Doctor of History, Full Professor, Corresponding Member of the NAS of Ukraine, Director of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the NAS of Ukraine”
Abstract. Summing up the modern course of events regarding political leadership in Germany and on the basis of activities of eight chancellors, the author contends the following: The decisive factor in ascension to the political Olympus is the affiliation with either of the two parties, the SPD or the CDU/CSU union, with the nominee’s leadership qualities and political acumen playing an essential role. Even if these conditions are met, the contender’s choice of situation and time where these qualities would be sought after is quite important. It was the political developments of a certain historical era that became an imperative for some politicians to take the reins of power and use them to the full extent. Indeed, at turning points in the history of the Federal Republic, the most crucial decisions were prepared at the German Chancellery and made unilaterally by the chancellor. The author of the article emphasises that chance cannot be ruled out. To become a successful leader in Germany, the much-needed person must be in the right place at the right time. Proof of that is the example of German federal chancellors.
The political landscape, democratic footing, and well-structured state and political set-up have enabled only two political parties, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, to nominate from their ranks those who could become national leaders of their historical epoch. The basis of ‘chancellor democracy’ as a system of state and political power has never impeded but enabled such ascension for outstanding personalities. Quite a few of them have become some sort of fathers of the nation. Able leadership that has benefited national interests and fitted into the plane of German development prospects has defined the personal success of both political figures and public officials of national scope.
Keywords: Federal Republic of Germany, federal chancellor, political landscape, SPD, CDU/CSU.
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