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Out of Order is a German Marshall Fund podcast about how our world was, is, and will be ordered. The Out of Order podcast brings together experts from the German Marshall Fund of the United States and beyond to talk about politics, economics, technology and everything else that might help us understand our disordered world.

Feb 21, 2020

When the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR crumbled, an era of excessive optimism set in. It was a period where it seemed like liberal democracies would lead a straight march to global peace. Three decades later, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff says that, somewhere down the line, we took a hard turn toward excessive pessimism – or Immerschlimmerismus—the German word describing a feeling that things keep getting worse and worse. As the values that once bound western democracies fall by the wayside, is the concept of “the West” as we know it dead in the water?

Kleine-Brockhoff, head of GMF’s Berlin office is the author of the recent book “The World Needs the West“ (Die Welt braucht den Westen, in its original German)  joins Out of Order to discuss why a system that once felt rock solid now seems to be, well, out of order—and whether a course correction is possible. 

At the beginning of this episode, we spoke to Alistair Somerville, a host at The Europe Desk, a podcast from the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University. We love The Europe Desk here at Out of Order and think you should take a moment to listen:  Click Here to Listen