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By Jack Wright
On 1 November 2017, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) welcomed Hans Kundnani—the Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and a renowned “Kanzleramtologist”—who spoke about the direction German foreign policy is likely to take in the short- to medium-term, for an event chaired by James Rogers, Director of the Global Britain programme with HJS.
Kundnani argued the recent German election was a “non-election,” since it was clear (in the days prior to the vote) that incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel would secure another term in office. Although there had been a “tantalizing possibility” that Martin Schulz could steal votes away from Merkel, Kundnani maintained that the German people (by and large) wanted “more of the same,” vis-à-vis European integration and the Eurozone; as the Social Democrats finished in second place, the success of Merkel more broadly translated into the bursting of the “Schulz bubble.” Furthermore, the prominent electoral gains made by Alternative für Deutschland signalled a willingness to enforce a tougher approach toward the Eurozone (rather than the hysterical warnings made of a reactionary lurch toward a recrudescent German fascism.
Kundnani illustrated there remained three key elements which encompassed mainstream (i.e., centre-ground) German consensus in the early 21st century: