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Comfort Zones and Conflict Lines: How Germany Cares for Its Religions

In October 2013, Minister President and leader of the Greens in Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, gave an outline of his understanding of freedom of religion and the relationship between state, churches, …

Shaping Transatlantic Solutions: Challenges of the 2012 and 2013 Elections

The U.S. elections in 2012 and the German elections in 2013 demonstrate that, despite their geographic distance, the two countries are confronted by both similar and shared problems: debt crises, …

Once Upon a Time, It Was a Man’s World: Women in Conservative Parties in Germany and the U.S.

With a gain of 7.7 percent or roughly four million electoral votes[1] in the recent federal elections, the German Christian Conservatives brought in the best results since 1990. That success …

An Anxious German Media Reacts to the U.S. Government Shutdown

The world has been closely following the partial shutdown of the U.S. Federal Government. The drama playing out in America’s capital is as much a subject of ridicule overseas as …

The Impact of Textbook Diplomacy: Refraining from a Too Narrow Assessment

Along with official state apology, financial reparations for victims, and truth commissions, international textbook activities have been a core symbol of reconciliation since the end of World War II. The …

A Brief History of the Evolution of Gun Control in the U.S.

Gun control is once again an important topic of conversation in the U.S. after the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, with calls for further reforms. Past experience has shown that …

Scenarios for the Future of the EU: Disintegrating, Diffident or Decisive?

Three Scenarios As the U.S. recalibrates its relationship with the EU in the second Obama administration, it behooves observers to contemplate different trajectories for the EU’s future. The three possible …

Personal Reconciliation between Germans and Jews

The Many Levels of Reconciliation  The award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has focused attention on how governments in Europe have built lasting reconciliation.  Studies …

Islam to be Added to German Public School Curriculum in North Rhine-Westphalia

While the prospect of religious education in public schools may confound or upset Americans, it is a common aspect of the German education system. In addition to many other major …

Die Betreuungsgeld-Debatte: Implications for Integration

On June 6, 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a proposal that would issue financial support (a so-called Betreuungsgeld, or child care subsidy) to families who care for their toddlers …

Challenging Times: Muslims and their Role in Shaping the Future of Germany

The Muslim community is at the forefront of public debate, not only as a result of the post 9/11 era, but more so because of questions related to Islam and its convergences with a democratic, pluralistic society. Whereas some Muslims ignored these inquiries into their faith for too long, others sincerely tried to engage in discussion.