Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Discriminating minds: Three perspectives on racism, part III

By Agnes Monka

For weeks now, a veritable mudslinging has taken place among intellectuals, journalists and historians in the feuilleton section of German newspapers. The controversy covers all the themes it takes to get Germans hot under the collar: freedom of speech, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Israel, along with apartheid, racism and colonialism. How did it come to this?

The key figure in the debate is the Cameroon-born political scientist, historian and philosopher …

Homecoming game: US troops leaving Germany?

By Johannes Leithäuser

US President Donald Trump’s idea of withdrawing a significant number of US troops from Germany is neither new nor a surprise. The White House issued the same threat once before, just ahead of the NATO summit in July 2018. At the time, the reasons given for the potential transfer of US forces were Germany’s inadequate contribution to NATO’s defense capability and its intention of acquiring more natural gas from Russia …

Populism: Symptom of our current crisis of democracy

By Philip Manow

Book titles like How Democracies Die and How Democracy Ends express the widely held belief that liberal representative democracy faces acute danger. The most recent report by the NGO Freedom House is titled Democracy in Retreat. Modi’s India, Erdoğan’s Turkey, Bolsonaro’s Brazil, Duterte’s Philippines, Putin’s Russia and, yes, the United States under Trump – the rise of strong men with a poorly developed propensity to protect the institutional integrity …

The COVID-19 crisis: An opportunity for more integration?

The COVID-19 crisis: An opportunity for more integration?
By Frank Hofmann

EU officials worked meticulously on the development of the climate crisis package, even though the official language of the program was noticeably stilted: “A major element of the new development model will be to decouple future economic prosperity from environmental pollution.”

The idea was to help the economy, all the while guided by a clear goal. In order to achieve this goal, however, the Commission in Brussels needed money, its …

Europe and the US have failed in Syria

Europe and the US have failed in Syria
By Kristin Helberg

After almost nine years of civil war, the crisis in and around Syria has not been resolved. Nonetheless, it is clear who the winners and losers in the conflict are. Among the winners are the Syrian regime, Russia, Iran and even Turkey, to a certain extent. These countries have always known what they wanted, have proven ready to do anything to get what they want, and have been able to …

Angela Merkel’s CDU is in disarray

Angela Merkel’s CDU is in disarray
By Peter H. Koepf

Immediately following this year’s Munich Security Conference, Stefan Kornelius, a commentator for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, reflected a growing concern felt by observers of Germany and many conference attendees regarding the political situation in Germany: “Is the anchor of Europe, the lighthouse of freedom, the savior of the West on the verge of becoming a new Trumpistan?”

Some spoke of what they saw as Weimar-era conditions on the horizon, that is, …

How Europe should counter the rise of illiberal democracies

By Ivan Krastev

On Dec. 10, 1948, shattered by the horrors of World War II, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of the United Nations’ 58 member states, 48 voted in favor of the declaration, eight abstained (the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies plus Saudi Arabia) and two did not vote. The world was far less liberal in 1948 than it is today, and the concept of …

Who is setting the tone in EU foreign policy

By Sylvia Schreiber

One image can speak volumes. The participants at the Libya summit in Berlin take their places on the podium for a group photo. Positioning themselves at the front are representatives of the proxy powers behind the Libyan civil war: Russia, Turkey and Egypt. Alongside them are the neutral conciliators, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with summit host Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German chancellor sent out the original invitation as an …

Brexit may actually strengthen the EU

Brexit may actually strengthen the EU
By Almut Möller

Among the tectonic shifts in international relations that both analysts and policymakers have been trying to make sense of over the past years, there is one that deserves particular attention. The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union – Brexit – that took effect on Jan. 31, 2020, marks a turning point for Europe.

In the future, historians may look back at 2020 as the year in which …

Beyond trade: the confrontation between the US and China

By Graham T. Allison Jr.

Could China and the US be stumbling down the path Germany and the United Kingdom took at the beginning of the last century? The possibility will strike many readers as inconceivable. But we should remember that when we say something is “inconceivable,” this is a claim not about what is possible in the world, but rather about what our limited minds can imagine.

My answer to the question of whether …