State and values
Despite all the changes in society, Germany remains a country with conservative values. The system of government, strong civil society and respect for human rights are considered the cornerstones of Germany, and are awarded due recognition as such. As the same time, a progressive Germany is often held back by rigid bureaucracy and antiquated family policy.
Stable values with contradictions
Many interviewees view the respect for human rights as a fundamental German belief. They also pointed out contradictions: why does Germany continue to export considerable amounts of arms despite its alleged pacifism? How could the diesel scandal happen in a country with such a strong focus on environmental protection?
Antiquated family and gender equality policy
In view of its modern image, Germany also seems to lag behind when it comes to family and gender equality policy. Many interviewees were perplexed by the fact that even in the 21st century, it is still not possible to reconcile work and family life in Germany sufficiently. They were also surprised at how conservative the position of women in society is in modern Germany.
Germany as a role model
The system of government as a whole is viewed as progressive and held in high esteem. When it comes to political organisation, the party system, federalism, or the social welfare state, Germany appears to be a role model for the world. The success is primarily attributed to functioning institutions and a strong and committed civil society. Social cohesion is also perceived positively.