Contributor Perspectives

Putin vs. Merkel: The Clash of Two Clan Chiefs

Luc De Keyser
Board of Contributors
Apr 13, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a ceremony in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a ceremony in Moscow.

(ALEXANDER AKSAKOV/Getty Images)

Since the dawn of the agricultural revolution, humans have banded together into increasingly large tribes to better protect the growing amount of resources they produced. The same tribalism lies at the heart of many conflicts playing out today. In the Middle East, identity politics are the double-edged sword that have determined which states stand strong or fall into chaos; in the United States, societal divides are defining this year's presidential election more than ever; and in Thailand, religious rifts are threatening the country's fragile peace. Germany and Russia's latest spat is no different, and it provides some insight into what happens when two tribes with different prospects -- and the types of leaders they bring to the fore -- clash....

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