On September 26, Germany will hold its most consequential election in 16 years, as Angela Merkel steps down as Chancellor and her successor is still uncertain. During the 2021 campaign, frontrunners unpredictably switched from Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock and CDU leader Armin Laschet towards the SPD's Olaf Scholz. Polls are too close to call, but suggest all three parties have about one-fifth of the vote. This implies the next governing coalition may reach a majority only with some unlikely alliances among three parties. To discuss the hard-to-foresee election results, the University Seminar on Europe Since COVID-19 will host a discussion between two Washington, DC experts on German politics who will have just returned from a site visit to Germany where they will meet with party insiders and opinion makers. Both will reflect on hot-off-the-press news of the election results and the significance for Germany's next Chancellor and governing coalition.
Hope M. Harrison, Professor of History & International Affairs at George Washington University, will be the US representative on a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)-sponsored international delegation observing the German elections. Dr. Harrison is an expert on post-1945 German history and is the author of books and articles on Germany.
Eric Langenbacher, Teaching Professor in the government department at Georgetown University and the director of the Society, Culture and Politics Program at the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins, will go to Germany with a group sponsored by the UK's International Association for the Study of German Politics. Dr. Langenbacher is an expert on German politics and has published many articles and co-authored volumes on the subject.
Hilary Silver is Professor of Sociology, International Affairs, and Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.
This event is on the record and open to the media.