In the last sixty years, the institutionalized cooperation between sovereign nation states in Europe has been a major success. Underpinned by a U.S. commitment to the defense of Europe, European integration has delivered the longest period of peace and prosperity across most of Europe since the times of the Roman Empire. However, sixty years after the …Read More

Panel Discussion at the German Historical Institute. Speakers: Kathleen Canning (University of Michigan), Rüdiger Graf (Center for Contemporary History Potsdam), Donna Harsch (Carnegie Mellon University), and Dirk Schumann (University of Göttingen), and moderated by David Clay Large (University of San Francisco/University of California, Berkeley) This panel will bring together Weimar historians to address the history …Read More

With the ripple effect of Donald Trump’s election still being felt not only in the U.S., but all over the world, many are scrambling to find explanations for how that happened. One widespread explanation is the rise of a populist surge—against parties, politics, and so-called powerful elites. But in order to understand how it happened, …Read More

This text was originally presented at a public lecture at the  University of Pretoria, South Africa, on February 15, 2017. Introduction One might reasonably ask what is actually special about Donald Trump and the Trump presidency. After all, it is not populism in public office that is new. Neither is Donald Trump the first narcissist …Read More

There is a well-known warning to all politicians seeking to sound convincing to their audiences: if you have to explain too much, you are losing them. If there are too many ambiguities in a message, you trip yourself up justifying them. The platform of the Munich Security Conference is a tough testing ground for all politicians given the enormous concentration on what is discussed there. This year’s meeting was no exception.

The Munich Security Conference has had many memorable milestones over the last half century; I have been privileged to experience several. The famous “I am not convinced” exchange between Joschka Fischer and Donald Rumsfeld in 2003; the gauntlet directed at the U.S. by Vladimir Putin in 2007; Joachim Gauck’s challenge to Germany for it to rethink …Read More

President Donald Trump’s sexist remarks made during the 2016 campaign, such as calling a former Miss Universe winner “Miss Piggy” or alluding to a female reporter’s menstrual cycle, have caused him to lose favor with many members of the opposite sex. However, the Women’s March that took place on his first day in office was …Read More

How should a democracy protect itself from forces that seem intent on destroying freedom and open discourse?  The German constitution (Basic Law) establishes a “militant democracy” that is prepared to take undemocratic measures to ensure that the Federal Republic does not suffer a repeat of the cynical—and ultimately murderous—rise of the National Socialists.  Chief among …Read More

A Collection from This Week’s News on Important Issues for German-American Relations Business and Economics Germany Should Not Fear Trump (Handelsblatt Global) Should German carmakers be alarmed? (DW) Bank of England Governor: Bank will protect economic growth (U.S.News) IMF boosts growth forecast for US, cites Trump impact (Southern Business Journal) U.S. Ambassadors in Asia make …Read More

It is said that Mark Twain once commented, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Maybe a more accurate version is that history doesn’t repeat itself, but people often do—for better or for worse. Over the past seventy years, German and American leadership has been defined by shared interests and objectives. Despite any number …Read More

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