Goodbye Mutti? German politics during the Merkel years and beyond

After the upheaval of the social and economic reforms enacted by the Schröder government, Angela Merkel seemed the voice of reason, and Germans didn’t mind her wooden demeanour. Her handling of the financial and migration crises as well as the pandemic was marked by an unusual mixture of
shrewdness and incrementalism. After sixteen years, Germany’s political landscape is fractured, and while the person most like her is now her successor, many Germans feel that their nation, social security system, infrastructure, and industrial policy need a new lease of life. We will examine crises and characters that shaped Europe’s biggest polity over the past couple of decades, and we might even draw some comparisons with the United Kingdom.

German language skills are not required. For each topic we’ll start with op-ed cartoons (yes, German humour!) and photos, and by the end you’ll know at least a few key (long!) words – think “Germany in 5 Words.”

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