Herfried Münkler: “A lot of people are exhausted” – economy

Herfried Münkler, 69, was a little surprised to have been invited to speak at the Munich economic debates by the Ifo Institute and the editorial team of SZ Business. The emeritus professor of politics at the Humboldt University in Berlin is known far beyond his subject, he has doctorates and habilitations for several dozen scientists, his books, for example on the role of Germany in different centuries , are regularly bestsellers and translated into many languages ​​- But economists, he said, would work very differently from political scientists: they would have huge amounts of figures available that they could evaluate and which would give them insight into the ‘to come up. His guild, on the other hand, has to be content with scenarios: If this, then this.

Munich economists had no problem, however, as they wanted to know from the experienced political observer what he expected for the federal election and beyond. Wohlan: In terms of partisan politics, Münkler is fairly certain that there will be either a green-red-yellow coalition – although, due to Baerbock’s current problems, it is no longer certain that the Greens would provide the chancellor in this constellation, it is still possible still. Or, more likely still, the longtime political observer Münkler sees a black-green coalition in which the Greens would then almost certainly only be junior partners. After all, for Münkler, for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic, they have the potential to settle the question of the coalition, for which the FDP in particular was previously known.

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Of course, what economic policy will look like in the post-Merkel era also depends on the concrete outcome of the elections. There are four major challenges for Münkler: Besides the return to the old economic force before Corona, it is the ecological restructuring of the country, the digitalization and the social balance that these changes require.

Scientifically and technically, Germany and Europe must catch up, says Münkler – that’s a condition for everything else

In terms of content, all four areas are of crucial importance – for Münkler the main question is whether Germany and Europe will catch up with the United States and China on the digital question of fate. Succeeding in the scientific and technical upheaval is a prerequisite for achieving the other three goals: It can be recognized by those who think long term and strategically. But it is so, said Münkler, that many citizens do not think this way, but rather make their personal needs the main theme. It is therefore almost certain, even if some opinion polls currently suggest otherwise, that in the end many voters are primarily concerned with whether and how the return to the old level of prosperity will succeed. .

In his opinion, this subject will come to the fore in the hot phase of the election campaign in September and could ultimately decide the election. “A lot of people are exhausted,” says Münkler, so they want to get back to normal and not endorse the ecological revival and the digital race to catch up first.

The discussion that followed focused on China and its importance. For Münkler, it is clear that China and the United States are the main countries at the moment, followed by Russia (due to its military might based on nuclear weapons), he sees Europe, at best, at fourth place ahead of India. These upper group states will seek second-tier coalition partners, militarily and strategically. This is how it is currently seen in the area of ​​global vaccine supply, where the EU has not taken advantage of its opportunities for Münkler. In the future, international power struggles and games will play a much bigger role than before, as more and more rules are expected to limit power.

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