Freed from Sadness and Fear

Politics, COVID-19, and the New Germany

in German Politics and Society
Author:
Michael MengHistory and Geography, Clemson University, USA

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Adam R. SeippHistory, Texas A&M University, USA

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Abstract

This article argues that we are witnessing the possible emergence of a Germany confident in the strength of its rational and democratic approach to governance. Thinking about this development through Baruch Spinoza's insights into the centrality of reason to democracy, we suggest that Germany has responded to its past in a salutary manner by building a rational and responsible democracy. Few recent events illustrate this transformation more clearly than Germany's reaction to the covid-19 pandemic.

Contributor Notes

Michael Meng is an Associate Professor of History at Clemson University. He is the author of Shattered Spaces: Encountering Jewish Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland (2011).

Adam R. Seipp is a Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Strangers in the Wild Place: Refugees, Americans, and a German Town, 1945–1952 (2013).

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