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Jan Techau

Foreign policy issues did not play a decisive role in the German general election campaign of 2009. While Chancellor Angela Merkel conducted a decidedly presidential campaign, her main rival, SPD Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, found it difficult to break out of his role as Merkel's partner in the Grand Coalition the two had led for four years. This was especially true with respect to issues on foreign policy, where both candidates had cooperated rather smoothly. Neither the issue of Afghanistan (despite the hotly debated Kunduz airstrike), nor the unresolved issues of the future of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty could antagonize the main political protagonists in Germany. The overwhelming foreign policy consensus among the mainstream political forces remained intact. Nevertheless, the changing international landscape and increased German responsibilities abroad will turn foreign policy into a relevant campaign issue, probably as early as 2013, when, presumably, the next Bundestag elections will be held.

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Jackson Janes

Angela Merkel remains arguably the most powerful politician in Europe, now in her third term as chancellor. While she enjoys popularity at home, seen as pragmatic and reliable, she faces numerous outward expectations and pressures that challenge Germany's foreign policy of restraint. Some argue that Germany does not pull its weight in foreign policy, particularly militarily, or at least is reluctant to do so. This view is not only an external one, but also is shared by Germany's leaders—both Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and President Joachim Gauck, among others, have expressed their desire for an increased German role in the world. Many politicians, however, do not see an advantage to focusing on foreign issues in their export-heavy economy. Other challenges, including disillusionment among Germans regarding their tenuous relationship with Russia and damaged trust between the U.S. and Germany as a result of the NSA scandal, will force Merkel to set an agenda that balances domestic concerns with her allies' expectations.

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Clay Clemens

Contrary to many common expectations for a Grand Coalition, Chancellor Angela Merkel's 2005-2009 CDU/CSU-SPD government produced few major policy changes. Its modest output is generally attributed to polarized competition between two co-equal, longtime rivals that blocked cooperation. Yet, interparty gridlock was less decisive than intraparty paralysis. The CDU, CSU, and SPD formed a government at the very time when each was plagued by internal divisions over programmatic identity, fueled in turn by interrelated strategic and leadership struggles. The result was caution, confusion, patchwork measures, side payments and reversals.

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From Civilian Power to a Geo-economic Shaping Power

Stephen F. Szabo

’s Russia policies were 90 percent about economics with a patina of a revised Ostpolitik . This new approach was labeled Modernisierungspartnerschaft or modernization partnership by then Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, offered a geo

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Investing in Early Crisis Relief or Reelection?

Comparing German Party Responses to the Euro Crisis

Alexandra Hennessy

entirely to the chancellor and conservative finance minister. By frequently accompanying the chancellor to eu summits, Social Democratic foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier signaled his intention to shape eurozone reforms as well. With a view to the

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Coalition Politics in Crisis?

The German Party System Before and After the 2017 Federal Election

Frank Decker and Philipp Adorf

, however, the fdp saw no option but to announce its own departure from coalition talks. With pressure from the Christian Democrats and an increasingly worried Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier subsequently mounting, the spd was forced to

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Yet Another Grand Coalition

The Social Democrats at the Crossroads

Andreas M. Wüst

. Nevertheless, no federal president ever came up with a name not supported by parties with a majority of seats in the Bundestag. And right after the failure of cdu / csu , fdp and Greens to enter formal coalition talks, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was

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Clay Clemens

without burning all bridges to a rival with whom she still governed and might gain. Indeed, she agreed to endorse Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier for federal president in 2017. Yet, while voters gave a grand coalition high marks, it could at best

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

Joyce Marie Mushaben

asset in the lackluster 2009 campaign against former grand coalition partner, Frank Walter Steinmeier, which Stephanie Geise described as an “election campaign designed to avoid election campaigning” ( Wahlkampfvermeidungswahlkampf ). 31 Personally

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Germany and Russia Since Reunification

Continuity, Change, and the Role of Leaders

Randall Newnham

other factors, such as public opinion in the two states and the attitude of key interest groups, took longer to change. Yet personal ties—not just between Merkel and Putin but between their Foreign Ministers Frank Walter Steinmeier and Sergei Lavrov