Updates

Here you'll find all our work in one place, from short articles to long reports, infographics, expert interviews, animated videos, and full-length documentaries.

Politics & Society

Nord Stream 2

The German-American Honeymoon May End Soon, Then the Real Work Begins

The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris serves as a breath of fresh air for transatlanticists on both sides of the ocean. But of all the European countries heaving a sigh of relief, Germany’s exhalation may be the loudest. Berlin has been, after all, the proverbial punching bag for the Trump...

Digital Economy

Toward Deeper Cooperation on EU-US Digital Trade

Over time and in conjunction with technological developments, the nature of international trade has evolved. Trade is no longer just about the exchange of goods or the provision of simple services. It increasingly involves actions related to various dimensions of the digital economy.

Future of Work

President Biden's Future of Work Plans

The future of work was on a lot minds during the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Candidates proposed retraining truckers, instituting modified forms of universal basic income and reconstituting jobs in post-industrial cities decimated by automation.

Digital Economy

An Alternative Take on Trade

Adding to the Menu of Agriculture Trade Options

In hundreds of thousands of years, evidence of civilization will not be decaying skyscraper spires, nor meticulously painted canvasses at archeological dig sites. Instead, humans’ imprint on fossil layers will be the trillions of chicken bones left from conventional agriculture. Rather than cultural...

Politics & Society

The 535 | October 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the U.S. Congress

With the unemployment rate hovering around 8 percent, Americans are bracing for a winter filled with economic and election uncertainty. While September and the beginning of October promised to be action-filled, few could anticipate the deluge of news that unfolded in mere weeks.

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | October 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

It seemed like Washington spent the summer looking longingly toward Europe: freedom of movement abounded, and holidays proceeded, albeit it under unique circumstances. Now, however, the European Union is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, eliciting fresh questions about the efficacy of the...

Politics & Society

Clean Network’s Summer Tour

EU in the Middle of U.S-China Rivalry Over 5G

Dueling diplomatic trips in Europe this summer by United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi sought to sway the European Union’s stance on the China-U.S. rivalry. Among other goals, Pompeo would like to convince more countries to pledge not to use parts made...

Digital Economy

Learn to Code

The Challenges of Creating Mass Employment in Our Digital World

In January 2019 internet trolls took to Twitter to taunt recently fired journalists with some advice: “Learn to Code!” It was a shot at American “elites” who were deemed dismissive of blue-collar workers whose jobs are disappearing. The trolls caustically suggested a more promising future could be...

Politics & Society

The Transatlantic Relationship’s High Noon

The end of the film High Noon, a 1952 Western that rendered Gary Cooper's image synonymous with that of the lonesome, gun-slinging frontiersman, was equal parts controversial and iconic. Playing Sheriff Will Kane, Cooper’s town selfishly leaves him alone to face a band of outlaws. After he...

Politics & Society

The 535 | August 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the U.S. Congress

In what has been one of the tensest periods in modern history for the American public and lawmakers alike, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed stark political divisions among the country’s two main parties. Congress and the Trump Administration were able to agree on the initial bailout package, the...

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | August 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

In late July, following tense negotiations that echoed divisions of the financial crisis, the European Union at last agreed to a massive bailout of $857 billion. When countries and their economies were forced to shut down during the pandemic, countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and...

Politics & Society

The Geopolitics of TikTok

Once the domain of teenage dancers, pranksters, and aspiring influencers, TikTok has become a lightning rod in disputes among global powers. The Chinese video app is in the crosshairs of policymakers whose options to move against Beijing are limited.

Future of Work

American Workers Need More Than Just Another Stimulus

Today, July 9th, American workers awoke to improving jobs news, with unemployment rising less than expected to 1.4 million new claims. In June, payrolls rose by 4.8 million and unemployment fell to 11.1 percent. Still, lashed by COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn, 45 million Americans...

Democracy

Cyber Democracy

Regulating the 21st Century Internet

As the debate regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act highlights, tech platforms, left to their own devices, are in many ways helping to codify what is increasingly an internet bifurcated by political and philosophical beliefs: you’re either in the “Dorsey” or “Zuckerberg” camp.

Politics & Society

COVID-19 and Germany’s Political Transformation

In February, a political earthquake in the small eastern state of Thuringia sent shockwaves across Germany.[1] After the state-level Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) broke political taboo by collaborating with the populist far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD),...

Future of Work

How Can Automation Accelerate Economic Recovery from Coronavirus?

As COVID-19 courses through the United States, technology and automation are often touted as primarily positive forces that unlock home grocery delivery and the flexibility to work from home. But for many low-wage workers, COVID-19 has catalyzed a pernicious chain reaction that will impact their...

Politics & Society

EU Enlargement Talks Stalled by COVID-19

Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron shocked his European Union counterparts by vetoing the start of EU accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania. It was a bitter pill to swallow; both countries have been waiting for over a decade since applying for EU membership to proceed to...

Politics & Society

Grassroots Tech Offers Hope in the Age of Coronavirus

During the 1918 influenza pandemic, more than 500 million people worldwide were infected with the virus and around 675,000 people died in the United States. More than a century later, we are in the middle of another pandemic that has already infected 4.2 million people worldwide, killed over 80,000...

Democracy

Remote Control

Legislating in an Empty Chamber

The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the habits of ordinary citizens the world over. We don masks and gloves in supermarkets, and follow one-way arrows up and down the aisles in search of that elusive box of pasta. We interact with pixelated versions of our families, friends and colleagues on...

Future of Work

COVID-19’s Future of Work Wrecking Ball

As COVID-19 cuts its path across the world, attention is shifting away from the immediate need to contain a public health crisis and toward the crisis’s long-term impact on jobs, workers, and the “future of work.” What was once a long-term, wonk-dominated discussion centered on upskilling and...

Digital Economy

The US-German Economic Relationship

Trends in bilateral trade and investment

According to the realist school of thought, the world is a brutal, dangerous arena. It is anarchical. No government of governments enforces rules. The motives of other countries are unpredictable, and the threats they pose are potentially existential. In such an environment, one country cannot...

Politics & Society

The 535 | April 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the U.S. Congress

In what likely would have been a period of legislative stalemates and election year politicking, the COVID-19 pandemic has instead forced those in the capital to cross party lines and work together. Despite an increase in bipartisanship, the pandemic has brought to light numerous systemic problems...

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | April 2020

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

The European Union started 2020 out with a bang. It announced grandiose promises of digital sovereignty, ambitious climate change mitigation plans, and a futuristic optimism about the direction of the continent. The outbreak of COVID-19 has suddenly shifted legislative agendas and forced countries...

Politics & Society

Privacy and Pandemics

In bucolic China, a child has braved cold temperatures for some fresh outdoors air. Overhead, a drone hovers. Its loudspeaker, a haunting combination of human direction in the machine age, chides him for being outdoors. “Hey kid! We’re in unusual times… The coronavirus is very serious… run!!” it...

Democracy

Third Parties Won’t Win the White House

But They Could Decide the Election

Given the polarized state of American politics, it can be easy to assume that Americans have a binary decision to make this November. They do not.

Democracy

Common Enemies

Coalition Building in America’s Major Political Parties

In countries with parliamentary systems, like Germany, consensus is built after the election. Parties work together to form coalition governments and craft platforms that represent their values. In the United States, the elections themselves are consensus building exercises, as the parties undergo a...

Politics & Society

Battle Won, War Lost?

The Downward Trend of Germany’s Social Democrats

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) triumphed in the recent Hamburg state election, held last Sunday, February 23. However, this victory is no reason to celebrate for Social Democrats across Germany. While the party has won a battle, it is losing the war – and pretty severely.

Politics & Society

Trade War 2020

What Iowa Tells us About Trump’s Chances in the Presidential Election

The United States’ ongoing trade war could be President Donald Trump’s biggest liability in the 2020 elections. Many of those bearing the brunt of the conflict are Trump supporters, especially in swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa, which could impact his chance of reelection later this...

Politics & Society

E3 in the Middle

Europe’s Awkward Position between the U.S. and Iran

Though it may be hard to remember how close we felt to the brink of war earlier this month in the wake of the American-ordered assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, tensions between the United States and Iran are far from resolved. Conflict could flare back up at any moment, making an...

Politics & Society

The 535 | December 2019

Quarterly Newsletter on the U.S. Congress

The world of Trump trade policy has been turbulent and unrelenting. After an anxious summer in trade affairs, Europeans are able to breathe easier now that the Trump Administration missed its own deadline to impose auto tariffs.

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | December 2019

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

The first woman elected to lead the European Commission took office on December 2, a month after the European Parliament settled in and a month after the presidency was intended to begin.

Politics & Society

Powerfrauen?

How Germany’s Political Parties are Approaching the Question of Female Representation

This weekend, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans were named the new leaders of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) after a runoff election against Klara Geywitz and Olaf Scholz. The candidates partnered up in male-female duos as part of the center-left party’s efforts to address...

Politics & Society

Edge of a Precipice

Understanding French President Macron’s EU Vision

In an interview with The Economist released November 7, French President Macron laid out a grand strategic vision for the EU. He called for the creation of an EU military, stronger technological sovereignty, and reforms to deepen the political unity of the EU instead of just growing the single...

Politics & Society

Trick or Treat

The Rule of Law Comes Knocking

In a week dominated by ghouls, goblins, and the forces of darkness, there is some reason for optimism on the streets of Washington and London. For the better part of three years, President Trump has sidelined norms and legal precedent to further his stated objective to “make America great again.”...

Politics & Society

Shared Values No More?

Climate Change and the Transatlantic Relationship

Pundits have wrung their hands about the deterioration of the transatlantic alliance, as U.S. President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum and attacked the Federal Republic for its limited defense spending. However, the alliance may be careening toward another – and likely much...

Politics & Society

The 535 | August 2019

Quarterly Newsletter on the U.S. Congress

Summer in the “swamp” has been anything but quiet. From increased calls for President Trump’s impeachment to drama within the Democratic ranks and the ongoing border crisis, Congress heads into its August recess with many unanswered questions and a mounting workload for the fall. Here are some key...

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | August 2019

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

Heading into the European Parliament elections in May, many pundits and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic cautioned that Europe would soon bear witness to a new era of Euroskeptics elected into the European government. However, the elections’ results brought far less change than many had...

Future of Work

Britain’s AI Power Play

In the 1980s British sitcom Yes Minister, civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby remarks that diplomacy is about surviving until the next century, whereas politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon. Sir Appleby’s wry observation rings especially true today, with U.K. watchers caught up in the...

Democracy

Six Steps

Recommendations for Building Resilient Democracy in the 21st Century

In April 2019, the Bertelsmann Foundation convened two dozen international leaders from the fields of business, politics, nonprofits, and the arts for the Washington Symposium, which asked how to make democracy resilient enough to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Politics & Society

A Transatlantic Perspective on China’s Belt Road Initiative

At the end of World War II, the U.S. Embassy in Prague requested that General Eisenhower permit U.S. troops to proceed fifty miles further east to liberate Prague. Caving to congressional constituent requests that their boys come home for Christmas, Eisenhower deferred, and Czechoslovakia welcomed...

Democracy

Liquid Democracy

Transforming Democracy for the Digital Age

In the recent European Parliament election, the influence of populism was once again evident. It remains a worrying force, just as it has been in a slew of other elections in the last several years, and is a major threat to the functioning of liberal democracies around the world. While many in the...

Politics & Society

Brussels & Berlin | May 2019

Quarterly Newsletter on the European Parliament and German Bundestag

The European Parliament plays an important role in translating the interests and will of the bloc’s 500 million citizens into real policy. It is one of three institutions involved in creating EU legislation and the only one whose members are elected through direct universal suffrage. The European...

Politics & Society

Red Notice in Rip City

For NBA player and Turkish national Enes Kanter, life used to be simpler. There was a predictable routine: pass, dribble, shoot, defend, repeat. But as the lines between entertainment and politics continue to blur, there are occasions in which the two collide, drawing attention to issues that would...

Democracy

The Populist Uprising and its Victims

There is a famous passage in The Economic Consequences of the Peace1 where Keynes, writing a year after the end of World War I, paints a vivid picture of a globalized world at the pinnacle of the gold standard. He nostalgically reminisces of the time when his countrymen, through the convenience of...

Democracy

Alexa, Is Democracy Dead?

Five generations ago, in 1879, Thomas Edison introduced a technological innovation – the electric light bulb – that would change the world. At the time, few believed that anything could reliably replace gas-powered light, and in an October interview that year the New York Times illuminated the...

Democracy

Democracy’s Canary in a Coal Mine

Editorial Cartoonists and the Health of Democracy

In April 2019, the Bertelsmann Foundation convened two dozen international leaders from the fields of business, politics, nonprofits, and the arts for the Washington Symposium, which asked how to make democracy resilient enough to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Democracy

Democracy and Disinformation

Imagine this: Suddenly, everybody was an author. Everybody could publish; everybody could write. The men who had controlled access to information were now irrelevant; the establishment was crushed in a flood tide of new publications. New ideas multiplied; so did new conflicts. Violence followed –...

Democracy

Democracy

An Aristocratic Spirit

“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” This conclusion by Saint Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, as simple as it is wise, explains why in our own time so many great words have been so emptied of meaning that we no longer have any idea what they refer to, or continue purely out...

Democracy

Democracy 101

An Introduction

“Our democracy is dead.” I’ve heard this phrase uttered all across the world after the passage of a restrictive voter law, the closure of an independent news outlet or the results of a questionable election. Friends and acquaintances over the years have lamented: Because of x, my country is no...

Politics & Society

Incoming!

Germany’s Thrifty Defense Budget Under Fire

NATO’s current infighting would probably have shocked even the reportedly unflappable Lord Hastings Ismay, the alliance’s first Secretary General. He famously declared that NATO’s mission was to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Seventy years later, the first two...

Politics & Society

Unclear on US Trade Policy?

President’s Proposed Budget Has Clues

In a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, Senator Wyden (D-OR), the ranking Democrat, called trade one of the “least known and biggest issues” facing the country. Amid United States Trade Representative (USTR) opaqueness and a lack of details in recent congressional testimony, the Trump...

Politics & Society

The Green New Deal

Revolutionary or Recycled Policies?

In early February 2019, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released their Green New Deal (GND), a non-binding Congressional resolution that argues for “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World...

Democracy

Love Triangle

Italy, France, and Germany Ahead of the European Parliament Elections

In mid-January, two of the European Union’s largest economic powers met in Aachen to commit to closer cooperation and continued friendship. The treaty signed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron strengthened the two nations’ economic and security partnership,...

Politics & Society

Italy’s 2019 Budget Worries the EU and Global Markets

Rarely does Italian fiscal policy seriously worry foreign investors accustomed to successive crises, but the 2019 budget proposed by Rome’s new coalition government of the League (“Lega”) of right-wing parties and the populist Five Star Movement (5SM) is triggering bad reactions in bond and equity...

Digital Economy

Trade War on the Horizon

How Should the EU Respond?

The protectionist trade policy Donald Trump had already announced during his election campaign has been taking more and more concrete shape since March 2018. Although the European Union (EU) had initially been exempted from punitive tariffs, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium...

Democracy

Arts and Culture - Part 1

Keeping Democracy Alive or Entertainment for the Establishment?

Is culture an early warning system for the erosion of democracy? Are the conditions of production and the acceptance of art an early warning system? Are art and culture prerequisites for a functional level of dialogue and communication, and thus for democracy as well? How can they generate momentum...

Democracy

Arts and Culture - Part 2

Keeping Democracy Alive or Entertainment for the Establishment?

Wolfgang Merkel, of the Berlin Social Science Center, emphatically notes in his more recent publications that a significant problem for current democracies stems from deficits of representation: “In the last two to three decades, a growing group of citizens has been taking shape that does not feel...

Democracy

Democracy – Its Substance and Meaning

Can One Size fit All?

Of course, “one size” of democracy cannot, and should not, fit all! We are familiar with two variations, notably direct democracy 1 and representative democracy 2, and three democratic systems, parliamentary 3, presidential 4 and mixed 5, the last combining elements of the former two. In...

Democracy

Taking Stock of Democracy

Still a Success Story or not Competitive Anymore?

Taking stock of democracy seems to be easy. Democracy doubtlessly was the most successful idea of the 20th century, in spite of its flaws and problems. Democracy is able to adapt to changing environments and has been able to cope with challenges and problems in most cases. As a consequence, the...

Democracy

The Square People

Politics of Protests

“Is our democracy in danger?” asked Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, the authors of the recently published How Democracies Die, and added, “It is a question we never thought we’d be asking.” “Nothing lasts forever. At some point democracy was always going to pass into the pages of history,”...

Democracy

Democracy, an Economic Review

Open Market Economies Under Pressure

The political model of a liberal and cosmopolitan democracy is coming under increasing pressure in many Western industrialized nations. This also applies to the economic model prevalent in liberal democracies, which is based on core elements such as private property, competition, open markets and...

Democracy

Decoding the Writings on the Wall

In hindsight, we can see quite clearly that 1989 represented the heyday of an illusion that did not last very long. Has history ever seen similar situations, in which liberal beginnings led to illiberal outcomes? Does historical research provide explanations and analytical tools that might help us...

Democracy

The Erosion of Democracy in Developing and Transition Countries | Part 1

Political transformation as measured by the BTI 2018 has, on average, reached a new low around the globe. In more and more countries, rulers are strategically undermining control mechanisms in order to secure power and maintain patronage systems and opportunities for self-enrichment. At the same...

Democracy

The Erosion of Democracy in Developing and Transition Countries | Part 2

Crises relating to the legitimacy and performance of liberal democracies play into the hands of populists and autocrats all over the world. Even today, the discourse in Latin America still makes reference to the devastating social consequences of the “Washington Consensus” policy developed by the...

Politics & Society

Germany's Current Account and Trade Surpluses

During the past decade, macroeconomic imbalances – typified by countries’ surplus or deficit of exports, currency, or capital – have moved to the fore of international economic policy debates. Global events and developments, such as China’s integration into the world economy, the 2008 financial...

Politics & Society

The Far-Right Foundation

Just a few years ago, most Germans could not have imagined that members of a far-right party would enter the Bundestag. But in 2017, after the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took home 12.6 percent of the vote in the federal elections, over 90 members of the party moved into offices in...

Future of Work

This Is Your Office on AI

The future has arrived and it’s your first day at your new job. You step across the threshold sporting a nervous smile and harboring visions of virtual handshakes and brain-computer interfaces. After all, this is one of those newfangled, modern offices that science-fiction writers have been dreaming...

Future of Work

Artificial Intelligence and the Transatlantic Alliance

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to transform economies and touch virtually every aspect of our lives in the coming years. Until recently, its potential was framed almost exclusively in economic terms, with boosters estimating it would contribute $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Democracy

A New Constellation

Making Sense of the Italian Election

Italians have a long history of conducting national elections that result in short-lived governments. With more than 40 prime ministers and over 60 governments since World War II, stability and longevity have not been the hallmarks of Italian democracy. When Italians return to the polls on March 4,...

Politics & Society

Germany's Coalition Agreement

Transatlantic Ties in Times of ‘Profound Change’

After months of tumultuous negotiations in Berlin, the CDU, CSU and SPD emerged on February 7 with a draft coalition agreement. Much of the document spells out a continuation of past priorities, but five short paragraphs on page 147 show a serious, and perhaps irreversible, shift in thinking about...

Future of Work

The Future of Work is Trans-Atlantic

The past year has brought momentous disruption to the trans-Atlantic alliance. From the ascent of President Trump, to Brexit, to the rise of populist parties in France, Germany and Austria, voters have taken a cudgel to the status quo. Dumbfounded, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have set off...

Politics & Society

The Turkish-German Tug-of-War

In the lead-up to Germany’s federal elections on September 24, the nation’s 2.9 million Turkish-born residents have found themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between Berlin and Ankara.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long enjoyed a certain amount of support in the Turkish community in...

Politics & Society

China’s Play for Market Economy Status

In its 2001 accession protocol to the World Trade Organization (WTO), China agreed to provisions that would allow other countries to treat it as a nonmarket economy for the purposes of certain trade disputes, leveling the playing field for companies that otherwise could not compete with China’s...

Politics & Society

NAFTA Renegotiation

State of Play and a Look Ahead

Trade officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada are gathered in Ottawa this week for the third round of negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The first two rounds, which took place over the past month in Washington and Mexico City, covered an uncommonly...

Politics & Society

Merkel and the Trump Two-Step

Navigating the German Chancellor’s White House Visit

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares for her first in-person encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House this week, she faces a strategic reality that contrasts sharply with her previous visits hosted by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Buffeted by challenges at...

Democracy

Italy’s Referendum Uncertainty

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned his post last week after voters roundly rejected a referendum on constitutional reform. The proposal sought to revise nearly a third of the Italian Constitution’s 139 articles, and would have changed the composition and law-making procedures of the...

Politics & Society

The International Response to Crisis in the Middle East

A German Approach

The wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, stretching from Western Sahara through North Africa, the Middle East, to the Hindu Kush, is arguably the most crisis-ridden in the world. The war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the fight against so-called “Islamic State” (IS) terrorism dominate...

Digital Economy

The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework

A New Paradigm for an Evolving Digital World

In the age of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail – when one can peruse strangers’ selfies and read personal emails of presidential candidates on an iPhone – the very notion of privacy seems obsolete. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines respect for one’s private...

Democracy

An American Revolution

The Election of President Donald Trump

The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States marks a seismic shift in American politics. Tapping into widespread economic discontent and exploiting cultural chasms throughout the country, the president-elect ran an unconventional campaign that resulted in a revolution of...

Politics & Society

In Search of the Center

The Beginning of the End of Political Extremism?

As the U.S. presidential candidates limp toward the finish line, dragging a disillusioned electorate along with them, many have reflected on the long-term damage of Trumpism to the Republican Party, or whether those who were “feeling the Bern” will hold their noses and cast a vote for Hillary...

Politics & Society

TTIP Negotiators Make Small Gains

No Major Breakthroughs in Final Round before US Elections

U.S. and EU trade officials gathered in New York City during the week of October 3-7 for the 15th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The round, which may have been TTIP’s last for the foreseeable future, followed a consequential month of trade summits,...

Politics & Society

Germany's Security Policy

From Territorial Defense to Defending the Liberal World Order?

Stark differences exist in the strategic culture between Europe and the United States. They concern as much the disparity in military power—all 28 member states of the European Union together spend less on defense than the United States alone—as well as the very different historical experiences. Two...

Politics & Society

The Energiewende

A Success Story at a Crossroads

Germany is a world leader in renewable energy deployment. The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report ranks Germany as third (after China and the U.S.) in absolute and second (behind Denmark) in per capita installed renewable energy capacity. Driven by a long-term renewable energy policy that dates...

Politics & Society

Echoes of History

Understanding German Data Protection

The discussion surrounding surveillance and the collection of personal data—whether by the private or public sector—and the debate over the authority of the intelligence services have never been more relevant in Germany. The debate has become more complex and contentious as a result of the...

Politics & Society

Russia - A Threat to European Security?

A View from Germany

Tensions between Russia and the European Union, the United States and others have been high since the Russian annexation of Crimea in February-March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive move sent shockwaves around the world—few believed he was capable of such an overt maneuver. As the...

Politics & Society

Trans-Atlantic Trade at the Crossroads

Prospects for TTIP in 2016 and Beyond

Trade ministers from European Union member states will convene in Bratislava, Slovakia later this week to discuss the fate of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The goal of the summit is to assess whether negotiations are in an advanced enough state to enter the so-called...

Politics & Society

Europe's Reluctant Leader

When U.S. President Barack Obama visited Europe early in 2016, he voiced concern about two central issues: recent political and economic strife in Europe and Germany’s duty to take on a more active leadership role in these turbulent times. The political landscape in and around Europe has changed...

Politics & Society

The End of Panda Politics

Somewhere in the bamboo forests of China’s Sichuan Province, two pandas are being readied for their journey to Germany. The animals are to accompany Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits Berlin next year, and will serve as goodwill ambassadors in the city’s zoo. Everyone loves pandas: They are...

Politics & Society

To Counter Extremism, Europe Must Move Beyond Security

and Focus on Neighborhoods

Following a spate of deadly attacks in Western Europe, governments have adopted a largely military-oriented response to secure the homeland and counter violent extremism. The Belgian government has pledged €298 million ($332 million) in additional funding to bolster the police, intelligence services...

Politics & Society

Inside Turkey’s Economy

On July 15, Turkey’s tumultuous 2016 took a shocking twist as elements within the country’s military attempted a coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The putsch rapidly snapped at the seams, and a night that began with soldiers blocking bridges yielded a morning with those...

Politics & Society

A New Role for France

Europe’s Pivotal Nation

In the early days of U.S. President Barack Obama’s term, the administration announced a strategic “pivot” toward the Asia-Pacific region. Implicit in this policy, however, was the assumption that if a nation pivots toward something, it is simultaneously pivoting away from something else – Europe and...

Politics & Society

Negotiators Advance TTIP Agenda

Several Key Issues Remain

The 14th round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) concluded earlier this month with an air of uncertainty, as U.S. and EU negotiators committed to continue the process of resolving differences and consolidating texts without concrete plans for when or where...

Politics & Society

Protecting Europe’s Family Ties in Trying Times

Bringing together 28 member states with diverse histories, cultures and languages naturally complicates a one-size-fits-all approach to policy. But the European Union has transformed the opt-out into an art form. From the Schengen zone to defense and justice, many countries have treated their EU...

Politics & Society

Preserving an Old Model in a New World

German Economic Policy

To describe the German economic and social system in a few words, only one term truly captures its essence: “social market economy.” This means a system characterized by a combination of economic dynamism and social justice. The social market economy is based on the freedom of markets and private...

Politics & Society

Pacific Alliance 2.0

Next Steps in Integration

The Pacific Alliance, an integration agreement between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, has achieved remarkable success in recent years. Also known as the Pacific Pumas, the four countries have worked together since 2011 to eliminate tariffs on over 92 percent of goods, integrate their national...

Democracy

Austrian Elections

When the Peoples' Parties Lose the People

When Austrians went to the polls in last month’s presidential election, the political establishment received a jarring wakeup call. Typically, presidents hail from one of the country’s traditional Volksparteien, or people’s parties—the center-left Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) or the...

Politics & Society

Latest TTIP Round Yields Progress, Gridlock

Negotiators, regulators and stakeholders from civil society and industry convened in New York City last month for the 13th round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. The round followed the highly anticipated visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the...

Politics & Society

Germany's Response to the Refugee Situation

Remarkable Leadership or Fait Accompli?

With the Islamic State group terrorizing large parts of Iraq and Syria, the Syrian civil war raging with no end in sight, and the situation for refugees deteriorating in Jordan and Lebanon, more and more people in the Middle East have decided to flee to the European Union in an attempt to claim...

Politics & Society

A Road for Two

Brexit and the Future of Ireland

The last time a British exit affected the island of Ireland, the year was 1916. With the threat of a new Brexit looming, Dublin and Belfast must prepare to absorb and react to a concussive wave that will shake the island again.

Democracy

Uncivil War

U.S. Elections Under Siege

Democracy

Voter Suppression

How Making It Harder to Vote Undermines Democracy in the United States

Politics & Society

Cowboys in Krakow

A Short History of the Transatlantic Relationship

Democracy

Germany’s Basic Law

An Introduction to the German Government's Founding Document

Politics & Society

Whatever it Takes

Germany and the US Tackle Economies on Lockdown

Politics & Society

Migration | Aachen

Views of Migration in the German City Aachen

Democracy

Harmony

Latvian Democracy at Russia’s Doorstep