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German Professor Guenther Heydemann Examines American Presidential Politics

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In the heat of the American presidential primary season, it is interesting to compare our extended campaigns, our political party power, and our campaign financing practices to those in Germany and other European countries.

Dr. Guenther Heydemann is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Leipzig and director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism in Dresden, Germany.

He studies contemporary politics and governmental structures.

On a recent visit to Athens, he spoke with WOUB about the differences between American and German politics and campaigns. His observations are timely for the American political scene.

He indicated that often Europeans are amazed at the extended length of our presidential campaigns which run almost two years and the way our campaigns are funded by special interests and Political Action Committees (PACs). In Germany, campaigns last six months, at most and campaigns are financed through governmental allocations.

Dr. Heydemann also notes different negative European reactions to statements made by American Presidential candidates about foreign policy and international affairs.

Dr. Heydemann was visiting Ohio University’s Contemporary History Institute and he delivered a series of lectures on Ukrania and other European issues.