The talk will take stock of German reunification after thirty years in politics, economics, and culture. Politically, the 1988 Bruce Springsteen concert in East Berlin frames the widespread hope that Eastern Germans would enjoy the opportunity to fully participate in democratic life. Donald Trump’s complaint about Germany’s trade surplus helps to focus the economic discussion and locate Eastern Germany in an all-German economic context. Finally, an East-and-West German host family from the 1980s helps illustrate the linkages among Eastern and Western Germans today.
Wade Jacoby, Mary Lou Fulton Professor of Political Science at BYU, is the author of several studies on modern European politics, including Imitation and Politics: Redesigning Modern Germany.