In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes discusses the domestic debates in Germany and the U.S. over the killing of Osama bin Laden and how these debates reflect the national psyches of the transatlantic partners.
Since the beginning of the euro crisis last year, no solution to the crisis was possible without Germany, write AICGS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Dr. Ulrike Guérot and Mark Leonard, both of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Although Germany has now signaled it will do what it takes to save the euro, much of Europe is worried about the way this will be done; the authors argue that Germany needs to recast its approach to economic governance to avoid the creation of a two-speed Europe and put its economic might at the heart of a push to develop a global Europe.
The debate over the response to the Libyan civil war continues on both sides of the Atlantic and in particular on Germany’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote. In particular, Roger Cohen of The New York Times energized the debate after an op-ed he wrote that criticized Merkel’s leadership… Read more >
When Germany abstained in the United Nations Security Council’s vote on Libya, quite a few eyebrows were raised in the United States and in Europe (not to speak of the German strategic community). While the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom were united in the determination to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Libya, Germany sided with Russia and China – as well as with Brazil and India, two countries that also have ambitions to become permanent members of the Council – in basically declaring neutrality (let’s set aside how realistic these permanent member ambitions have now become in light of the recent vote). In departing from her traditional Western allies, Germany, reciprocating French unilateralism in the Libya crisis, dealt a blow to transatlantic – and European – coherence and security cooperation.
The German people have developed a preference for the status quo, writes AICGS Trustee and former German Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Ischinger. The world is fundamentally changing, yet German politicians are responding passively in concert with the status quo preference, a shortsighted view that does nothing but harm future generations of Germans and Europeans, Ischinger argues. This essay originally appeared in the July 6, 2011, edition of Der Spiegel.
In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines how the FDP lost support since the 2009 election and the challenges they – and all parties – face in getting voters to buy in to their messages.
A Green Future? Implications of the 2011 Land Elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg
In the case of the recent Land elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, the use of the word ‘sensational,’ for once, seems justified, writes Dr. Simon Green, Professor of Politics at Aston University, UK, and a frequent contributor to the Advisor. The results show that the Greens are the party of the moment, Dr. Green contends, but the realities of governing in Baden-Württemberg will present a challenge and at the federal level, Chancellor Merkel’s position continues to look somewhere between safe and unassailable.
The CDU has been in charge in Baden-Württemberg either solely or with a coalition since the 1950s and a CDU loss of leadership here would be a serious blow to Merkel’s position as chairman of the party. Up until recently, the CDU has been in good position to maintain power with Minister-President Stefan Mappus and an economy that is doing very well given its strong manufacturing base. However, nuclear power concerns after Japan will dominate the debate, and the Greens look poised to potentially have their first-ever Minister-President in Winfried Kretschmann.
Mostly overshadowed by the same-day election in Baden-Württemberg, the neighboring state of Rhineland-Palatinate has been in the hands of the Social Democrats (in coalition with the FDP until 2006) since the early 1990s. Minister-President Kurt Beck remains popular and the state is also doing well economically; booming high-tech and pharmaceutical companies result in Rhineland-Palatinate having the highest rate of exports among all Länder. Still, this tumultuous election year shows that nothing can be taken for granted, and this election will also come down to the wire.
In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines Germany’s abstention from the UN vote on Libya and the questions surrounding the German and other European responses to the continuing developments in the larger region.