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Research Completed by Fellows

As a requirement, fellows must submit a final report of the research they completed while abroad. Here is a sampling of final reports from recent fellows. 

Religion and Politics in Modern Germany: Insights from the Waning Migrant Crisis
By Ann Toews, 2018 McCloy Fellow on Global Trends

Many modern Germans—more than meet the eye—still embrace the faiths that underlaid the Holy Roman Empire and inspired Martin Luther. According to a May 2018 Pew Research Center study, “Being Christian in Western Europe,” nearly half of all Germans identify as Christian but do not actively practice the faith. Another 22 percent of Germans call themselves Christian and attend church regularly. Religiously unaffiliated Germans make up 24 percent of the population, and those belonging to another religion or declining to answer comprise just five percent.

I wanted to explore whether such widespread Christian identification, even in the cultural sense, impacts German society and national politics. When I posed this question in the fall of 2018, self-proclaimed Christians in Germany featured prominently in public debates on the extent to which asylum seekers should be welcomed to Germany and how they should fit in once admitted. For my McCloy Fellowship, I decided to examine German Catholic and Protestant responses to the waning European migrant crisis as a means of understanding these faith groups’ wider influence.

Constructive Transatlantic Trade Relations in Times of Economic Populism – From Industrial Policies to Bilateral Investments (August 2018)
By Dr. Efraim Chalamish, 2018 McCloy Fellow on Global Trends

U.S-Germany economic relations are at crossroads. Bilateral trade and investment flows have been rising for years and global supply chains are interconnected and global, but internal and external economic and political forces trigger economic nationalism and transatlantic tensions. As both countries negotiate their political and economic arrangements, understanding the unique characters of these economies, their challenges and opportunities, is critical for more constructive commercial relations. Moreover, U.S. and Germany have in fact a lot in common, and the focus should be on joint interests instead of the never-ending differences.  This report summarizes the research and meetings in Germany surrounding these issues. The author is very grateful for this wonderful educational and leadership opportunity.

Auto 232 puts Germany in US trade crosshairs
By Michael Cowden, 2018 McCloy Fellow on Global Trends

President Donald Trump’s Section 232 tariffs and quotas on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union show no signs of going away soon, according to trade policy and industry experts in Germany.

While Section 232 measures were welcomed by many US steel producers, fears are mounting outside the United States that they could also be applied to automobiles and auto parts.

Any such move would increase tension in relations with EU allies, interviewees in Germany said. Some also see a threat to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and consequently question whether the US is still a reliable trade partner.

Trump announced Section 232 tariffs – 25% in the case of steel from most countries – in March of last year. He subjected US allies, including the EU, to the tariffs in June.

The deep well of goodwill between the US and Germany, a keystone of the EU, was poisoned a little by the justification for Section 232: that exports from a long-time ally to US customers posed a national security threat to the US.

Feeding Germany: Food, Land, and the Social Question in Modern Germany, 1871-1923
By Carolyn Taratko, 2018 Hunt Fellowship

The 2018 Hunt Fellowship allowed me to conduct research in Germany that focuses on the development of the idea of food security between 1871 and 1923. My work examines how advances in scientific understanding in nutritional and agricultural sciences tracked alongside political and economic developments to imbue this concept with particular significance in modern Germany. I explore the cultural, social, and environmental dimensions of food and especially the discourse surrounding alimentary scarcity in late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century Germany. Through this research, I hoped to supplement the archival foundations of my project with new sources. In particular, this trip provided an opportunity to complete my research at the Bundesarchiv sites in Berlin and Koblenz and to consulting holdings at two new archives in Dresden and Hohenheim. These latter two sites allowed me to incorporate research beyond the purview of government and ministerial bodies, which have largely formed the focus of my research thus far. I was able to visit these archival sites across Germany and acquire new information to help me to flesh out the final chapters of my dissertation. This research was conducted within the framework of my dissertation, which explores how the concept of scarcity, and particularly anxieties related to food, evolved over the first decades of the twentieth century.

Protecting Families, Dividing States: The Struggle to Reform Family Law in East and West Germany, 1945–1976
By Dr. Alexandria Ruble, 2017 Hunt Fellowship

My book project, tentatively titled Protecting Families, Dividing States: The Struggle to Reform Family Law in East and West Germany, 1945–1976, demonstrates that gender and the family were battlegrounds of the Cold War between the postwar Germanys. Specifically, I explore the interplay of political, social, and economic factors that led, despite all resistance, to the reform of family law in East and West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. After Nazi Germany’s defeat in 1945, Germans inherited the Civil Code, a relic of the nineteenth century that designated women as second-class citizens in marital rights, parental rights, and marital property schemes. After much struggle, legislators in both states replaced the old law with two new, competing versions—the 1957 Equal Rights Act in the West and the 1965 Family Code in the East—that expanded women’s rights in marriage and the family. I argue that the complex relationship of the divided Germanys in the early Cold War alternately catalyzed and halted efforts to reshape legal understandings of gender and the family after World War II.

The Feasibility of Blockchain for Supply Chain Operations and Trade Finance: An Industry Study
by Daniel P. Hellwig, 2018 DZ BANK Fellow on Transatlantic Business and Finance

Blockchain’s transformational potential has been heralded across all industries, with some particularly enthusiastic voices even comparing its emergence to that of the early internet protocols communication protocols. Over the past few years, we have witnessed several enterprises start their distributed ledger technology (DLT) journey with blockchain as the magic bullet for operational process efficiencies. However, companies have often jumped into early-stage proof of concept (POC) projects without a clear ROI goal or other KPIs defined. There have been no data-based quantifications of impact in terms of investment return or realized customer value, or large-scale feasibility studies focused on process efficiencies. Indeed, many companies continue to invest in their POC, there have been no reported realizations of efficiency claims or even lessons learned.

This paper presents a data-based perspective on the perceived feasibility of blockchain-based innovation and value creation for supply chain operations and trade finance. While expectations remain high across all regions and industries, none of the study participants indicated a financial or customer value benefit realization to date. While technical implementations were executed without major challenges, a key challenge has been the simultaneous adoption of solutions by different ecosystem stakeholders to drive actual value realization.