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Frontrunners no longer frontrunners?!

Am 3. Januar 2008 werden die Demokraten und Republikaner in Iowa für ihre jeweiligen Präsidentschaftskandidaten stimmen - und fast alles ist noch offen.Die Bedeutung dieser Vorwahl bzw. des Caucus ist nicht zu unterschätzen: Entweder wird Hillary Clinton in Iowa zur Demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidatin gekrönt oderaber es eröffnet sich für Senator Obama oder den ehemaligen Senator Edwards eineChance, der Senatorin trotz ihres finanziellen, organisatorischen und politischen Vorsprungsdie nationale Spitzenreiterposition streitig zu machen.

The Immigration Debate in the U.S. Presidential Campaign

Since the failure of President Bush's federal immigration reform in Congress, the reform debate has moved to the state level, but the discussion about the the future of a national reform has moved into the center stage of the presidential campaign. While critics deplore the increasingly "poisoned" rhetoric, the presidential candidates of both parties are trying to stay true to their political principles while finding a middle ground between their base and the hispanic voters. (Report in German)

US-Präsidentschaftswahlkampf: Immer noch InevitabHillary?

In den letzten Monaten hat sich im Republikanischen Lager der Präsidentschaftsanwärter vieles verändert: der ehemalige Spitzenreiter Senator John McCain hat einen massiven Spenden- und Popularitätseinbruch erlebt. Dies konnte der ehemalige Bürgermeister von New York Rudy Giuliani nutzen, um sich an die Spitze der GOP Kandidaten zu setzten. Dicht hinter ihm folgt der ehemalige Governeur von Massachusetts Mitt Romney und der mit viel Vorschußlorbeer versehene ehemalige Senator Fred Thompson, der allerdings die in ihn gesetzten Hoffnungen bisher nicht erfüllen konnte. Im Lager der Demokraten dagegen scheint alles unverändert...

U.S. Presidential Campaign: Healthcare Reform Top Campaign Issue

Voters have wanted it for decades. Employers are begging for it. Politicians are talking about it. A few weeks before the first primaries, healthcare reform has become one of the most important issues of the U.S. presidential campaign. According to recent polls, Americans place healthcare reform up high on their priority list. (Report in German)

How Capitalism Was Built: A World Transformed

Summary of the book by Anders Aslund

In 1989, the Soviet Bloc – from Berlin to Vladivostok – was struck by one of the greatest liberal revolutions of all times. Since then, society has changed profoundly. A complete ideological, political, economic,and social system passed away, and some 400 million people had to choose a new system. The rejection of socialism was unequivocal. A broad consensus aspired to build democracy and a market economy based on private ownership and the rule of law, while opposition to these goals was concealed in disagreement on how to accomplish them.

War in Washington

The political tug-of-war for the “right strategy” in Iraq

President Bush’s new Iraq strategy has had only very limited success so far. The preliminary report that he presented in mid-July showed only mixed results and left critics room to push for a troop withdrawal. The criticism concerning the “surge” has been significant early on and continues to intensify. Not only the Democratic Party, but also a growing number of high-ranking Republican Senators increase the pressure on Bush. However, the parties still split on the topic of implementing time-tables. Progressive think tanks and the Democratic front-runners for the general election in 2008 present their plans for a disengagement from Iraq. Still, the question about the right way forward remains incredibly difficult, since a too rapid withdrawal might cause even greater chaos and destabilize the entire region. Comparisons to the disaster in Vietnam are drawn frequently. (Paper is in German)

Präsidentenwahlkampf und Irakkrieg

Die politische Debatte in den USA wird von zwei Themen beherrscht, die zudem eng miteinander verwoben sind: Dem Krieg im Irak und dem Vorwahlkampf für die Präsidentenwahlen im November 2008. Daneben spielt Afghanistan noch eine gewisse Rolle. Daneben erhitzte die Debatte um das vor allem von Senator Kennedy und Senator Kyl ausgehandelte und von Präsident Bush nachhaltig unterstützte Einwanderungsgesetz die Gemüter. Es wurde schließlich Ende Juni im Senat abgelehnt.

Child Care in the United States

For millions of American families, non-parental child care is a part of their daily routine. Many rely on child care in order to go to work and provide for their families. Consequently, child care is a necessity for many Americans, but its high cost is a great burden for American households. The political debate on the role of the state, however, is only moving forward in baby-steps. (Paper in German)

Social Security Reform: No Longer Viable

The reform of the American social security system was supposed to be at the core of President Bush' domestic policy agenda during his second term. That's how it was announced in the State of the Union Address two years ago. Today, after the Republicans' loss of the midterm elections and given the dismal approval ratings of George W. Bush, almost nobody believes in the viability of social security reform because the President is lacking the necessary political capital.(Report in German)

USA: Politik- und Klimawandel

Mit steigenden Energiepreisen und der wachsenden Gefahr durch die zahlreicher werdenden Wirbelstürme ist das Thema Klimawandel nun auch in den USA in aller Munde. Zusammen mit den ersten Gegenmaßnahmen auf regionaler Ebene und wissenschaftlichen Studien scheint das Thema in den USA endlich den „tipping point“ erreicht zu haben, an dem diese Herausforderung Politiker auf nationaler Ebene zum Handeln veranlasst.