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Curated by Project Syndicate

Germany in Limbo

17 commentaries

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of forming a new coalition government have been dashed by the withdrawal of the Free Democrats from talks, forcing her to resurrect the grand coalition with the Social Democrats, form a minority government, or face another general election. Project Syndicate writers reflect on the challenges Germany faces and the implications for Europe of Merkel’s weakened position.

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  1. Europe’s Crisis Starts at Home
    A man waves a European Union flag Daniel Mihalescu/Getty Images

    Europe’s Crisis Starts at Home

    Dec 4, 2017 Mark Leonard thinks the divisions that threaten EU integration are even wider within member states than between them.

  2. The Populist Tail Wagging the German Dog
    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    The Populist Tail Wagging the German Dog

    Nov 30, 2017 Sławomir Sierakowski attributes Germany's intransigence on EU reform to its economic interests in the Visegrad Group.

  3. A New Grand Coalition for Germany – and Europe
    Germany Parliament Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

    A New Grand Coalition for Germany – and Europe

    Nov 28, 2017 Jeffrey D. Sachs thinks the stakes are too high – in Europe and globally – not to reprise the previous CDU/CSU-SPD government.

  4. The Twilight of Angela Merkel
    Angela Merkel after exploratory talks on forming a new government broke down Tobias Schwarz/Getty Images

    The Twilight of Angela Merkel

    Nov 21, 2017 Philippe Legrain is worried less by the prospect of the German chancellor's political demise than about a prolonged interregnum.

  5. Germany’s Götterdämmerung
     Angela Merkel departs after preliminary coalition talks collapsed Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Germany’s Götterdämmerung

    Nov 21, 2017 Hans-Werner Sinn welcomes the prospect of a minority government, especially if genuine public debate returns to the Bundestag.

  6. The Danger of a Post-German Europe
    Merkel worried Steffi Loos/getty images

    The Danger of a Post-German Europe

    Nov 20, 2017 Ana Palacio implores EU countries to work actively to re-engage the bloc's reluctant leader.

  1. zizek23_Leonardo CendamoGetty Images_leaypi Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

    Freedom Without Justice

    Slavoj Žižek

    At the end of European Communism, there was a widespread, euphoric hope that freedom and democracy would bring a better life; eventually, though, many lost that hope. The problem, under both Communism and the new liberal dispensation, was that those pursuing grand social projects had embraced ideology instead of philosophy.

    considers what an Albanian Marxist philosopher can tell us about liberty in today's world.
  2. kisilowski8_ Zuzana GogovaGetty Images_fico Zuzana Gogova/Getty Images

    Can National Reconciliation Defeat Populism?

    Maciej Kisilowski & Anna Wojciuk

    For the US, Slovakia's general election may produce another unreliable allied government. But instead of turning a blind eye to such allies, as President Joe Biden has been doing with Poland, or confronting them with an uncompromising stance, the US should spearhead efforts to help mend flawed democracies.

    reflect on the outcome of Slovakia's general election in the run-up to Poland's decisive vote.
  3. nye247_ LEAH MILLISPOOLAFP via Getty Images_blinkenchina Leah Millis/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

    Not Destined for War

    Joseph S. Nye, Jr. rejects historical analogies implying that zero-sum conflict between the US and China is inevitable.
  4. james210_KAY NIETFELDPOOLAFP via Getty Images_scholzxi Kay Nietfeld/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

    Is “Peace Through Commerce” Dead?

    Harold James doubts that new conflicts and rivalries justify a full-scale rejection of European-style economic engagement.
  5. khrushcheva171_MIKHAIL METZELPOOLAFP via Getty Images_putinkim Mikhail Metzel/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

    Putin and Kim’s Cartoon Summit

    Nina L. Khrushcheva thinks that Russia's recent meeting with North Korea was intended primarily as a warning to the South.
  6. haykel18_MANDEL NGANAFP via Getty Images_mbs Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

    Saudi Arabia’s New Nationalism

    Bernard Haykel explains the reasoning behind the Kingdom's ongoing domestic- and foreign-policy transformation.
  7. wagner22_Lukas SchulzeGetty Images_pollution Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

    The Green Growth Mindset

    Gernot Wagner sees doctrinaire debates about capitalism as irrelevant or even deleterious to the decarbonization effort.
  8. mallochbrown17_GIANLUIGI GUERCIAAFP via Getty Images_africawomenpolitics Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images

    Africa Is the Future of Multilateralism

    Mark Malloch-Brown explains why the continent should be at the forefront of efforts to bring about international reforms.
  9. op_yi2_PEDRO PARDOAFP via Getty Images_chinahousing Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

    A Chinese Bubble Long in the Making

    Yi Fuxian traces the long roots of the country's mounting economic and financial problems.

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