- 29 April 2018 - 5 May 2018
Policy Program | Bundestag and Congress Staffers Exchange Program
For the fifth straight year, Aspen Germany brought together a group of 10 Congressional staffers and 10 Bundestag staffers in an exchange program to discuss pressing issues in the US-German relationship. Starting in Washington, the program focused on two important topics – political polarization and counterterrorism. Exchange participants focused on a series of values necessary to unwind polarization including greater cross-cultural communication, trust, fairness, greater understanding and empathy; incrementalism and pragmatism; contextualization of frictions; and common spaces like organizations. On terrorism, they addressed the anthropology of terrorism as well as social and policy-oriented approaches to address it. The conversation focused on community-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that would better integrate groups into broader communities and provide a sense of belonging. In addition to their closed workshops, the group spoke to experts from the Pew Research Center, New America, the Hudson Institute, the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and USIP among others. They were also welcomed by the program’s alumni at a reception hosted by RGIT and keynoted by Boris Ruge, Deputy Chief of Mission at the German Embassy in Washington. The group will reconvene at the end of May in Berlin where they will discuss multilateralism and urban development.