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Clay Clemens

As chair of the CDU in 2000, and of its joint Bundestag caucus with the CSU in 2002, Angela Merkel was the fist woman and fist easterner to head a major German party; she had risen as a protege of Helmut Kohl, but breaking with him over his financial improprieties vaulted her into power. These features of her biography made her leadership unconventional. So too did her style, characterized by interpersonal reserve and lack of charisma. Merkel's views on cultural issues and economic policy-in particular, reform of the welfare state-were more liberal than those of her Union's mainstream. Finally, her resources within the CDU/CSU were limited to a loose network of younger outsiders, who helped sustain her against rivals at the Land level. While Merkel survived a poor CDU/CSU election in 2005 to become chancellor, her time as opposition leader suggested that she would struggle in that role too, yet also served as a caution against underrating her.

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Myra Marx Ferree

Considering Angela Merkel as a female candidate raises questions of the extent to which political leadership has become degendered in recent decades. Three issues of gender and politics are considered here: the changes in expectations for women in public life, the shift in defining what is a "woman's interest" and how women may represent such interests, and the degree to which women challenge the "old boys' networks" with alternative connections to women and provide a critical mass rather than just an individual in office. The implications of each of these dimensions for assessing the impact of Merkel on German politics are considered. I suggest that her role can be seen as a feminist one, even if her own politics are not.

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Clay Clemens

mandate but clinging on too long, and a complacent campaign relying on proven formulas despite resistance in the ranks amid ominous warning signs. These challenges and misjudgments did not deny Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social

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Germany and the United States

Whither “Partners in Leadership”?

Matthew Rhodes

Before a farewell trip to Berlin in November 2016, (a sixth to Germany while in office) u.s . President Barack Obama hailed Chancellor Angela Merkel as his “closest international partner.” 1 Indeed, the confluence of calibrated u.s . retrenchment

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Introduction

Merkeldämmerung

Eric Langenbacher

politicians squabble, but Chancellor Angela Merkel will persist There is, however, much brewing underneath the surface. Expectations are rapidly mounting for the new grand coalition government—and not just for programs and policies domestically. Responses to

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Sticking to Her Guns or Going with the Flow

Assessing Rigidity and Flexibility in Angela Merkel’s Political Decision Making

Christian Schnee

This paper investigates levels of rigidity and flexibility in Angela Merkel’s decision making during her first three governments from 2005 to 2017. The study is a contribution to understanding German politics in the era of Merkel who has regularly been criticized for allegedly lacking a transformative agenda and ideological consistency. Methodologically this study draws on Jonathan Keller’s framework that differentiates between internally and externally validated leaders, with the latter seeking to appease and curry favor with stakeholders and the former committed to their personal believes. The study assesses Merkel’s decisions on fiscal and economic policies, zooms in on her u-turn on nuclear energy, touches upon her dithering during the Euro crisis and discusses at some length her protracted coming to terms with the refugee crisis. Findings suggest her flexibility to be predominantly a reflection of political expediencies and intended to preserve her party’s political compatibility with potentially supportive stakeholders. Her approach thus is in line with the agenda to manage coalition governments successfully, moderate and conciliate divergent interests and thus secure their position in power.

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A Spectre Haunting Europe

Angela Merkel and the Challenges of Far-Right Populism

Joyce Marie Mushaben

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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Coalition Politics in Crisis?

The German Party System Before and After the 2017 Federal Election

Frank Decker and Philipp Adorf

. Why did the election eventually unfold the way it did? Without assigning an order of significance, the following factors determined the outcome of the vote: Crisis: Angela Merkel’s frequently repeated sentence that we were living through “tumultuous

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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

Democratic mother of six with the headline: “Sie sind ein würdeloses Weib” (you are a dishonorable dame). 4 Angela Merkel experienced her first culture shock after the Wall fell when she was indirectly advised by interim gdr premier Lothar de Maizière to

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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

In September 2013, Angela Merkel won a third term as federal chancellor, securing 42 percent of the vote for her Christian Democratic Party ( cdu ). The only open question throughout the campaign was not whether Germany’s first female leader would