The 2021 Bundestag Election

On September 26, 2021, Germany will not only elect a new Bundestag, but a new chancellor. Throughout 2021, AICGS will examine not only the German parties, politicians and policy issues, but how the election debates and outcomes will affect Germany, transatlantic relations, and international order for decades to come.

Project Description

The elections for the Bundestag’s 20th legislative period on September 26, 2021 will be enormously consequential — for Germany of course, but also for the international order. For the first time since 2005 there will be a new chancellor. Germans have long lamented the inability of the last two grand coalitions to tackle the backlog of problems the country faces. Moreover, external challenges also need to be addressed—reforming the EU, reinvigorating NATO, strengthening the transatlantic economic and political partnership, dealing with disruptive actors like Russia, and updating the relationship with China to advance European interests in the context of China’s growing ambitions.

AICGS will examine the strengths of and challenges facing the major German political parties and politicians. Will the CDU’s turmoil from the drawn-out process of choosing a new leader erode their advantages? Can the SPD make up for lost ground and define itself for the 21st century? The Greens have gained dramatically since the last election, but can they keep up their momentum and are they willing to make the compromises necessary to share power in a new coalition? Will the AfD continue to demonstrate staying power or will it succumb to in-fighting and internal fissures? How will these inter- and intra-party dynamics affect policy and coalition building? How dramatically will Germany’s policies and international leadership change with the departure of Angela Merkel?

Support for this project is generously provided by The German Marshall Fund of the United States

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