Germany and France Head Into Two Very Different Elections

September 15, 2021

On September 26, German voters will go to the polls to elect a new Bundestag. The election marks the end of the Merkel era. It is supposed to ring in a new beginning, an Aufbruch, as they say in German. What is largely missing, however, is Aufbruchsstimmung — a certain positive mood fueled by...

From Merkel to Baerbock: Female Politicians Still Face Sexism in Germany
August 31, 2021

From Merkel to Baerbock: Female Politicians Still Face Sexism in Germany

We Are Not Worthless: Resentment, Misrecognition and Populist Mobilization
July 12, 2021

We Are Not Worthless: Resentment, Misrecognition and Populist Mobilization

France’s Electoral Abyss
June 22, 2021

France’s Electoral Abyss

Will France’s 2022 Election Become a Political Volcano?

Will France’s 2022 Election Become a Political Volcano?

May 04, 2021

In just 12 months, French voters will be invited to judge Emmanuel Macron’s five years in office as president of the Fifth Republic. Most pundits in the media lazily assume it will boil down to a second-round repeat of the 2017 contest: Macron versus the right-wing firebrand, Marine Le Pen....

Macron Enriches French Vocabulary and Impoverishes Political Thought

Macron Enriches French Vocabulary and Impoverishes Political Thought

March 03, 2021

France appears to be living through a strange transitional period that could be described as the waning of the Fifth Republic. It contains no sense of what a sixth republic might look like or why it might even be necessary. But today’s republic, with its unique electoral system, has achieved a...

Alternative for Germany Is Failing to Keep Up

Alternative for Germany Is Failing to Keep Up

February 23, 2021

If not for the familiar awkwardness of social distancing rules, the scene at the digital party conference of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would have been fit for a daytime game show. With the theme from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” playing in the background and the CDU's...

Angela Merkel: A Retrospective

Angela Merkel: A Retrospective

January 21, 2021

Americans like to rate their presidents. In fact, presidential rankings have become something of a cottage industry in political science, ever since the eminent Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. started the tradition in the late 1940s. In Germany, we don’t do that, at least not in a...

Amidst the Pandemic, Central and Eastern Europe Witnesses an Erosion of Democracy

Amidst the Pandemic, Central and Eastern Europe Witnesses an Erosion of Democracy

December 10, 2020

Nearly a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, its effects on people’s lives, countries’ economies and health care around the world are becoming clearer. In some Central and Eastern European countries, however, this pandemic has had repercussions in another crucial area: democracy....

Did Emmanuel Macron Have It Coming?

Did Emmanuel Macron Have It Coming?

December 07, 2020

After watching the video of a street battle raging directly below the Paris apartment I once occupied at a time when François Mitterand was president, I turned to The New York Times’ editorial board’s response to President Emmanuel Macron’s accusation that The Times and other...

The Rapid Growth of Emmanuel Macron’s Authoritarianism

The Rapid Growth of Emmanuel Macron’s Authoritarianism

November 25, 2020

In early October, French President Emmanuel Macron, as a preparation for the 2022 election, made the decision to mount a campaign blaming France’s Muslims for their failure to embrace the country’s increasingly dogmatic “Republican culture.” To counter Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration...

Macron’s Problem With the News in English

Macron's Problem With the News in English

November 17, 2020

At some moment in the recent past, French President Emmanuel Macron assigned himself the mission to single-handedly reform Islam and imbue it with the Enlightenment values that made it possible for a lowly Rothschild banker to rise up to become the democratically elected pseudo-monarch of...

What Is Behind the Rise of Islamophobia in France?

What Is Behind the Rise of Islamophobia in France?

November 05, 2020

On October 29, the French Ministry of Interior sent out a message on social media warning of “Violent radicalization, Islamism ... If you have any doubts about someone you know, contact the toll-free number.” The situation in France has exploded into what is now increasingly reminiscent...

Emmanuel Macron Defends His Crusade

Emmanuel Macron Defends His Crusade

November 02, 2020

Throughout the month of October, French President Emmanuel Macron projected himself into the global news cycle as the leader of a new crusade launched ostensibly to bring Islam into conformity with French Enlightenment ideals. In reality, his campaign is aimed at bolstering his chances of winning...

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