Society, Culture & Politics

Building a Bridge over the Atlantic? The Impact of the Bologna Process on German and U.S. Higher Education

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Driven by the Bologna Process, European higher education has undergone substantial changes in the past ten years. DAAD/AICGS Fellow Tonia Bieber discusses the changes from the Bologna Process and whether the reforms will have an influence on American higher education.

Immigrants in Foreign Policy Making in Germany and the U.S.: Two Very Different Struggles to Embrace Diversity

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In a globalized world, domestic politics no longer stop at the water’s edge, as transnational actors have emerged who push beyond existing borders. Some are driven by hybrid identities that reach beyond the contours of the nation-state. These ethnic interest groups represent immigrants and pursue a particular interest in foreign policy toward… Read more >

A Proposal for Historical Reconciliation: The “Dokdo Movement” of Korean Americans in the Washington Area

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Watching the daily lives of Korean Americans, one thing stands out: the way they live. Korean Americans are distinct, from the wrapping paper they use at dry cleaners, their supermarkets, their senior citizens associations, Korean restaurants, or even the inside of their
cars. The reason for Korean Americans’ distinction is Dokdo, a small group of islets between
Korea and Japan. Wherever there are Korean Americans you will find objects or people related to Dokdo. That does not mean, however, that Korean Americans are obsessed with
it …

Compensation as a Mechanism of Reconciliation? Lessons from the German Payments for Nazi Forced and Slave Labor

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In the growing scholarly discussion on reconciliation after violent conflicts, compensation
payments to former victims are described as a fundamental tool besides apologies, truth
commissions, or trials. Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi past is generally considered
a role model. Even if there is no consensus about a definition, “reconciliation” can be described as a process that offers former enemies a way to a shared future. The aim is to
overcome the past, but not to forget it …

The Role of the German Jewish Community in Postwar Germany’s International Recognition

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In a new Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner analyzes the role the Jewish past and the small contemporary Jewish community played in the foreign policy of the two German states before 1989, and to a smaller extent of unified Germany. The symbolic role the Jewish community played in the recognition of West Germany as a major player on the international stage was one of importance, Prof. Dr. Brenner argues, but in contrast, only during its last years of existence did the GDR use its official Jewish community to improve its foreign relations.

Friendship Assimilation and Ethnic Homophily of Young Immigrants in the U.S. and Germany

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Although Germany’s share of immigrants ranks third in the EU behind Luxembourg and Switzerland, Germany still seems to struggle with being a country of immigration, writes DAAD/AICGS Fellow Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio. Regarding the increasing relative size of the first, second, and third generation immigrant population, however, it is a crucial question for Germany’s future development whether their integration will be successful. In this light, Prof. Dr. Windzio offers an overview of theories of immigrant incorporation in social networks and empirical results on segregation in social networks in the U.S. and Germany, further examining how the German and American debates on integration differ.

German Family Policy and the Idea of “Wahlfreiheit”

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At 3.1 percent of GDP, Germany spends far above the OECD average on family benefits, whereas the United States spends only 1.3 percent of its GDP on family benefits. However, differences in spending are not the only contrasts regarding family policy in Germany and the U.S., writes former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Isabelle Kürschner. They also differ significantly with respect to parental leave systems, maternal employment rates, and the number of children born in each country. Dr. Kürschner examines the distinctiveness of German family policy in this Transatlantic Perspectives essay.

Forging the Future of Germany and Europe: Reflections on 20 Years of German Unification

Cover Forging the future of Germany and Europe

The questions, choices, and decisions that Germany of 2010 faces today are vastly different than those the two Germanys confronted over two decades ago. This special publication, made possible by the Dräger Foundation, looks back not only at the changes in Germany as they unfolded in 1989 and 1990, but offers views on Germany’s role in Europe and the world in the decades to come.

The Many Sides of Muslim Integration: A German-American Comparison

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While analyses on the integration of immigrants and especially Muslim immigrants have multiplied in recent years, debates in the U.S. and Germany differ on these issues. Even though the U.S. and German debates are clearly different, a comparison of Muslim integration in the U.S. and in Europe is still drawn frequently, and many assumptions are made regarding the other side’s policies. In German-American Issues 13, “The Many Sides of Muslim Integration: A German-American Comparison,” authors Tara Bahrampour, Rauf Ceylan, Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Raida Chbib, Lily Gardner Feldman, and Mathias Rohe examine and challenge these assumptions, focusing on a range of major issues surrounding the debate.

Religious Tolerance and Islam: A Comparative Analysis

By most measures the United States today is a religiously tolerant country, despite its past history of discrimination against many minority faith communities, writes Mark Rozell, Professor at George Mason University, in Issue Brief #36, “Religious Tolerance and Islam: A Comparative Analysis.” In comparison, societal acceptance of Muslims has been far more difficult to achieve in western Europe than in the United States, Rozell argues, and he cites some reasons for this difference in acceptance, additionally focusing on the role of the media. This Issue Brief is part of AICGS’ project on the “Integration of Muslim Immigrants in Germany and the United States,” which works to deepen German and American understanding of immigration and integration of Muslims.