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The Dialectical Identity of Eastern Germans

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Abstract

Germans have now been unified for thirty years, longer than they had been separated by concrete barriers, yet the Wall in their respective heads has persisted. Unequal wages, a lack of investment in structurally weak regions, and ongoing western elite domination continue to fuel Eastern perceptions of second-class citizenship, despite significant shifts in the fates of key social groups who initially saw themselves as the “winners” and losers” of unification. This article considers the dialectical identities of four groups whose collective opportunity structures have been dramatically reconfigured since 1990: eastern intellectuals and dissidents; working women and mothers; eastern youth; and middle-aged men. It argues that the two groups counted among the immediate winners of unification—dissidents and men—have traded places over the last three decades with the two strata counted among unity's core losers, women and youth. It also testifies to fundamental, albeit rarely noted changes that have taken hold with regard to the identities of western Germans across thirty years of unification.

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From Ausländer to Inlander: The Changing Faces of Citizenship in Post-Wall Germany

Joyce Marie Mushaben

From its founding in 1949 through the dramatic events of 1989/90, the Federal Republic relied on a concept of "blood-based" citizenship (jus sanguinis), hoping to sustain ties between the peoples of the divided nation, as well as to protect "co-ethnic" groups scattered throughout historically defined eastern territories. Geographical reconfiguration, generational change and globalization processes have rendered Germany's insistence on an ethno-national citizenship paradigm detrimental to its own political and socio-economic interests. Ostensibly the real "losers" of unification, more than seven million "foreigners" and children of migrant descent are now set to become the long-term winners of Chancellor Merkel's pro-active measures to foster their integration and education. Making very effective use of EU initiatives on migration policy, Merkel has adopted a holistic approach to integration as a means of overcoming the FRG's looming demographic deficit and shortage of high-tech laborers. This study begins with profiles of three "migrant" generations and the changing opportunity structure each has encountered, leading to different degrees of identification with the new homeland. It then summarizes key features of the 2007 National Integration Plan, and examines factors allowing Merkel to blaze a trail through the perilous "immigration" territory all previous Chancellors had feared to tread. Despite internal opposition, Angel Merkel's pro-active efforts to redefine "what it means to be German" has, paradoxically, given the Christian Union a chance to modernize its own identity.

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Alfred Diamant

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Alfred Diamant, the Viennese son of a Jewish merchant couple, lost most of his

family during the Holocaust. Forced to flee in 1940, Diamant became a lieutenant

for the 82nd Airborne Division, only to be captured and shot behind

enemy lines during the D-Day invasion. Denied the right to attend university in

Austria, he made up for lost time, completing two degrees at Indiana University

and a Ph.D. at Yale, concentrating on French public administration.

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The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Angela Merkel, the Grand Coalition, and “Majority Rule” in Germany

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Abstract

Angela Merkel has not only been repeatedly ranked “the world’s most powerful woman;” she is also the only German chancellor since 1949 to have successfully led her party to a “normal” victory after a full term heading a grand coalition from 2005-2009. Merkel’s ability to lead has been shaped by the dynamics of coalition politics, proportional representation, and German federalism. Perceived as a more successful leader under an exceptional grand coalition than under a typical cdu/csu-fdp constellation, Merkel provides a one-woman-laboratory for comparing the impact of different coalition modes on the chancellor’s powers and limitations on her ability to rule. The study offers a two-level analysis, comparing Merkel’s performance atop a “gender balanced” Grand Coalition (2005-2009) with Hans-Georg Kiesinger’s male-dominated Grand Coalition (1966-1969). It then contrasts leadership dilemmas confronting Merkel during her first term with those arising during her second chancellorship, 2009-2013. It urges scholars to “bring the institutions back in” when considering the skills female leaders must evince in order to manage divergent coalition types: grand coalition configurations may, in turn, require men to adopt leadership behaviors usually ascribed to women in order to prove effective cross-party managers.

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Kan-di(e)-dat?

Unpacking Gender Images across Angela Merkel’s Four Campaigns for the Chancellorship, 2005–2017

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Abstract

Angela Merkel’s four national election campaigns offer a unique opportunity to explore the salience of gender in defining “competent leadership” in unified Germany. Women-friendly themes were deliberately avoided by the candidate and her party during her first two campaigns, but Merkel’s personal popularity rendered gender a positive asset during her third run for the Chancellorship in 2013. The 2017 campaign accorded new salience to gender as an electoral variable, albeit with a twist. The new dilemma for Germany’s first female leader was rooted in the need to win back alienated, if apolitical conservative men, attracted to an increasingly xenophobic Alternative for Germany. Although the gdr gender regime actively supported working women, eastern men appear to feel particularly threatened by the concrete advances towards gender equality witnessed across Germany since unification.

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A Spectre Haunting Europe

Angela Merkel and the Challenges of Far-Right Populism

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Abstract

Germany's 2017 elections marked the first time since 1949 that a far-right party with neo-Nazi adherents crossed the 5 percent threshold, entering the Bundestag. Securing nearly 13 percent of the vote, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) impeded Chancellor Angela Merkel's ability to pull together a sustainable national coalition for nearly six months. Violating long-standing partisan taboos, the AfD “victory” is a weak reflection of national-populist forces that have gained control of other European governments over the last decade. This paper addresses the ostensible causes of resurgent ethno-nationalism across eu states, especially the global financial crisis of 2008/2009 and Merkel's principled stance on refugees and asylum seekers as of 2015. The primary causes fueling this negative resurgence are systemic in nature, reflecting the deconstruction of welfare states, shifts in political discourse, and opportunistic, albeit misguided responses to demographic change. It highlights a curious gender-twist underlying AfD support, particularly in the East, stressing eight factors that have led disproportionate numbers of middle-aged men to gravitate to such movements. It offers an exploratory treatment of the “psychology of aging” and recent neuro-scientific findings involving right-wing biases towards authoritarianism, social aggression and racism.

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The Quest for Gender Parity

Angela Merkel and the Diversification of Electoral Politics in Germany

Joyce Marie Mushaben

Abstract

Given Angela Merkel's long-standing reluctance to label herself a feminist, many scholars would find it hard to credit her with the increasingly “intersectional” composition of the Bundestag and the Landtage as of the 2021 elections. The last 16 years have nonetheless witnessed major shifts in German policies affecting the rights of women, persons with migration background, and lgbtqia community members. These developments have arguably contributed, directly and indirectly, to voters’ willingness to accept candidates with diverse backgrounds as capable of representing “the people's interests” beyond the needs of their respective identity groups. This article considers multiple factors contributing to increasing diversity among German lawmakers at various levels, including policy shifts that have helped to reconfigure the political opportunity structure and thus the electoral landscape. It concludes with reflections on Merkel's legacy, coupled with the role of generational change in “normalizing” diversity across the Berlin Republic.

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Book Reviews

Hilary Silver, Jeffrey Luppes, Joyce Mushaben, Ambika Natarajan, Helge F. Jani, Darren O'Byrne, Christopher Thomas Goodwin, and Stephen J. Silvia

Rafaela Dancygier, Dilemmas of Inclusion: Muslims in European Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017). Reviewed by Hilary Silver, Sociology, George Washington University

Thomas Großbölting, Losing Heaven: Religion in Germany since 1945; translated by Alex Skinner (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017. Reviewed by Jeffrey Luppes, World Languages, Indiana University South Bend

Hans Vorländer, Maik Herold, and Steven Schäller, PEGIDA and New Right-Wing Populism In Germany (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Reviewed by Joyce Mushaben, Political Science, University of Missouri St. Louis

Kara L. Ritzheimer, “Trash,” Censorship, and National Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016) Reviewed by Ambika Natarajan, History, Philosophy, and Religion, Oregon State University

Anna Saunders, Memorializing the GDR: Monuments and Memory After 1989 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018) Reviewed by Jeffrey Luppes, World Languages, Indiana University South Bend

Desmond Dinan, Neill Nugent and William E. Paterson, eds., The European Union in Crisis (London: Palgrave, 2017) Reviewed by Helge F. Jani, Hamburg, Germany

Noah Benezra Strote, Lions and Lambs: Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017). Reviewed by Darren O'Byrne, History, University of Cambridge

Chunjie Zhang, Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2017) Reviewed by Christopher Thomas Goodwin, History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Marcel Fratzscher, The Germany Illusion: Between Economic Euphoria and Despair (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). Reviewed by Stephen J. Silvia, International Relations, American University

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Book Reviews

Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, Jennifer A. Yoder, Friederike Eigler, Joyce M. Mushaben, Alexandra Schwell, and Katharina Karcher

Konrad H. Jarausch, United Germany: Debating Processes and Prospects

Reviewed by Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

Nick Hodgin and Caroline Pearce, ed. The GDR Remembered:Representations of the East German State since 1989

Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder

Andrew Demshuk, The Lost German East: Forced Migration and the Politics of Memory, 1945-1970

Reviewed by Friederike Eigler

Peter H. Merkl, Small Town & Village in Bavaria: The Passing of a Way of Life

Reviewed by Joyce M. Mushaben

Barbara Thériault, The Cop and the Sociologist. Investigating Diversity in German Police Forces

Reviewed by Alexandra Schwell

Clare Bielby, Violent Women in Print: Representations in the West German Print Media of the 1960s and 1970s

Reviewed by Katharina Karcher

Michael David-Fox, Peter Holquist, and Alexander M. Martin, ed., Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945

Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder

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Book Reviews

Joyce Marie Mushaben, Shelley Baranowski, Trevor J. Allen, Sabine von Mering, Stephen Milder, Volker Prott, and Peter C. Pfeiffer