February – March 2010

Dieter Dettke’s “Germany Says No: The Iraq War and the Future of German Foreign and Security Policy”

Germany’s refusal in 2002 to participate in the Iraq war was a traumatic shock for U.S.-German relations at the time – and perhaps the start of a more permanent new paradigm of “power politics” in Berlin. Historically, it was the deepest-ever division between the White House and any post-cold-war German chancellor – pitting Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder against the conservative George W. Bush. These two men were never reconciled, but once Schroeder was succeeded in office by Angela Merkel, links between Berlin and Washington were repaired, at least formally. But the shock waves from that clash ran far deeper than any of the cold war-era policy disputes between Bonn and Washington.


Emmanuel Faye’s “Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism Into Philosophy”

Close by the Brandenburg Gate in the former East Berlin is the venerable Von Humboldt University. It stands on the edge of a large square originally called the Opernplazt, now the Bebenplatz, which over the centuries has been the site of numerous political and artistic demonstrations. None was historically more consequential than the infamous book-burning that took place there and on many German campuses on May 10, 1933. They were followed later by other such burnings on other campuses, including on the Freiberg campus. Despite his denials, philosopher Martin Heidegger was not only there, but also spoke as part of the program.


Hungarian Prime Minister Bajnai: A Leader Who Does It His Way

It is safe to say that Gordon Bajnai, the young, mild-mannered prime minister of Hungary, is hardly a household name in the United States or even in most of Europe. It is also safe to say that his imminent return to private life – he has announced that he is not standing for re-election in the parliamentary vote scheduled for April, in which the opposition center-right party Fidesz is heavily favored– will not grab headlines on either side of the Atlantic.


George Friedman’s “The Next 100 Years; A Forecast for the 21st Century”

“Europe is extinct.” “China cannot survive a billion pissed off peasants.” “Turkey is a power.”
“The U.S. will dominate the 21st Century.”

These are a few of the audacious and often controversial predictions of George Friedman, author of The Next 100 Years, A Forecast for the 21st Century, which has recently been issued in paperback with a new preface.

Friedman, founder and editor of Stratfor, a respected subscription global intelligence service, was recently in Washington DC, and sat down with Joëlle Attinger and Bill Marmon of the European Institute to talk about his book.

Although Friedman concedes that details of his predictions are likely to be off, he thinks he will succeed if he identifies “what will really matter” when looking back at the 21st Century.


Europe Sending High-Speed Rail to US

High speed rail is a long-overdue concept for the U.S. economy whose time has finally come. But only European companies can bring it to pass.

President Barack Obama has promised $8 billion in stimulus funds to build the first real U.S. high-speed trains. The announcement, made by the President the day after his annual State of the Union speech in January, in which job-creation was a major theme, came in Tampa, Florida, the terminus of a planned link with Orlando. That is a prime high-speed project, along with two others: Sacramento and San Diego in California and a third one, a nine-state proposal in the Midwest with Chicago as its hub.

  • High Skills versus Family-Based Immigration Policy: Complex Considerations.

    By Nicholas Zill

    In the current era of rapid demographic and technological change, and massive refugee flows, there has been much debate in European nations and in the US about immigration policies. One of the major points of contention is whether preferences should be given to would-be entrants on the basis of their high skills (merit-based immigration) or their family ties to individuals already residing in the country (family reunification).

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (rmckenzi@umd.edu).

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban


Summer Course