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Polls, Parties, Politics: Elections 2017

The last two years have seen profound shifts happen in the United States and Europe. The Brexit vote began the unprecedented process of a country leaving the European Union. Donald Trump’s election in November has ushered in an era of uncertainty in the transatlantic relationship. Recent votes in the Netherlands and France have resulted in far-right parties being held off from gaining power even as their voices grow louder. And in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking her fourth term not only to lead that country—but, some might argue, to lead Europe. Other elections in 2017—from the UK to Austria—could have implications beyond their own borders.

Define and Deliver: The SPD Party Conference

Four months after Germans went to the polls to set the stage for a new government, they are finally a step closer. The vote at the January 21 SPD party …

Between Renewal and Responsibility: The SPD in the Face of the Paralysis of the Political Center in Germany

With the beginning of exploratory talks between SPD and CDU/CSU on January 7, 2018, the German political system offers a last opportunity to form a stable government after the September …

The Governmental Crisis in Germany and the Future of Angela Merkel

Until late on November 19, 2017, Germany was one of the few large countries in Europe not afflicted by a major crisis. This perception of Germany as a pillar of …

Crafting a Coalition: The Options in Berlin

The results of the September 24 elections—losses by centrist parties and gains by a strong new far-right party—and the subsequent inability of party leaders to forge a coalition in Berlin should be a wakeup call for German politicians of all stripes. 

Risky Bets in Berlin 

Germans are known for wanting order around them—it’s understandable, given past centuries of disorder. But since its inception in 1949, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany has been …

Is Berlin Becoming Weimar?

The collapse of the talks to form a new German government following the election of seven parties (counting the Bavarian CSU as a party separate from the CDU) to the …

Why Austria Voted the Way It Did

The election Sunday was a relatively simple one. Voters chose Sebastian Kurz and his People’s Party (ÖVP) and the more right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) because they are worried about immigration …

Austria, Europe’s un-Bellwether Nation

For many years, the state of Maine was a reliable indicator of the U.S. political mood. So much so that the phrase “As Maine goes, so goes the nation” gained …

Buyer’s Remorse? Germans Unhappy with their Choice but Support a Jamaica Coalition

A first post-election poll published by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen reveals three important findings regarding the German public’s assessment of the choices they made in the Bundestag election. General dissatisfaction with the …

Austria Goes to the Polls

While the recent German election has been getting all the attention, Sunday’s election in Austria is likely to be more scrutinized than normal in this consensus-oriented country. The likely winner …

Out of Four, One? Why Germany’s “Impossible” Coalition Just Might Work

“Everything must change so that everything can stay the same.” So wrote Lampedusa in The Leopard about a Sicilian aristocracy coping with revolutions in nineteenth century Italy. But this phrase …

Transatlantic Implications of the 2017 German Federal Election

The results of the German election will have important implications for Europe and the transatlantic relationship. Here is a first take on what this means for transatlantic relations. Chancellor Merkel …

The Left Party: Left Over? Left Out? Or Left Turn?

The Left Party (Die Linke) is the story of the last twenty-seven years since German unification. It has been the largest of the three smaller parties in the Bundestag during …

The German Election Only Looks Boring

The consensus on this week’s election in Germany is that it has been a boring campaign, it’s outcome a done deal, and that we can all look forward to four …

Angela Merkel: 4.0

On September 24, Angela Merkel is likely to match former chancellor Helmut Kohl by winning a fourth election to become Chancellor of Germany. Following that, the question is: what will be …

The CSU: Bavarian Partner and Power Player

One of the peculiarities of the German political landscape is the role of the Christian Social Union (CSU). A party whose reach is confined to the borders of Bavaria, it has …

Voting for the Eurozone on September 24th

The German elections are just over two weeks away on September 24.  Chancellor Angela Merkel is nearly certain to be reelected to a fourth term, so the main unknown surrounds …

All Politics is Local…also auf Deutsch 

As Tip O’Neill once said, all politics is local. Had he heard the debate on Sunday between Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, he would have just nodded. The exchange between …

Concentric circles: The meaning of the German elections in international relations

Germany has always been about more than itself. Given its geographical position in the middle of Europe, Germany’s role, its power, and its influence on its neighbors over many centuries has been of importance to Germans and non-Germans alike.

The AfD: Germany’s Alternative to What?

Germany’s election on September 24 will likely bring a new political party to the Bundestag: the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Five years after the party’s emergence, the AfD calls itself …

The German Election and German Defense

Foreign policy issues will not play a major role in the decision of most Germans when they go to vote on September 24, yet the campaign which now has opened …

The Social Democrat Dilemma

Germany’s Social Democrats are frustrated. Aside from being down in the polls behind Chancellor Merkel and the CDU/CSU, they seem to be plagued by some unfortunately timed incidents that will …

Free Democrats Thinking in New Ways

Germany’s Free Democrats stand a good chance of returning to national government after the German election next month. Polls suggest that the liberal party – “liberal” in the classical European sense, not …

The FDP: The Resurrection?

Will the FDP be returning to the stage of national government after the German elections next month? Maybe. Current polls suggest the Free Democratic Party (FDP) could be the coalition partner …

The Greens: The Reliability Test

It’s two months before the German election on September 24, and the Green Party is struggling to gain traction. Recent polls project single-digit support, with few indications of improvement. Not …

Merkel’s  Method: Another Encore

Germany’s summer vacation is about to be in full force and, with it, the so-called summer hole (Sommerloch). It’s often a silly time in the news, but is also a …

Germany’s Trust Test 

Three months from now, Germans will go to the polls to elect a new government. While German voters are not as subjected to a permanent election campaign mode as are …

The British Roll the Dice…Again

When Angela Merkel delivered her shot over the bow toward Washington, DC, following her encounter with Donald Trump, it was not only aimed at that city but also across the …

The Battle for the Bundestag Begins Now 

After a state election in Germany, the Social Democrats (SPD) lost—again; the Christian Democrats (CDU) won—again; and a strong showing by the liberal FDP has created a chance to rebuild …

Clear Horizons, or Choppy Waters? Navigating to September 24

“Clear horizon, strong heart,” or, as they say in Schleswig-Holstein, “Klaar Kimming, Rüm Haart.” The slogan frequently seen on flags flying over the North Sea islands might as well be flying …

Pragmatic France Elects a Reformer

There is an old story about the serious French thinker who, when presented with a common-sense solution to a problem, will find fault by retorting that the idea “works in …

Project Description

AICGS is covering the elections happening across Europe, monitoring public opinion, analyzing the forces behind the polls and results, and discussing what the outcomes mean for the future of the European Union and for German-American relations. AICGS President Jackson Janes and other experts offer their takes on this critical time for the transatlantic world.

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