Please join us on Monday, October 2nd, at 12:30 (GISB room 3067) for Professor Joyce Mushaben's presentation “Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force: Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and the New Politics of Containment.”
Despite her 35-year exposure as an east German citizen to forced solidarity with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, Angela Merkel had no problem after unification internalizing the Federal Republic’s traditional commitment to multilateralism and NATO. Assuming the Chancellorship in 2005, Merkel understood better than any other western leader why it was essential to keep Russia engaged into any dialogue involving Europe. This talk analyzes the rules of “power physics” that have shaped Merkel’s personal relationship with Putin, rendering them subject to the irresistible force paradox. It then addresses Merkel’s efforts to rein in Putin’s aggressive approach to the Georgian, Crimean and Ukrainian conflicts. The concluding section reflects on the kinds of “hard” versus “soft” power dilemmas that recent out-of-area crises raise for a German Chancellor, seeking a modicum of Russian cooperation, e.g., in the global war on terrorism.
Professor Mushaben received her Ph. D. from Indiana University and serves as a Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Comparative Politics & Gender Studies at the University of Missouri - St. Louis; she is also former Director of the Institute for Women's & Gender Studies. Having spent more than 17 years living/researching in Germany, her early work centered on social movements (peace, ecology, feminism, anti-nuclear protests and even neo-Nazi activism); she moved on to European Union developments, citizenship and migration policies, women’s leadership, Euro-Islam debates and comparative welfare state reforms. Her latest book, focusing on Germany’s first female Chancellor, is entitled Becoming Madam Chancellor: Angela Merkel and the Berlin Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Professors Dina Spechler and Johannes Türk will serve as respondents.
Lunch will be provided, starting at noon! (speakers' interventions will begin at 12:30)