The achievements of the past decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall such as the European integration or Germany’s sound economic performance are not be taken for granted. Its partners welcome a stronger German commitment in various fields. The political and public debate on Germany’s international responsibility is currently gaining momentum. KAS International Reports, proudly celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is an active part of this discussion.

Perspectives on Reunified Germany

Impressions from Poland

Poland and Germany share a history of ups and downs. It took time, rapprochement and reconciliation to heal the wounds of the past and to do away with mutual resentments. Today, the majority of the Polish people clearly support the cooperation with their neighbors. In addition, both countries are considered to be a strong tandem at the European level. Aside from the overall harmony some disagreement does exist as well.

The German G7 Presidency

An Opportunity to Assume “New Responsibility” in International Politics

The G7 is a powerful political network in the sphere of international relations. For more than three decades, the group of the most important industrialized countries has been coordinating itself in various areas. In June 2014, Germany has taken over the G7 presidency which raises the question of its international responsibility. What could the agenda of the German government look like in order to agree with its partners on political steps at the G7 summit next year?

Black Professionals and the ANC in the 2014 Election

Loosening Ties?

The growing black middle class of South Africa has increasingly become the subject of interest for political parties. Noticeably, more political parties campaigned for votes from that sector in society in the 2014 Parliamentary elections. Members of that group still show a stronger preference for the ruling ANC. However, prior to the general elections, there was reason to suppose that black middle class support for the ANC had begun to decline, and that this would prove a significant factor at the polls.

Brazil’s New Middle Class

Here to Stay?

More than ten years ago, one third of Brazil’s population lived below the national poverty line. Today, more than half of them belong to the middle class. Members of this group are trying to find their societal and political role. They are worried about how to secure their new modest wealth. What are the chances to consolidate and continue this success?

Britain Remains United, but What Now?

Das Schottland Referendum und seine Folgen

On 18 September 2014, the majority of Scottish voters opted against their country gaining independence from the United Kingdom. Everything indicates that, though the issue has been concluded (for now), the discussion about the political reorganisation of the country has only just begun.

Change in Government in the World’s Largest Muslim Country

Joko Widodo wird siebter Staatspräsident Indonesiens

More than 190 million Indonesians were called to the polls in July to elect a new president. The winner is Joko Widodo, Jakarta’s former governor and a favorite of the media. In order to enforce his ambitious reform agenda parliamentary and political power within his party are required. Jokowi enjoys both of these only to a limited degree.


The growth of the middle classes is a global trend. In that respect, the opportunities go hand in hand with socio-economic and complex political challenges. If the achievements of governments continually lag behind people’s expectations, this is likely to generate increasing potential for unrest in individual societies. With regard to these tensions, how can middle classes in emerging economies become politically engaged and remain competitive at the same time?

Rising Middle Classes in Emerging Economies

Please download the full PDF here.

The Middle Classes in Latin America

Media Hype and Detailed Analysis

The World Bank estimates that the Latin American middle class has grown to 152 million people between 2003 and 2009. However, a political or societal debate on the sustainability of this ongoing trend appears to be insufficient. What remains is an ambivalent feeling. Poverty is decreasing, growth is being praised, whereas risks and negative side effects are neglected. Therefore, a critical analysis of the consequences of the growth of the middle classes in Latin America is necessary.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388

Louisa Heuss

Gerrit Wilcke

Gerrit Wilcke

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Fabian Wagener

Fabian Wagener

Desk Officer for Multimedia +49 30-26996-3943