In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Wolfgang Merkel describes key decisions and non-decisions of the new German government led by Olaf Scholz and addresses the question of continuities with the Merkel era; he discusses the main issues and dilemmas that have been raised in the German debates regarding the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and reflects on the reasons that led him to sign the recent Open Letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz; and considers the perceptions and attitudes that guide Germany in its complex international environment but also the blind spots and mistakes of the country’s recent Russia policy.
Wolfgang Merkel is a Senior Research Fellow at the CEU’s Democracy Institute. Between 2004 and 2020, he acted as Professor of Political Science at the Humboldt University in Berlin and as the Director of the department “Democracy and Democratisation” at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. He is a member of several prestigious academic bodies and has held visiting professorships at universities on various continents. He is also a non-party member of the Basic Values Commission of the Executive Committee of the German Social Democratic Party.
In collaboration with Lucie Janotová