A Case Study Study on Germany
Germany is situated in the Western part of Europe, neighboring the North Sea between France and Poland. It is quite a smaller country compared to most nations of the world, with a total area of 357,021 km sq. Germany shares boundaries with Denmark and the Baltic Sea (located northwards), Poland and the Czech Republic (to the east), Austria (to the southeast), Switzerland (to the south), France (southwest), Belgium, and the Netherlands (to west). Its margin length totals to about 6,010 km, of which 2,389 km is its coastline. Germany’s capital city is called Berlin. It is located in the northeastern part of the country. It is comprised of the Northern Germany Plains, the Central German Uplands and the Southern German Highlands.
The Federal Statistical Office of Germany carries out the demographic trends of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its population is approximately 81,880,000, which makes it the 14th most populous nation in the world. Despite its large population, it has a zero growth rate and death rate as well. Majority of this population are the aging people and only a small cohort of the youth. About sixteen million are foreign immigrants while seven million are purely foreign residents who are regarded as not having German citizenship. The Turkish group makes the largest non-German ethnic group. It attracted a large number of migrants mainly from Southern Europe and Turkey who later on acquired German citizenship. The main reason there were so many migrants and refugees is because of a clause in the German’s constitution that allowed for political asylum.
The country has one of the world’s most advanced technological developments, utmost levels of education, and tremendous economic productivity. Since the end of the Second World War, the number of students joining German universities has almost tripled. It has some of the world’s most commendable technical schools. They rank among the best worldwide. German is largely a middle-class society as reflected in its per capita income of about $40,512. Millions of Germans travel abroad each year, which implies that they tend to be mobile and flexible. Their social welfare system makes provisions for complete and universal health care, unemployment reimbursement and other social benefits. This is majorly due to its aging population and a struggling economy that is not so productive to extremely few youths ( Cheesman, 1997).
Germany is a country rich in natural resources. They include uranium, copper, natural gas, coal, lignite, iron ore, nickel, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, and arable land. As at 1993, it was the world’s biggest producer of brown coal, yielding almost twice as much as the immediate largest producer, Russia. German also mines anthracite, and it emerged as the world’s ninth largest producer of this substance in 1993.
Germany is a Republic state known as ‘The Federal Republic of Germany’. A federal parliamentary republic is based on a representative democracy. The Chancellor acts the head of government, while the President acts as the head of state with minimal substantial reserve powers but plays a ceremonial role.
Executive power rests with the Federal Cabinet while federal legislative power rests with the Germany Parliament, (Bundestag) and the representative body of the regional states. Christian Wulff currently holds the office of the president while Angela Merkel both of the Christian Democratic Union holds that of the chancellor. The monetary system of Germany is decimal based, with the primary unit of currency being referred to as the Deutsche mark. It has a stable financial system propelled by a stable monetary policy system. (Bookbinder, 1996)
The world is a vicious place, and for different political, economic, religious and other reasons, wars and conflicts often erupt and German is not an exception to them. German is a marvelous country and the events unfolding there are worth a glimpse. The historic election of a woman as its chancellor is one of the events that arouse curiosity among scholars. However, much as it may seem peaceful and calm, German has its own internal conflicts that put a question mark about its peaceful existence. After it was defeated in World War I, the Kaiser’s abdication set off a period of considerable internal conflict.
The new democratic government wanted to implant democracy for its people who were thirsty for an inspiring strong leader. Overwhelmed by problems of the Left and Right politics, and those of its Army (Free Militias) the government often resolved to apply force in order to survive. However, it did not last long as the people of German found themselves willing to elect the Adolf Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist Worker’s Party. Numerous problems and internal conflicts have unfolded since then, the recent one being the politics in 2005.
The Labor and Social Justice was a German political party founded in 2005 by activists dissatisfied with the administration of Red-Green coalition government. On 16 June 2007, it merged with The Left Party and decided to contest in the election. Conflicts emerged between the ruling party and the newly formed party as it was campaigning against the neoliberal consensus displayed by the ruling parties. Some of its outstanding issues were resistance to decrease in social benefits the favorable taxation of the rich.
There was a problem of lack of media coverage in German and for the first time, the party received extensive media coverage and had its first national convention in May 2005. There are many hullabaloos about the fresh party’s political relationship among its members. While some preferred establishment of a purely leftist party of social proclivity, others, especially ex-SPD-members, aimed at making it a habitat also for social conservatives and religious people who had a strong belief in state welfare.
International conflicts are mainly caused by power struggles between the Central powers and Allied powers. German has engaged in several wars with Belgium and France, which has led to conflicts between them in the past. The implication of such internal and international conflicts is that they may lead to social unrest among it people which may cause wars between themselves or with other nations. There are other causes of concern in Germany. For example, the expected political transformation and its impacts to the economy and social coexistence of people. With regard to human rights issues, numerous cases have been report about violation of human rights. Freedom of opinion has been violated, as Germany is the only country in the world where it is forbidden to altruistically give free legal advice.
Freedoms of association and right to information have also been reported. Others are police brutality, human trafficking mistreatment if refugees and freedom of the press. The international community is interested in it matters especially on international security, as it is one of the members of the UN Security Council. The current leadership is somewhat effective, as it has tried to reform Germany in terms of the tax system and labor markets. (Wronka, 1998)
In conclusion, German is a great country with committed people who are capable of deciding their own future. The power of its democracy cannot be questioned because of ability and significance it possesses in not only Europe but also the world at large. As such, the future holds bright for them if the recent events are anything to go by.
Cheesman, Abiah, H. History of commerce and industry. Macmillan Co.; (1997)
Veblen, Thorstein. Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution. Cosimo, Inc. ( 2006)
Wronka, Joseph. Human rights and social policy in the 21st century. University Press of America; (1998).
Bookbinder, Paul. Weimar Germany: the republic of the reasonable. Manchester University Press; (1996).
A Case Study Study on Germany