Our Summer issue features three articles on key aspects of German

politics and society. Belinda Cooper analyzes yet another angle of the

thorny Stasi problem, in this case the role and presence of women

in the Stasi. Placing her discussion in the larger context of women

in East Germany, Cooper has fashioned a nuanced, meticulously

researched argument about an issue that remains pertinent in the

debate on Germany, women, unification, and the country’s complex

past. John Bendix and Niklaus Steiner provide a new epistemological

prism for the evaluation of Germany’s much discussed problem of

political asylum. They address this difficult topic in the context of

existing approaches in comparative politics and international relations,

featuring the notion of “national interest” in their presentation.

Ludger Helms then offers a fascinating study of an often-neglected

institution of German politics: that of the federal presidency since

1949. After a careful reading of this article, it is evident that the German

presidency deserves more attention in the future research

agenda of political scientists than it has garnered in the past.

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