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Germany after Merkel
Germany after Merkel
WhenWednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus roomRoom 317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsCenter for West European Studies and The European Union Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

Join us for "Germany after Merkel" with Niko Switek, DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor for German Studies at the Department of Political Science and Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

How long will Merkel stay Chancellor? What is her legacy, after dominating German politics for such a long time? What will the new leadership mean for the Christian democrats and for the German party system as a whole?

Looking from the U.S. to Germany, many observers admire Chancellor Angela Merkel as an element of stability in turbulent times. Yet, after the federal election last year, she herself only narrowly succeeded in securing her fourth term as head of government. Even though there is economic growth and historically low unemployment, with the unprecedented high numbers of refugees coming to Germany in 2015, public debate continues to revolve strongly around questions of migration and integration.

As a result, German politics became more polarized, a new right-wing competitor rose and heavy intra-party strife in Merkel's own conservative Christian democratic party ensued. Under pressure from weak performances at two provincial elections, Merkel decided to step down from party leadership, a position traditionally held together with chancellorship.

In early December 2018, the party congress elected Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as new party chair, therefore opting for continuity. But, at the same time, the narrow result points to a divided party. This talk focuses on the consequences of this change in office.

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