Anheier on Germany’s Modern Angst

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Helmut Anheier wrote a Project Syndicate book review examining Germany’s undercurrent of anxiety as a new coalition government takes power. “German political life so far has been spared from the ravages of Brexit-style magical thinking or American-style polarization,” Anheier wrote. But as the 16-year tenure of Chancellor Angela Merkl comes to an end, “there is an abiding sense of unease in German society — a suspicion that things are changing, and not for the better.” Anheier summarized four recent books that address the crises of collective and individual identity that are part of the contemporary German experience; each book offers a starkly different conclusion. Anheier noted that, like many wealthy Western countries, Germany seems to be caught in a constant state of disquietude, despite all it has going for it. He concluded, “The post-Merkel era is as likely to bring disruption as it is to preserve continuity with the recent past.”

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