The German election of 2017 has produced an unstable government which is unlikely to offer the kind of leadership in foreign and security policy that Europe and the larger West need in a turbulent time. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in a weaker position than before with the loss of key cabinet positions to the Social Democrats and the Bavarian Christian Social Union. Many will be looking past her as the struggle to succeed her will increase. The key foreign policy agenda will include Europe and the Franco-German relationship, Russia, Turkey and Transatlantic relations. Merkel 4.0 is likely to be a transitional and unruly government that will bridge the end of the Merkel era and the start of one led by a new generation of leaders.
Dr. Stephen F. Szabo is currently a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and Adjunct Lecturer in European Studies at sais, Johns Hopkins University. He has published widely on European and German politics and foreign policies, including. The Successor Generation: International Perspectives of Postwar Europeans (Boston, 1983), The Diplomacy of German Unification (New York, 1992), Parting Ways: The Crisis in the German-American Relationship (Washington, 2004), and Germany, Russia and the Rise of Geo-Economics (London, 2015). E-mail: email@example.com