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Stephen F. Szabo

The main consequence of the 2017 Bundestag election has been its impact on the stability and reliability of Germany as a foreign policy actor. The emergence of a seven-party system is likely to be a factor for at least the next four to eight

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When the Exit?

The Difficult Politics of German Coal

Tessa Coggio and Thane Gustafson

This article considers Germany’s contentious exit from brown coal (lignite), now set for 2038. While greener alternatives, such as wind, solar, or natural gas have been reducing coal’s standing in Germany’s energy mix for years, coal proponents, backed by special interests, have pushed back at all levels of government. With a focus on the politics of coal during the 2017 parliamentary elections, the tedious months of coalition negotiations and the work of the coal committee since summer 2018, we explore how policymakers try to reconcile competing interests at the federal state, local, as well as international levels.

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Is Germany Part of the West?

A Reconstruction of Russian Narratives

Maren Rohe

Introduction In Russia, the perception of Germany, which this special issue explores, is closely connected to perceptions of Europe and the West. While Russians have traditionally seen Germany as part of Europe, they have been more reluctant

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Wal-Mart Goes To Germany

Culture, Institutions, and the Limits of Globalization

Matthias Kaelberer

Wal-Mart’s failed entry into the German retail market represents a fascinating puzzle for contemporary theories of globalization. The basic premise of theories of a globalizing international economy is that more efficient producers will drive

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The Costs of German Division

A Research Report

Werner Pfennig, Vu Tien Dung, and Alexander Pfennig

On 3 October 1990, Germany achieved formal unification. Even 27 years later, however, inner unity has yet to be completed and there are ongoing discussions about the overall costs. This is a widely debated topic in many countries, but

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<i>Deutschland einig Vaterland?</i>

East-West Cleavages in Germany Thirty Years After Reunification

Christian Schweiger

Thirty years on from the peaceful revolution in the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) Germany remains profoundly divided between the perspectives of Germans living in the eastern and the western parts of the country, which is becoming ever more obvious by the polarization of domestic politics. Hence, Germany today resembles a nation which is formally unified but deeply divided internally in cultural and political terms. This article examines the background to the growing cleavages between eastern and western regions, which have their roots in the mistakes that were made as part of the management of the domestic aspects of German reunification. From a historic-institutionalist perspective the merger of the pathways of the two German states has not taken place. Instead, unified Germany is characterized by the dominance of the institutional pathway of the former West German Federal Republic, which has substantially contributed to the self-perception of East Germans as dislocated, second-class citizens.

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Accessing Citizenship

The Conceptual and Political Changes of the German Naturalization Policy, 1999–2006

Anna Björk

This article deals explicitly with the dimension of access in the concept of citizenship and is discussed from the point of view of migration. Access is analyzed in the context of the reform of German citizenship laws in 1999. The state of Hesse is singled out to be used as an example of parliamentary debate on the concepts of citizenship and integration. The point is to explicate the interrelations of the federal legislative reform and the conceptual implications thereof, using Hesse as a state-level example.

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Jon Berndt Olsen

This paper explores the memorial projects in Berlin and Leipzig, Germany, to commemorate the fall of communism and the reunification of Germany. While neither memorial has yet been completed, the debates reveal a great deal of tension between the memorial preferences of ordinary citizens and those of the elected political elite. Further, the debates illustrate the emergence in a large segment of society of a desire to balance the memories of Germany’s darker past with positive memories of its accomplishments.

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Manufacturing loss

Nostalgia and risk in Ludwigshafen

Peter Phillimore and Patricia Bell

This article takes cultural understandings of industrial risk in a center of the global chemical industry as an opening that, perhaps unexpectedly, highlights nostalgia for a particular period in (West) Germany's postwar history. Based on fieldwork in Ludwigshafen, we reflect on memories among an older generation of residents that evoke the severity of industrial pollution from the city's vast chemical industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Although the pollution of that era is hardly mourned, it was portrayed as emblematic of a culturally defining era, an era valorized as one of enormous achievement in a more straightforward time. We draw on Tim Ingold's concept of “taskscapes” and his emphasis on skill and Tim Edensor's discussion of “excessive spaces” and “multiple absences” to explore the selectivity of the nostalgia of Ludwigshafen's older residents, in which the celebration of the rebuilding of the postwar chemical industry, and its dominant company BASF, simultaneously obscured problematic memories associated with the city's chemical industry in wartime.

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Governance of or through culture?

Cultural policy and the politics of culture in Europe

Banu Karaca

The notion of culture has loomed large in discourses and polemics regarding European integration and immigration in the European framework. While culture, as in fundamental cultural difference, is identified as the source of contemporary political quandaries, its incarnation as intercultural dialogue is conceived as their solution. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in the arts settings of Berlin and Istanbul, this article elucidates how this type of "culture talk" intersects with recent cultural policy formations in the European Union and the national arenas of Germany and Turkey. Much of the political productivity of culture arises from a constant slippage between the different, often contradictory, meanings accorded to the culture-concept. This extension of the "rhetoric of culture" engenders a shift from a governance of culture to one through culture by relaying an array of pressing political concerns from the realm of social and economic policy to that of culture in the sense of artistic expression.