Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 14, 1994

U.S.-German Institute Caps First Decade
By Mike Field

     At a dinner on Nov. 17 at the tony Metropolitan Club in
New York, leading figures from the German and American
business, financial and political communities will gather to
honor Karl Otto P"hl, former president of the Deutsche
Bundesbank. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan will
present the award. The event will be the capstone to the
Hopkins American Institute for Contemporary German Studies'
10th anniversary celebration.  
     Already, though, Jackson Janes, AICGS executive
director, and Lily Gardner Feldman, its research director,
are making plans for the institute's next 10 years.
     The AICGS is quickly becoming recognized by German and
American scholars and public officials as Washington's
premiere institute devoted exclusively to studying the
social, economic, political and cultural development of
Europe's most powerful nation.
     "The maturation of an institute like AICGS is an
evolutionary process," said Dr. Gardner Feldman, who joined
the institute full time in 1991. "The first stage, when the
institute was founded, was mostly devoted to public affairs
consisting of small seminars and major public events."
     It has come a long way since then. 
     One unique aspect of AICGS was that it was founded with
the express intent of creating an independent center of
research, analysis, discussion and study of both Germanies--
east and west--that then existed. From the end of World War
II through to the 1980s almost all Western study and
discussion of Germany focused on West Germany--the Federal
Republic of Germany. East Germany--the German Democratic
Republic--was often ignored and largely unknown. AICGS set
out to correct that deficiency.
     When Dr. Janes arrived to take the position of associate
director of AICGS on Jan. 1, 1989, the decision to include
the study of the GDR within the institute's purview was about
to bear impressive fruit. "The Berlin Wall came down on Nov.
9, 1989," Dr. Janes said. "Suddenly there was tremendous
interest in Germany and, in particular, the former German
Democratic Republic." Because the institute had fostered
study of the GDR, it had some important contacts with
formerly East German academicians and social scientists. 
     "The second stage of development of the institute
occurred when we began offering fellowship programs that
enabled scholars to come to Washington and work with us," Dr.
Janes said. "This part of our program complements the public
affairs work we were already engaged in." As the only
American institute working on both West and East Germany, the
AICGS was positioned not only to make valuable contributions
to the discussions surrounding how reunification should be
conducted and understood, but also to be one of the first
centers to bring East German scholars and scientists to the
United States to study.
     Since 1990 the institute, with the support of the Ford
Foundation and the Stifterverband fr die Deutsche
Wissenschaft, has offered semester-long fellowships to young
East German social scientists wishing to become familiar with
American scholarly work in their field and to work, under the
mentorship of a senior American scholar, on a research
project at an American university. To date, 21 young scholars
have participated in the program, many of whom have returned
to Germany and successfully obtained faculty and research
positions in higher education.
     Originally conceived as a private American initiative,
the institute relies heavily on foundations and individual
contributors for support. In 1984 its initial budget was
provided through the university, in part due to the close
association of then-president Steven Muller, himself
German-born. Dr. Muller agreed to join the institute's board
of directors as vice-chairman, a position he held until
becoming co-chairman earlier this year. Gerald Livingston,
who was the institute's first director until January 1994,
now heads the AICGS development effort. In the meantime, the
institute's annual operating budget has reached approximately
$750,000 in 1994, not including $300,000 to $700,000 needed
for research, seminars, workshops, conferences and
     With the public affairs and fellowship programs in place
and a firm financial base established, the institute begins
its second decade by moving into the third phase of its
development. "As we look to the future we foresee a serious
effort to define the institute's research agenda," Dr.
Gardner Feldman said. In 1993 the AICGS formed an academic
council of outstanding American scholars of Germany to assist
in defining the center's research agenda. It further decided
to group all future activities within the three broad areas
of politics and foreign policy, economic studies and the
humanities. Top priority has been assigned to producing
research of the highest quality and relevance and making
research findings available through timely and effective
     "In so many ways, Germany's involvement in world affairs
is so important," Dr. Janes said. "Germany is the locomotive
that drives Europe and its influence spreads out in all
directions, particularly to Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. When our institute looks at Germany we are
really looking at Germany in concentric circles, at how it
relates first of all to Europe and then the rest of the
     "In general I would say Germany's interests are the same
as ours," he said. "But each country works in different
contexts, and now that the military threat is gone the United
States and Germany are going to have to forge a new
relationship, a new set of bargains. This institute can play
an important role in those discussions."

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