany differ on these issues. Even though the U.S. and German debates are clearly different, a comparison of Muslim integration in the U.S. and in Europe is still drawn frequently, and many assumptions are made regarding the other side’s policies. In German-American Issues 13, “The Many Sides of Muslim Integration: A German-American Comparison,” authors Tara Bahrampour, Rauf Ceylan, Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Raida Chbib, Lily Gardner Feldman, and Mathias Rohe examine and challenge these assumptions, focusing on a range of major issues surrounding the debate.

In Issue Brief 37, “Transatlantic Relations After the Lisbon Treaty: Ready for Action, or More Process?” AICGS Research Program/ Publications Coordinator Jessica Riester considers the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty with regard to the EU, the U.S., and Germany within the context of a more broadly international role. Ms. Riester discusses the Treaty’s key aspects for the EU institutions, foreign policy, and transatlantic relations, touching additionally on EU-NATO relations and the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on Germany and an enlarging EU.

By most measures the United States today is a religiously tolerant country, despite its past history of discrimination against many minority faith communities, writes Mark Rozell, Professor at George Mason University, in Issue Brief #36, “Religious Tolerance and Islam: A Comparative Analysis.” In comparison, societal acceptance of Muslims has been far more difficult to achieve in western Europe than in the United States, Rozell argues, and he cites some reasons for this difference in acceptance, additionally focusing on the role of the media. This Issue Brief is part of AICGS’ project on the “Integration of Muslim Immigrants in Germany and the United States,” which works to deepen German and American understanding of immigration and integration of Muslims.

One of the most debated issues in the transatlantic partnership is the NATO mission in Afghanistan. In January 2010, the London Conference on Afghanistan brought together delegations from around the world to discuss the military engagement in Afghanistan as well as the future of the country. AICGS Research Associate Kirsten Verclas explores how this conference surrounding one of the most contested issues in the German-American partnership was covered by the German and American media and outlines the reasons behind the coverage.

In this Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Isabelle Kürschner examines the increase in women legislators in Germany and the U.S. since the mid-1970s and dissects the factors that contributed to this increase. Dr. Kürschner also looks at the role that women’s organizations and networks play in assisting women legislators, showing a large difference in organizational effectiveness in the two countries.

The fight against terrorism has been on the forefront of the U.S. and German agendas and shapes the relationship between both countries. While cooperation has been strong, differences have arisen in several areas. In Issue Brief 35, Edna Dretzka and DAAD/AICGS Fellow Stormy-Annika Mildner examine the disagreement between the U.S. and EU over sharing private financial data in relation to terrorism. The authors look at the legal situation in the United States and the political struggles in the European Union that hamper better cooperation across the Atlantic, and offer ideas on how the two actors can overcome their differences on data-sharing and SWIFT.

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