AICGS

Society, Culture & Politics Program

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Listening to Legacies

This week, millions of Germans watched a new made for television series called “Our Mothers, Our Fathers” (Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter). The series presents the events of the Second World …

Napolitano’s Plan

At age 87, the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, is getting ready to guide Italian politics out of the deep hole it has sunk into. He will need to gather …

Papal Purposes

As the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome this week to choose—for the first time in 600 years—one pope to replace another who is still living, I reflected on two …

Government – Italian Style

While there is nothing better than watching Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni explain marriage Italian style, watching government styles is a bit more challenging. A recent editorial in The Washington …

The Debate over Betreuungsgeld

Viewed narrowly, the passage of Betreuungsgeld demonstrated the power of a small but determined party in a coalition government; it is a bit harder to determine its meaning for German family policy more generally. Considering Germany’s belated commitment to making adequate numbers of child care places available, does Betreuungsgeld simply represent the dying gasp of a deeply conservative strand of German family policy, one that has sought to maintain a housewife role for women since the early days of the Federal Republic?

Italy’s Electoral Chaos

The Italian elections have  resulted in gridlock. With polls increasingly painting a picture of utter confusion, and no obvious majority, Italian commentators displayed growing incredulity.  Many international observers are already …

Italian Election Scenarios

“If Italians want to vote for Silvio Berlusconi, the problem is not Berlusconi, it’s Italians.” Those few words uttered by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti during a radio interview just …

Learning Lessons from a Decade

Sitting in the great hall of the Bayerische Hof during the recent Munich Security Conference, I found myself drifting back a decade to February of 2003 and the time I …

Growing Anti-American Sentiment in Germany?

A new report by the Allensbach Institute was recently referenced in an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung  with a focus on attitudes in Germany toward the United States. The …

The Franco-German Elysée Treaty at Fifty: A Model for Others?

The fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 Elysée Treaty provides occasion for reflection on the larger meaning of this landmark for Franco-German relations, but also raises the question of whether its …

A Spirit of Reason – Festschrift for Steven Muller

In Memory of Steven Muller Former President of Johns Hopkins University and Co-Chairman of AICGS Steven Muller died on January 19, 2013. He left behind a rich tapestry of accomplishments …

Merkel’s Setback in Lower Saxony

This essay was also published in The National Interest on January 23, 2013. As President Obama began his second term in the White House this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel …