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Eric Langenbacher

Not once during the campaign—or actually over the whole course of the

seventeenth Bundestag (2009-2013)—was it ever really in doubt that Angela

Merkel would continue as chancellor after the 22 September 2013 parliamentary

election. Despite the vicissitudes of governing for eight years, most

in the midst of the financial and Euro crisis, she has achieved and sustained

some of the highest approval ratings of any postwar German politician. Voters

trust Merkel as a good manager of the economy and an honest steward

and defender of German interests in Europe. Her carefully cultivated image

as a steady, reassuring, and incorruptible leader, coupled with her political

acumen, ideological flexibility and, at times, ruthlessness—captured in the

dueling monikers of Mutti Merkel and Merkelavelli1—are the keys to her

profound success.

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Introduction

Politics and Power After the 2017 Bundestag Election

Eric Langenbacher

rather critical take on Germany’s dominant leadership role in the European Union in recent years. German leadership since the Euro Crisis, including policy decisions during the refugee crisis of 2015, have greatly contributed to the severe legitimacy

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Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski, Julian Pänke, and Jochen Roose

that Germany's contribution to the world is generally viewed positively, 5 often linked to the domestic management of the Euro crisis and continued economic growth. German cultural diplomacy is perceived as important in promoting an image of the nation