Becoming the World's Most Powerful Woman: Angela Merkel and the Transformation of United Germany

Room G15 Muirhead Tower
Tuesday 22 May 2018 (15:00-17:00)

Institute for German Studies Distinguished Lecture 2018

Speaker: Professor Joyce Marie Mushaben (University of Missouri–St. Louis)
Chair: Dr Charlotte Galpin (IGS, University of Birmingham)

Professor Mushaben will present her book Becoming Madam Chancellor: Angela Merkel and the Berlin Republic, published with Cambridge University Press in 2017. Since 2005 Angela Merkel has redefined not only the way Germans see themselves but also the way that politicians world-wide perceive women in power, despite an ostensible setback following the 2017 Bundestag elections. Lacking a strong state constituency and years of party socialization, this East German daughter of a Protestant pastor was forced to deploy her own life experiences to master “contentious democracy,” allowing her to cultivate a unique set of leadership skills. Her pragmatic, data-driven approach to politics – grounded in a commitment to freedom, human rights, and personal responsibility – has produced extraordinary paradigm shifts in many national policies in the wake of major European crises. Mushaben provides an overview of Merkel’s leadership performance across five key domains, locating them within the broader context of German policies before and after unification. She also analyzes personal socialization factors that have contributed to the Chancellor’s hard-earned status as the World’s Most Powerful Woman, ten times over, based on the premise that gender still “matters” more than 25 years after unification.

Joyce Marie Mushaben received her Ph. D. from Indiana University & serves as a Curators’ Distinguished  Professor of Comparative Politics; also  former Director of the Institute for Women's & Gender Studies.  Having spent more than 17 years living/researching in Germany, her early work centered on social movements (peace, ecology, feminism, anti-nuclear protests and neo-Nazi activism). She moved on to European Union developments, citizenship and migration policies, women’s leadership, Euro-Islam debates and comparative welfare state reforms.  Mushaben’s articles have appeared in World Politics, Polity, West European Politics, German Politics, German Politics & Society, the Journal of Peace Research, Democratization, Citizenship Studies and the Journal of Ethnicity & Migration Studies, inter alia. A former president of the German Politics Association, she has served on the Governing Board of the International Association for the Study of German Politics, and the German Studies Association, is an Editorial Board member for German Politics & Society, German Politics, Femina Politica and the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies. Her latest book assesses the policy performance of Germany’s first eastern, female leader, Becoming Madam Chancellor: Angela Merkel and the Berlin Republic  (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

This event is free to attend and open to all.