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Trump’s brand of populism feeds on frustration and fear

January 20, 2017 is a historic day, with Donald Trump’s entry into office as the 45th U.S. President marking the beginning of a new era. Yet his inauguration is accompanied, at least among certain political circles, by a widespread anticipation of his failure – as well as the belief that it’s only a matter of time until everyone else catches on.

The prospect of a Trump presidency is generating collective concern around the globe: since he was elected in … [continue reading]

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In Germany, the poor are getting poorer

This text was also published in German in  ZEIT ONLINE on March 3rd  as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Recently, the Federal Government will soon present its fifth official Poverty and Wealth Report. But early leaks revealed the removal of passages concerning the richest citizens’ disproportionate political influence had already triggered widespread public outrage. Such an omission is especially troubling given that broad political participation – critical for a functional democracy – is lacking in Germany. In fact, … [continue reading]

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A German debate over the future of Europe is long overdue

The op-ed was first published on FT.com on February 28, 2017.

The emergence of Martin Schulz as the centre-left Social Democrats’ (SPD) candidate for chancellor has fundamentally altered the dynamics of German politics. It is also changing the debate in Germany on inequality and the future of Europe in ways that will have a significant impact across the continent.

Germany is regarded as an economic success story. Unemployment is at its lowest level since reunification, while the trade surplus has … [continue reading]

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