With the Eurozone crisis in its fifth year, many continue to see the issue of Germany’s role and the future of the Euro as a prevalent one. In contrast to those who rally against the common European currency, C. Fred Bergsten continues to argue that Germany has an overwhelming number of reasons to make sure the euro succeeds, and that the Eurozone holds together through the crisis. While Germany has so far demonstrated the willingness to pay whatever price is necessary to preserve the Eurozone, Bergsten asks if it should indefinitely rely on financing its partners, or if it could rebalance its own economy in ways that would help adjust their imbalances. Are there feasible policy options, consistent with Germany’s affinity for stability, and abhorrence of fine-tuning, that could achieve such outcomes? Bergsten hopes such strategies might help overcome the “high-level stagnation” that is the legacy of the Euro crisis and could otherwise remain so for some time.
C. Fred Bergsten was a Kurt Viermetz Distinguished Visitor of the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2014.
New Yorker staff writer and spring 2014 fellow George Packer reads from his National Book Award-winning account of American change over the last fifty years, The Unwinding. The book deftly interweaves the stories of everyday, working Americans, social history, economic statistics, and biographical sketches of some of today's leading public figures, including Newt Gingrich, Oprah Winfrey, and Jay-Z, in order to paint -- as this lecture outlines -- a troubling picture of an America that has become increasingly emptied of its middle class and ever more obsessed with an unobtainable celebrity lifestyle.
George Rupp, former president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, examines the tension between traditional religious conviction and modern secular individualism. Rupp claims that despite the aspiration of secular liberals to keep the passions of religious devotees out of the public realm, there is evidence all over the world that this stance is not a viable option. He argues that the global challenge is instead to find a way for passionate conviction not to preclude inclusive communities.
Rupp was Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2014.
In this lecture, Jane Holl Lute, former deputy secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security, examines the social effects of global technological connectivity and ask what it means to speak today of personal privacy or personally identifiable information. This includes defining the political implications of the “cyber awakening” at the key intersection of technology, power, and wealth, and how nation-states, international institutions, and major multinational corporations are coping with these developments. Drawing on her experience in international, national, and homeland security, Lute offers a policy perspective on security in the cyber age.
Holl Lute was a Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2014.
A child of the Great Depression, the venerated cartoonist Jules Feiffer often turned to adventure comic strips and the tales of Hammett and Chandler, along with the films based on their works. He explains that these elaborate fantasy worlds allowed him to escape from and survive the very real difficulties of life at this time in American history. Feiffer’s new graphic novel Kill My Mother (W.W. Norton, August 2014), reaches back to his first obsessions; playing with his past, Kill My Mother launches him into a form of graphic expression he says he was unable to find until the age of 80. Happy in his later years, Feiffer asserts that he can finally return to what he really wanted to do in the first place.
Feiffer was a Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor of the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2014.