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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Germany and the European Union

Kenneth F. Ledford, Ph.D., J.D. - Associate Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University
Friday March 9, 2012
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Back in the 1960s, French novelist Francois Mauriac commented that, "I love Germany so much that I'm glad there are two of them." At that point the great European project that would lead to the Maastricht Treaty, European Union and the Euro was in its early stages, but much of its purpose was to link the Western part of divided Germany so closely to its neighbors (especially France) that war would become unthinkable.

When Germany unified, the European project became, from this perspective, even more important. But by this time the European project was also, in part, an attempt to spread perceived virtues of Germany's economic model to other parts of Europe. Or, looked at from another perspective, the Germans were only willing to extend economic integration, particularly monetary union, if it did not threaten the economic policies they considered to be the foundation of their prosperity. But, as we discussed with Professor Lavelle this past Friday Lunch (March 2), the European Central Bank had a very different mission than the U.S. Federal Reserve: the ECB's clear priority is price stability, where the Federal Reserve's mandate is to encourage both price stability and employment by protecting the banking system, serving as "lender of last resort." The ECB's role reflects both a dominant international ideology of the 1990s and the German horror of inflation, based in bitter experience.

The euro and other aspects of the EU appear, in one sense, to have worked too well: an investment boom (including German investment) created new prosperity in the southern tier of the EU, but the boom could not be sustained. Now what? Europe's response depends, above all, on what the Germans are willing to pay for.

One investment analyst commented in 2010 that somehow the Europeans will need to find a way to recognize the difference between the lower-inflation parts of the EU and higher-inflation parts - and that in the future some may say, "I love the Euro so much I am glad there are two of them." We shall see, but one thing we know for sure: as has been true from the beginning, the European project depends on and is to a great extent about the Germans.

I am very glad that Ken Ledford will be joining us this week to give perspective and lead discussion on Germany and the EU. It is hard to imagine a topic that has more dimensions or is more important.

Very best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest...

Kenneth Ledford is a social historian of modern Germany, from 1789 to the present. His research interests focus primarily upon processes of class formation, particularly the emergence and decline of the profound influence of the educated, liberal middle-class of education, the Bildungsbürgertum. The salient ideology of this social group was classical liberalism, whose vocabulary both shaped and was shaped by the primary social institution of the Bürgertum, law and the legal order. Professor Ledford has written about German lawyers in private practice, and his present work is on a book about the Prussian judiciary between 1848 and 1918; in all of his research, a clearer analysis of the complex interplay among state, civil society, and the ideology of the state ruled by law (Rechtsstaat) remains the goal. Professor Ledford's teaching interests extend beyond German history since 1789 to include the history of the European middle classes, the history of the professions, European legal history, other processes of class formation including German and European labor history, as well as the history of European international relations and diplomatic history.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convene each Friday when classes are in session in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

March 16: Spring Break - No Discussion

March 23: Environmental Dimensions of Fracking. Matthew Sobel, William E. Umstattd Professor of Industrial Economics, Professor of Operations, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

March 30: Just Do It or Just Say No? The Politics of Sex Education. Mark Carl Rom, Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy, Georgetown University

April 6: Election 2012: Twenty Years After the "Year of the Woman." Karen Beckwith, Flora Stone Mather Professor of Political Science

April 13: Russia’s Presidential Election. Andrew Barnes, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University

April 20: TBA

April 27: Obama and Alinsky, or: What Happens When a President Thinks Like a Community Organizer. Justin Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Cleveland State University
March 6, 2012

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

The Evolution and Future of Global Climate Change Institutions

Alexander Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University, Tuesday March 6, 2012, 4:30-6pm, Room 309, Clark Hall, Case Western Reserve University. Free and Open to the Public. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University with the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

A variety of political and legal institutions have been established over time to manage the issue of climate change at the global level, mostly centered on the UN. These institutions have varied in terms of the nature and depth of obligations they impose on states. The shallow and nonbinding Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) was followed by the more legalized Kyoto Protocol, which in turn is being replaced by a more decentralized and flexible approach. Professor Thompson will describe these changes and offer an explanation for the design and evolution of climate institutions from the perspective of political and environmental effectiveness. He will also offer policy recommendations based on current problems in the regime and the political realities exposed by ongoing negotiations.

Alexander Thompson's research focuses on international relations, especially in the area of international institutions and cooperation. His book, Channels of Power: The UN Security Council and U.S. Statecraft in Iraq (Cornell University Press, 2009), asks why powerful states often conduct coercive foreign policies through international organizations. Professor Thompson provides an information-based explanation and assesses arguments looking at U.S. policy toward Iraq from 1990 to the current intervention and its aftermath. Channels of Power won the International Studies Association’s Chadwick F. Alger Prize for the best book on international organization and multilateralism and the Best Book Award from ISA-Midwest.

Going Out (zou chuqu) and Arrival In (desembarco): China, Latin America, and Contemporary Globalization

Julia Strauss, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, Monday March 26, 2012, 4:30-6pm, Room 309, Clark Hall, Case Western Reserve University. Free and Open to the Public. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University with the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

March 2012







































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