“Think again: European decline” (with Mark Leonard, Foreign Policy, May/June 2013)
Sure, it may seem as if Europe is down and out. But things are far, far better than they look.
“U.S., Europe: Get ready for estrangement” (CNN, 27 November 2012)
Two developments in particular will shape Obama’s second-term foreign policy: the deficit and the pivot towards the Asia-Pacific. Both will create tough choices for Europeans as they struggle to deal with the euro crisis.
“A colossus reborn” (New Statesman, 4 October 2012)
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Günter Grass was hopelessly out of step with the mood in Germany.
“The British question” (Internationale Politik Global Edition, 27 August 2012)
Does Britain have a European future? (A version of this article was also published as “Die britische Frage” in the German edition of the foreign-policy journal Internationale Politik.)
“The German people will decide Europe’s fate” (The Guardian, 27 August 2012)
Starkly divided opinion in the EU’s biggest economy could be as big a threat to the euro as Greek debt.
“Democracy and the EU’s ‘strategic partnerships” (E! Sharp, July 2012)
The EU must apply its normative approach to its “strategic partnerships” by including democracy in the way they are defined.
“Beware the new Beijing-Berlin bond” (with Jonas Parello-Plesner, Financial Times, 14 May 2012)
As Germany develops a “special relationship” based on the explosion of trade between them in the last decade, the rest of Europe risks being cut out of the loop.
“Reluctant hegemon” (Internationale Politik Global Edition, 4 May 2012)
Germany is too self-centred and short-termist to be a European hegemon. (Versions of this article were also published as “Was für ein Hegemon?” in the May/June issue of the German edition of the foreign-policy journal Internationale Politik and as “AAA, leader europeo cercasi” in the Italian foreign-policy journal Limes.)
“More Money, More Problems” (Internationale Politik Global Edition, November/December 2011)
Germany’s foreign policy is increasingly driven by economic interests, as its response to the Arab Spring illustrates. (This article was also published as “Paradoxon Deutschland” in the November/December issue of the German edition of Internationale Politik.)
“Afghanistan Deployment Forges More Assertive Bundeswehr” (Spiegel Online International, November 1, 2011)
After close to a decade of deployment in Afghanistan, German soldiers have seen something not experienced by their predecessors in postwar times: extensive combat.
“Beyond Atonement” (New Statesman, September 26, 2011)
The triumphalist narrative of the post-war Federal Republic seems increasingly problematic.
“Germany as a Geo-economic Power” (The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2011)
Germany seems to be emerging as a particularly pure example of a new form of power in international relations: a geo-economic power. (This essay was also published as “La Germania come potenza geoeconomica” in the Italian foreign-policy journal Limes.)
“A little revolution” (New Statesman, May 2, 2011)
The second volume of Joschka Fischer’s memoirs is dominated by the “red-green” government’s opposition to the Iraq war.
“BND: The spies who silenced their critics in war on terror” (with Helen Pidd, The Guardian, March 18, 2011)
The Bundesnachrichtendienst, once the laughing stock of rival secret services, has shaken off its past.
“Two more Germanies” (Internationale Politik Global Edition, July/August 2010)
Manfred Görtemaker’s book Die Berliner Republik misses some of the more problematic aspects of Germany’s complex evolution in the two decades since reunification.
“Germany’s withdrawal symptoms” (Prospect, July 2010)
The euro crisis seems to have revealed a more inward-looking and nationalistic Germany. But this shift is both more subtle and older than it appears.
“The spiritual factor” (June 2010)
Ian Johnson’s A Mosque in Munich skilfully links the apparently disparate histories of Nazism, the Cold War and Islamism.
“Seeing in black and white” (New Statesman, June 7, 2010)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Nomad is a thought-provoking but ultimately frustrating book.
“Return of the beat boy” (New Statesman, February 4, 2010)
Breon Mitchell’s new translation of Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum sticks closely to the language and rhythm of of the original German text.
“Margaret Thatcher’s German war” (Times Literary Supplement, October 28, 2009)
Newly released documents reveal the British prime minister’s fear of a reunited Germany.
“Town that survived the fall” (Financial Times, (October 26, 2009)
Jena is one of the few places where Helmut Kohl’s post-reunification promise of “blooming landscapes” in the former East Germany has become a reality.
“Defining Moment” (Financial Times, October 10, 2009)
Post Office engineer Tommy Flowers creates a landmark in computing, January 1944.
“Making profits for a cleaner cause” (Financial Times, July 29, 2009)
The rapidly growing carbon market has attracted a mixed crowd of environmentalists and hard-headed commodities traders.
“Nineteen Eighty-Four at 60″ (June 2009)
Since it was published exactly 60 years ago, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been used and abused to make all kinds of political points quite different to the ones that George Orwell wanted to make.
“For a Great Britain” (April 2009)
Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, the country is still divided over the impact she had on British society.
“Grand designs at Bauhaus B&B” (The Observer, March 29, 2009)
The influential German design school now offers tourists the chance to stay in its former student quarters. (This article was also published in German.)
“Heil Comrade” (Prospect, December 2008)
The Baader-Meinhof Complex hides Germany’s odd history of left-wing anti-Semitism.
“Russia or the West?” (Prospect, October 2008 – subscription required)
Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer stand on opposite sides of debates about German history – as their different attitudes to Russia illustrates.
“Watching the detectives” (The Guardian, September 29, 2008)
How some of Germany’s biggest companies spied on journalists
“No place for street fighting man” (February 2008)
In 1968 British young people were not as angry or tormented as their counterparts elsewhere. The post-war generation in Britain expressed itself through culture, above all music and fashion, rather than politics.
“The trouble with exporting glamour” (The Guardian, February 18, 2008)
A year after it was launched, the German edition of Vanity Fair is widely considered an expensive flop.
“West Side Story” (The Guardian, November 28, 2006)
Columbia University is planning a $7bn expansion into Harlem. Residents are outraged.
“Republican Detention” (guardian.co.uk, October 19, 2006)
A political movie shot at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York blurs fact and fiction.
“Child’s Play” (Prospect, October 2006 – subscription required)
A review of Günter Grass’s memoir, Beim Häuten der Zwiebel
“Ministry of Sound” (The Guardian, August 19, 2006)
Every Sunday, the congregation of San Francisco’s Church of St. John Coltrane gathers for a three-hour mixture of pentecostal church service and jam session.
“After Westphalia” (Times Literary Supplement, December 23, 2005)
A review of Joschka Fischer’s new book, Die Rückkehr der Geschichte
“The Land of the Giant” (The Guardian, October 22, 2005)
An art oasis in the West Texas desert
“The Roky Road to Recovery” (October 2005)
How a documentary changed the life of rock icon Roky Erickson
“Some progress” (Times Literary Supplement, September 9, 2005)
Nationalism and “normality” in nineteenth and twentieth century Germany
“Goodbye to the ’68ers” (Prospect, August 2005 – subscription required)
The legacy of Germany’s 1968 generation
“Letter from Crawford” (August 2005)
“Peace mom” Cindy Sheehan’s protest outside President Bush’s ranch in Texas has become the focal point of the anti-war movement in the United States.
“The Air Mile King” (November 2004)
Jack Kerouac said the road is life. For Jack Vroom, the runway is life.
“The forgotten bridge” (September 2004)
A World War II veteran returns to Holland 60 years after Operation Market Garden.
“From one extreme to another” (March 2003)
The strange political journey of left-wing terrorist turned neo-Nazi Horst Mahler
“Struggles in secrecy and silence” (Times Literary Supplement, February 20, 2004)
What two new books tell us about Rudi Dutschke, the leader of West Germany’s student movement in the 1960s
“The blonde guillotine” (Times Literary Supplement, August 30, 2002)
The Bavarian Christian Democrat who is hoping to become Germany’s new chancellor
“Only the Stasi know” (Times Literary Supplement, March 29, 2002)
Review of three books on Germany’s biggest political scandal in years
“A Nuyorican State of Mind” (February 2002)
DJs Masters at Work on New York and music after 9/11
“The other MCC” (June 2001)
How Indian software engineers brought cricket to the Microsoft campus