Three leaders of German Ampelkoalition walk side by side

Anheier Reflects on Germany’s Three-Party Coalition Government

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Helmut Anheier authored a Project Syndicate article about the first 100 days of Germany’s three-party coalition government. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Ampelkoalition (“traffic light coalition”), which comprises the Social Democrats, the Free Democrats and the Greens, is Germany’s first three-party government since the 1950s. “To make it work, each party has had to bend on sacred principles and adopt policy positions that previously would have seemed unthinkable,” Anheier wrote. “For a country that prefers consensual, deliberative decision-making and no-surprises, many of the recent, sudden policy shifts have been profound and will alter Germany’s domestic and foreign-policy trajectory for decades to come.” Anheier warned that radical policy changes could backfire, especially when they lack clear public consent, and that the three parties must remain united. “If uncertain times demand novel policies and political flexibility, the Ampelkoalition has so far shown itself to be up to the challenge,” he concluded.

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