Episode 91: After the Zeitenwende: Is Germany’s Military Measuring Up?

Eric Langenbacher

Senior Fellow; Director, Society, Culture & Politics Program

Dr. Eric Langenbacher is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Society, Culture & Politics Program at AICGS.

Dr. Langenbacher studied in Canada before completing his PhD in Georgetown University’s Government Department in 2002. His research interests include collective memory, political culture, and electoral politics in Germany and Europe. Recent publications include the edited volumes Twilight of the Merkel Era: Power and Politics in Germany after the 2017 Bundestag Election (2019), The Merkel Republic: The 2013 Bundestag Election and its Consequences (2015), Dynamics of Memory and Identity in Contemporary Europe (co-edited with Ruth Wittlinger and Bill Niven, 2013), Power and the Past: Collective Memory and International Relations (co-edited with Yossi Shain, 2010), and From the Bonn to the Berlin Republic: Germany at the Twentieth Anniversary of Unification (co-edited with Jeffrey J. Anderson, 2010). With David Conradt, he is also the author of The German Polity, 10th and 11th edition (2013, 2017).

Dr. Langenbacher remains affiliated with Georgetown University as Teaching Professor and Director of the Honors Program in the Department of Government. He has also taught at George Washington University, Washington College, The University of Navarre, and the Universidad Nacional de General San Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has given talks across the world. He was selected Faculty Member of the Year by the School of Foreign Service in 2009 and was awarded a Fulbright grant in 1999-2000 and the Hopper Memorial Fellowship at Georgetown in 2000-2001. Since 2005, he has also been Managing Editor of German Politics and Society, which is housed in Georgetown’s BMW Center for German and European Studies. Dr. Langenbacher has also planned and run dozens of short programs for groups from abroad, as well as for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense on a variety of topics pertaining to American and comparative politics, business, culture, and public policy.



Eva Högl

German Bundestag

Dr. Eva Högl has been the German Bundestag's Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces since May 25, 2020. From 2009 until 2020, she was a Member of the German Bundestag, elected directly to represent the constituency of Berlin-Mitte. From 2013 until 2020 she was Deputy Chairwoman of the SPD parliamentary group, responsible for internal affairs and legal affairs. Born in Lower Saxony, she studied law at universities in Osnabrück and Leiden in the Netherlands, obtaining a doctorate in European labor and social law in 1997 and passing the second state examination in law in 1999. From 1999 until 2009, she worked in the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, most recently as Head of the “European Employment and Social Policy; Officer for European Affairs” Division.

Steve Szabo

Stephen F. Szabo

Senior Fellow

Dr. Stephen F. Szabo is a Senior Fellow at AICGS, where he focuses on German foreign and security policies and the new German role in Europe and beyond. Until June 1, he was the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy, a Washington, DC, based forum for research and dialogue between scholars, policy experts, and authors from both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to joining the German Marshall Fund in 2007, Dr. Szabo was Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and taught European Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as Professor of National Security Affairs at the National War College, National Defense University (1982-1990). He received his PhD in Political Science from Georgetown University and has been a fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the American Academy in Berlin, as well as serving as Research Director at AICGS. In addition to SAIS, he has taught at the Hertie School of Governance, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Virginia. He has published widely on European and German politics and foreign policies, including. The Successor Generation: International Perspectives of Postwar Europeans, The Diplomacy of German Unification, Parting Ways: The Crisis in the German-American Relationship, and Germany, Russia and the Rise of Geo-Economics.

Dr. Eva Högl is the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, assisting the Parliament in their oversight of the German military. She is working to ensure that everyone in Germany—from policymakers to soldiers to civilians—understands the role of the military and the consequences of Germany’s “sea-change” in defense policy. As Germany works to meet its commitments to defense spending, the Bundeswehr must balance procurement, personnel, and infrastructure costs. Dr. Högl joined AGI Senior Fellows Eric Langenbacher and Stephen F. Szabo on the Zeitgeist for a wide-ranging conversation on her role as Commissioner and Germany’s Zeitenwende.

Guest Host

Dr. Eric Langenbacher, AGI Senior Fellow and Director, Society, Culture & Politics Program


Dr. Eva Högl, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, German Bundestag
Dr. Stephen F. Szabo, Senior Fellow, AGI

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.