The Best Articles On Angela Merkel


She was a chemist, chancellor and widely considered the most dominant figure in European politics of the last decades, but with the close of  2021 Angela Merkel will be taking the position of "retired".

Doubtless many eulogies for her have already prepared in Content Management Systems all across the publishing world, but here we have dug through our ten-year archive for enduring past reads on a woman who was often considered the "de facto leader of Europe".


I Wanted To See The Rockies

Melanie Amann & Florian Gathmann | Spiegel | 11th November 2019 | U

Interview with German chancellor Angela Merkel about life in communist East Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the allure of Bruce Springsteen, and the enduring tensions between eastern and western Germany. “German unification was shaped by both the East and the West, and by Helmut Kohl's political skill. But the revolution was the work of the citizens of the GDR. Not everyone in West Germany at the time was brimming with courage. This is something that could be given more recognition” (2,220 words)


A Singular Chancellor

Constanze Stelzenmüller | Foreign Affairs | 20th April 2021 | TU

Perceptive appreciation of Angela Merkel's methods. "Her default delivery mode is what Germans now call merkeln: so deadpan and convoluted that it’s impossible to pin her down. Behind the style, however, is what German strategists have called 'asymmetric demobilization': Dull the issues, depoliticize conflicts, and thus keep the opponent’s voters from going to the polls" (4,200 words)


After Merkel, The Darkness

René Pfister | Spiegel | 28th May 2019 | U

Chilling profile of Angela Merkel, approaching the end of her final term as Germany’s chancellor. Despite her outward calm, Merkel is “gripped by a deep pessimism”. She fears that Europe is heading for a new time of troubles, perhaps comparable with the Thirty Years’ War. “Merkel has frequently pointed out that, for centuries, China was a high culture, a leader in science and technology. She doesn’t say so to illustrate China’s failings, but to highlight just how fleeting order and prosperity can be” (7,100 words)



Angela Merkel's Legacy

Dirk Kurbjuweit | Spiegel | 6th September 2021 | U

Comprehensive if arguably somewhat grudging assessment of Angela Merkel's 16 years as German chancellor. She excelled at crisis management, at least until the pandemic got the better of her. Germany has prospered under her leadership. But she has fallen short of greatness. She has underperformed as a European and a global leader. She leaves behind an "aftertaste of disappointment" (6,400 words)


Angela Merkel, Person Of The Year

Stefan Wagstyl | Financial Times | 15th December 2015 | MP

The refugee crisis has transformed Ms Merkel from a “step-by-step” chancellor to a conviction politician. By keeping Europe’s doors open for more than 1m mostly Muslim refugees, if it works well, Ms Merkel will leave a legacy as enduring as her mentor, former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who presided over German reunification. But to her critics she is rash, arrogant and self-righteous (2,050 words)


Dull The Issues

Quentin Peel | Financial Times | 30th June 2013 | MP

This could almost be satire, but it isn't. German Chancellor Merkel pursues a political strategy of "asymmetric demobilisation". Which means, roughly speaking, boring people into acquiescence. No vision stuff. Make the world seem safe and dull. "Voters are lulled into a sense of security. The idea is that if you persuade more of your opponents to stay at home than your own supporters, you are on to a winning formula" (719 words)


Dark View of the World We Live In

René Pfister | Der Spiegel | 5th June 2018

The German chancellor has begun to worry about history and her place in it. It’s generally good for politicians to think long-term; but Angela Merkel may be going too far. “When she visited her party’s parliamentary group in mid-April, she didn’t talk about how she wants to change the pension system. Tolls on German highways were also not on her list, nor were all the problems with diesel emissions in the country. Instead, she wanted to talk about the Peace of Augsburg, signed in 1555” (1,850 words)


Want more? From our friends at Five Books, read about Merkel in context with their collection of books on modern German history:

Modern German History
Hester Vaizey, fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and author of Born in the GDR talks to Five Books about the best reads on modern German history.

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