What Is Power?
A bold new design for a master metric of national power.
The Siren Song of "Normalcy"
“Normal” tends not to be an adjective that individuals or nations cherish for themselves. Who wants to be merely normal, average or typical when one can be exceptional or superior? Germans do, and it is not hard to understand why. As a united polity only since 1870, Germany’s bloody odyssey from the Franco-Prussian War to […]
Geography and Character
Simple questions do not always dispose themselves to simple answers, so in pondering what it means to say that Germany is (or is not) a normal country twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I turn first to analogies furnished by memory. Two memories, in particular, come to mind. In the early 1970s, I […]
The Good German
Germany has undergone five different political systems in the space of a few generations: monarchy, the Weimar Republic, Nazi totalitarianism, the separation into democracy in the West and real socialism in the East, and finally reunification. It seems reasonable at first, given such tumult, to ask whether Germany is now a normal country twenty years […]
Ninety years after 1919, seventy years after 1939, twenty years after 1989: Could it be it time for Germany to declare normalcy, for Germans to stop obsessing about their history and start living in the present? After all, we Germans have accomplished what is today broadly reckoned to be an honorable and complete accounting of […]
Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, economic theory trumped economic history; no longer. But what does that history tell us?
The View from Israel
The fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago changed the face of Germany, Europe and international politics. If the Cold War, with its dangerous nuclear competition, was some kind of protracted crisis, then it was by definition an abnormal period, and therefore its conclusion would open the way to a return to normalcy for […]