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About Michael Naumann

Michael Naumann is the Editor/Publisher of Germany's influential weekly Die Zeit. Previously he was German Minister of Culture from 1998-2000.

Articles by Michael Naumann

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What happened to the new world order

The United States' response to the 9/11 attacks has reinforced divisions among western democratic states and projected a global vista of endless, unwinnable war, says Michael Naumann of Die Zeit.


In the last days of 2005, leading thinkers and scholars from around the world share their fears, hopes and expectations of 2006. Forty-nine of openDemocracy’s distinguished contributors, from Mariano Aguirre to Slavoj Zizek, Neal Ascherson to Jonathan Zittrain – offer their predictions for the coming year. Since this is openDemocracy, we did not expect them to agree. We were not disappointed. (Part Two).

The CIA archipelago

Europe’s belated shock and outrage at news of America’s transfer of “secret prisoners” may have lasting political effects, says Michael Naumann.

Germany's election sleepwalk

Germans are flocking to the motorways and the Hamburg docks in search of sun and distraction. Anything but politics! Michael Naumann takes the measure of “strange times in Germany”.

Germany's unfinished business

Germans are expecting a September election where Angela Merkel will replace Gerhard Schröder. But changing Germany itself will be harder, writes “Die Zeit” publisher Michael Naumann.

Gerhard Schröder's last stand

The German Chancellor responded to his Social Democratic Party’s defeat in North Rhine-Westphalia by calling for early national elections. Michael Naumann, publisher of “Die Zeit”, reflects on a high-stakes gamble.

Looking backward: a response to Daniel Mittler

The German social model needs a dynamic economy. Daniel Mittler’s skewed analysis of German realities blocks understanding of this, says the chief editor of “Die Zeit”.

'Blonde beasts': the political meaning of anti-German prejudice

Italy’s presidency of Europe, and the continent’s summer holiday season, are alike starting in rancour. The diplomatic storm caused by Silvio Berlusconi and Stefano Stefani will pass, says our German columnist; but their routine anti-German prejudice is also emblematic of the condition of Europe. To move beyond it will need time, imagination, and tolerant curiosity on all sides.

Germany isn't working

The crisis of Europe’s largest economy - high unemployment, over-regulation and a bloated welfare system - has been compounded by political miscalculation. The Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, will win short-term victory over his internal party critics, but his latest reforms fail to promise what Germany needs: not mere adjustment, but systemic overhaul.

War in the ruins of law

The invasion of Iraq is an assault on reason, morality, and international law itself. It provokes Michael Naumann to agonised memory and grim foreboding: the triumph of pre-emptive war offers to the world a principle of violence unleavened by justice.

Blood, sweat and tears

As the Iraq war he opposed opens, Gerhard Schröder, son of an unknown soldier, confronts two thorn-spiked mountains: tackling economic sclerosis against his own party’s wishes, and rebuilding transatlantic bridges. His former cabinet colleague Michael Naumann cuts through nostalgia to ask: is this Germany dying?

Bush: Home Alone - America's futile attempt to woo its insulted allies

The US advance toward war has myriad justifications, but is best understood in the framework of a new world order: perpetual war for perpetual peace, says Michael Naumann. Multilateralism is dying, but what will take its place? At the least, existing nuclear powers like North Korea look set to buttress their defences...

The end of Realpolitik

The coming US war in Iraq will create a graveyard of hope. In its promise of war without end, and blindness towards its catastrophic political consequences, America is ignoring lessons of history that Europe has bitterly learned.

Between Rumsfeld and France

In the first of a regular column, the chief editor and publisher of Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper mordantly reflects on the ripples in Germany created by Donald Rumsfeld’s verbal hand grenade. Amidst US amnesia, British perfidy, and Polish betrayal, what will Chancellor Gerhard Schröder do next?

Germany's Momentous Election

It is rare for a national election in the EU to have world importance. But this month’s general election in Germany could alter the culture and politics of Europe. It could also decide how isolated the USA may be, if it invades Iraq. This is Michael Naumann’s daily diary, which follows the German people’s momentous decision and its consequences.

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