Blog

The Renaissance of German Liberalism
January 12, 2018 , , , ,

Historically, political liberalism and the political forces struggling to promote freedom in their societies have seen ups and downs. Germany’s more recent history is a case in point. The liberal Free Democratic Party – or FDP – was represented in Parliament without interruption for 64 years. It played an important role in coalition governments for no less than 45 years. ...

Continue reading →

The Liberal Hope in Germany
October 09, 2017 , , ,

  Hardly two weeks after the voting, it’s too early for a definite appraisal of Germany’s general elections. In a democracy, determining the composition of the government is the most important function of the electoral exercise. It seems clear that Germany will have a new government. The so-called Grand Coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), her Bavaria-only partner...

Continue reading →

Elections in India: What I wrote for a German audience – and what I could have written for Indian readers
March 22, 2017

For a foreigner, writing about Indian politics is challenging. In case the readers are foreigners like me, there’s very much explaining to do. If the audience is Indian, there’s a chance they tell me to mind my own business — particularly if they don’t like what I say. In this case, I’m not concerned that would happen. I was invited to share my thoughts on the outcome of the rec...

Continue reading →

India: A picture says more than 1000 words
December 10, 2016 , , ,

...

Continue reading →

At last, world news from India
December 04, 2016

Before moving to India some two and a half years ago, I lived in the Middle East. For a journalist and a political commentator that place is paradise: Hardly a day went by without news, usually news of the bad kind, hitting the international headlines. In comparison, international media interest in India may be called subdued. The country is a more or less stable democracy, and stability is the...

Continue reading →

And all of a sudden your cash is worthless
November 26, 2016 , , ,

The assessments could hardly be less disparate. One side says India’s currency reform is a stroke of genius, a surgical strike which overnight dries out the morass of the black economy. For the foes, the sudden invalidation of huge amounts of paper money is a source of pain and misery, a threat to economic growth, in short: a political scandal. Political controversy is part and parcel of ...

Continue reading →

Social Media? Just Do It!
February 23, 2016 , , , ,

  Before I joined the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, I worked as a journalist for many years. I produced radio programs and enjoyed communicating with an invisible audience over the airwaves. Communicating with others is a human want, a basic necessity. Never in human history has communication changed as dramatically as in the past few years. We are in the midst of an ongoing...

Continue reading →

Egypt’s Revolution: Five Years After
January 24, 2016 , , , , , ,

The announcement that the Regional Office of Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation would leave Egypt after 40 years was not unexpected. I had heard rumors. Still the news hit me like a shock. I had spent eight years at the helm of that office and am tempted to call those years in Cairo the most exciting and surely the most eventful in my professional career. I had been treated to a seat in t...

Continue reading →

In memoriam Stamatis Assimenios: Erinnerungen an einen großartigen Griechen
December 22, 2015 , , ,

Stamatis Assimenios habe ich Mitte der achtziger Jahre in einer Kölner Eckkneipe kennengelernt. Dort jobte er als Aushilfskellner, um sein Studium zu finanzieren. Bei Trinkwettbewerben mit Rentnern und Arbeitslosen verdiente er sich oft eine Extra-Mark. Der Kneipenwirt war Grieche, ein bekennender Kommunist, der zu fortgeschrittener Stunde über den Partisanenkampf schwärmte. Allabendlich traf e...

Continue reading →

Diversity
September 27, 2015

  Had I to name one word to describe India in a nutshell, I’d choose the term diversity. Nowhere else have I witnessed this diverseness in more or less all walks of life as here in India - culturally, socially and to top it all also politically. Organizing diversity so that the diverse members of society coexist in a peaceful manner is the very basic objective of all democratic consti...

Continue reading →