German unification and the ensuing end of the Cold War were undoubtedly, in Hegel’s words, “world historical” events. However, current reflections on the meaning of German unification are often limited to German viewpoints. This panel, organized by the American Academy in Berlin and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, addresses the thirtieth anniversary of German unification from various national and generational perspectives as well as a range of disciplines, including history and the social sciences.
The panel was moderated by Mitchell G. Ash, BBAW Member and Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the University of Vienna, who witnessed German unification as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) in 1990-1991. Further panelists included Horst Teltschik, political scientist and advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl during German unification; Sebastian Conrad, BBAW Member and Professor of History, Free University of Berlin; Hope M. Harrison, Professor of History and International Affairs, The Elliott School, The George Washington University, and American Academy alumna; Steffen Mau, Professor of Macrosociology, Humboldt University of Berlin and BBAW Member; and Daniel Ziblatt, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Department of Government, Harvard University & Director of the Transformations of Democracy group, WZB Berlin and American Academy alumnus.