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Posts Tagged ‘Anheier’

Die ausgebremste soziale Entwicklung des Westens

Posted by hkarner - 23. November 2019

Helmut K. Anheier is Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and at the Max Weber Institute, Heidelberg University.

BERLIN – Nach drei Jahrzehnten sich verschärfender wirtschaftlicher Ungleichheit brodelt es in den Bevölkerungen der hochentwickelten Länder, und sie tragen ihre Beschwerden an die Wahlurnen oder auf die Straßen. Doch verlangt eine glaubwürdige Bekämpfung der Ungleichheit zugleich Maßnahmen in Bezug auf eine weniger stark diskutierte Fassette dieses Trends: die schwindende intergenerative soziale Mobilität. 

Eltern können heutzutage nicht mehr davon ausgehen, dass es ihren Kindern einmal besser gehen wird als ihnen selbst. Im Gegenteil: Ein OECD-Bericht des Jahres 2018 kommt zu dem Schluss, dass es in einem durchschnittlichen entwickelten Land vier bis fünf Generationen dauern würde, damit Kinder aus dem untersten Einkommensdezil das mittlere Einkommensniveau erreichen. Je ungleicher das Land, desto länger dauert es mit dem sozialen Aufstieg.Ungleichheit und Mangel an sozialer Mobilität sind eng mit der Geografie verknüpft. In Ballungsräumen verläuft die Entwicklung normalerweise viel besser als in ländlichen Gebieten. Für die USA vermeldet die Brookings Institution, dass Städte mit mehr als einer Million Einwohnern seit der Finanzkrise von 2008 72% zur Gesamtbeschäftigungszunahme beigesteuert haben, verglichen mit lediglich 6% für Städte mit einer Einwohnerzahl zwischen 50.000 und 250.000. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Decline of the West, Again

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2018

Date: 26-10-2018
Source: Project Syndicate by Helmut K. Anheier

Helmut K. Anheier is Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

In the last century, not a decade has gone by without some proclamation of the West’s demise. But one thing sets today’s warnings apart: in the economically successful countries of Asia, the world now has a clear alternative to Western-style liberal democracy.

Heinrich August Winkler, Zerbricht Der Westen?: Über die gegenwärtige Krise in Europa und Amerika, Munich, C.H. Beck, 2018
Joschka Fischer, Der Abstieg des Westens: Europa in der neuen Weltordnung des 21. Jahrhunderts, Cologne, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2018
Jonah Goldberg, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy, New York, Crown Forum, 2018
Kishore Mahbuhani, Has the West Lost It? A Provocation, London, Allen Lane, 2018

BERLIN – These are challenging and unsettling times for the West. The combination of resurgent nationalism and geopolitical uncertainty feels less like a temporary disruption and more like a fundamental transformation – one that may well spell the end of the era of Western global dominance.

As the sun sets in the West, many argue, it is rising in Asia. Indeed, the question no longer seems to be whether Asia will supplant the West as the world’s dominant region, but rather when that will happen – and how smoothly. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s Dangerous Political Marriage

Posted by hkarner - 14. März 2018

Helmut K. Anheier

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Germany’s new grand coalition – the third in Merkel’s long chancellorship – is a good outcome for Germany’s short-term stability, especially with regard to Europe. But it is a bad outcome for democracy, especially at a time when populist forces are a growing threat.

BERLIN – More than five months after Germany’s federal election last September, a new grand coalition government – comprising Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) – has finally been formed. But there is little reason to celebrate.

Germany has endured nearly six of months under a caretaker government (the longest in the Federal Republic’s history), a failed coalition agreement, weeks of arduous negotiations, painful internal party rumblings, and much politicking. Moreover, a recent national poll dealt yet another blow to the center-left SPD, indicating that if elections were held today, the party would be outperformed by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Freeing German Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2018

Helmut K. Anheier

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin

German democracy is being strangled by closed-door coalition agreements. Allowing it to breathe requires closing the gap between the political class and the electorate, which is possible only if party leaders embrace more open and flexible legislative agendas requiring real debate in the Bundestag.

BERLIN – The spectacle surrounding the recent talks to form a new coalition government in Germany is a bellwether of voter discontent. The power games, pork barreling, and compromises that have been reached without public debate all underscore the disconnect between Germany’s mainstream parties and the electorate – driving voters directly into the hands of populists.

As a result, Germany’s political fringe is blossoming. The far-right Alternative für Deutschland and the left-wing Die Linke hold a combined total of about a quarter of the Bundestag’s seats. The emerging grand coalition – which includes the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) – holds just over 50%, making it significantly less grand than in the previous two governments. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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While Germany Slept

Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2018

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Many Germans may prefer the modesty and incrementalism that have characterized Angela Merkel’s past chancellorships. But a minority government forced to muster coalitions of the willing to address the critical issues confronting Germany and Europe could escape the constraints of such expectations, enabling much-needed reform.

BERLIN – Few people outside Germany are familiar with the caricature of themselves that many Germans hold in their minds. Far from the aggressive bully of twentieth-century war propaganda, the perfectionist engineer of Madison Avenue car advertisements, or the rule-following know-it-all of the silver screen, the German many picture today is a sleepy-headed character clad in nightgown and cap. Sometimes clutching a candle, this German cuts a naïve, forlorn figure, bewildered by the surrounding world.

This figure is not new. On the contrary, referred to as “Der deutsche Michel” or “the German Michel,” it was popularized in the nineteenth century as a character whose limited perspective causes him to shun great ideas, eschew change, and aspire only to a decent, quiet, and comfortable life.

But Michel has now made a comeback. And who can blame him? Germany now boasts a booming economy, near full employment, rising wages, and content unions. The financial crisis is long forgotten, public budgets are under control; and the 2015 influx of migrants has been relatively well managed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rage Against the Elites

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2017

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable.

BERLIN – How can we make sense of a world that, over the past decade, has defied the widespread assumption among policymakers and intellectuals that an immutable global order, however imperfect, had emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War? The four books under review represent four approaches to answering that question. But all of them begin from the premise that answering it persuasively requires understanding the West’s loss of unity and coherence. And each, despite bringing to bear distinct perspectives, wrestles with three common issues at the center of the West’s current political malaise.

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Germany’s Crisis of Complacency

Posted by hkarner - 23. September 2017

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Over the past decade, Germany has gone from being the “sick man of Europe” to a bastion of stability. But with German Chancellor Angela Merkel poised to gain a fourth term, it is worth asking if too much stability can be a bad thing.

BERLIN – What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, Germany was cast as “the sick man of Europe,” owing to its apparent unwillingness to reform. The country suffered from high unemployment, declining competitiveness, a failing education system, an aging and shrinking population, and public debt that exceeded the limits set by the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact.

But that was then. Today, Germany is regarded as a bastion of political stability and an island of widely shared prosperity in Europe and the world. This Sunday, Germans will elect a new government, and will most likely give Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term. She will then be on track to surpass her mentor, the late Helmut Kohl, as Germany’s second-longest-serving chancellor, after Otto von Bismarck. Germans can thus expect continued political stability in Berlin, and in most of their country’s 16 Länder (federal states). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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An American Political Tragedy

Posted by hkarner - 13. September 2017

Helmut K. Anheier is President and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

 

From Reaganomics to Obamacare, US policies have often overpromised and underperformed. Donald Trump’s presidency is the culmination of this trend – one that can be reversed only with a major realignment of US political parties.

BERLIN – US President Donald Trump’s nearly eight months in office have been characterized by a series of disturbing political developments. But Trump is not entirely to blame. His presidency is just the latest act in a long-running political tragedy.

From a foreign-policy perspective, the problem began in the 1990s, when the United States squandered the post-Cold War peace dividend. With regard to domestic policy, the failures began even earlier: from Reaganomics in the 1980s to Obamacare in the 2010s, major policies have often overpromised and underperformed, while failing to address underlying problems.

Of course, US politicians are rarely short on lofty rhetoric – from Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign to Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can” slogan to Donald Trump’s “America First” refrain. And, beginning with John F. Kennedy, presidents have likened the US to a “city upon a hill” – an example to the rest of the world. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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