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Episode summary: We talk to Hans Kundnani about the prospects for German politics in the run-up to September’s federal elections, now that the cast list of possible successors to Merkel is known. Can Laschet escape from her shadow and does he want to? Would a Green led government be radically different from the alternatives? Is the age of the ‘grand coalition’ over? Plus we consider the historical parallels, from Bismarck to Adenauer to Kohl: do long-serving leaders ever manage a successful transition? Talking Points: To wrap up the second season of History of Ideas, on 11 May, the LRB is hosting a conversation between David and Pankaj Mishra. They’ll discuss the thinkers we did—and didn’t talk about. To book tickets, follow this link. Armin Laschet is the new CDU leader. - So far, his candidacy has been underwhelming. He is generally seen as being a Merkelite candidate who would probably continue her centrist, grand-coalition style. - Is the CDU pinning its hopes on the vaccine? If Germany gets it together in the next few…

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