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Population: 82,329,758 (July 2009 est.)

Government: federal republic; Chief of State: President Horst Koehler (since July 1, 2004); Head of Government: Chancellor Angela Merkel (since Nov. 22, 2005)

Economic Overview

department of economics

James Cassing

Professor, Department of Economics,
School of Arts and Sciences
office: 412-648-8746

For assistance in reaching James Cassing, contact Sharon Blake
office: 412-624-4364 cell: 412-277-6926

Areas of Expertise

International trade theory and policy, trade theory, economics of deregulation and policy reform


Cassing was a visiting professor of economics at the Chemnitz Technical University in Chemnitz, Germany, in the summers of 1998 and 2005. He was also the Commerzbank Visiting Professor of Economics at the same university in July of 2000 and the summer of 2003.

With expertise in international trade theory and policy as well as international finance and development, Cassing has advised governments on policy reform packages in Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, and South Africa. He is the author of Capital, Technology, and Labor in the New Global Economy (Aei Pr, 1989) and a contributing author for Trade Disputes and the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the WTO: An Interdisciplinary Assessment (Cambridge University Press, 2001). Cassing also serves on the editorial board of The Journal of International Trade and Economic Development.

School of Education


John C. Weidman

Professor of education and sociology;
Chair, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies,
School of Education
office: 412-648-1772
cell: 412-680-1684
Faculty bio

For assistance in reaching this Pitt faculty member, contact Patricia Lomando White
office: 412-624-9101
cell: 412-215-9932

Areas of expertise

Comparative higher-education reform; postsecondary education and development; higher- education policy; quality assurance and accreditation in higher education


Weidman was educated at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. He has written extensively on higher-education reform in countries undergoing the transition from command to market economies.

Weidman spent the summer of 1964 as a Werkstudent at the Wesphalische Metall Industrie (Hela) in Lippstadt, Germany. In 1986-87, he was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Augsburg University. He has presented his research at various conferences in Germany, participated in a study tour of several German companies with educational leaders from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and published on the German dual system of vocational education. Weidman has consulted for the German Academic Exchange Service on the design of a national higher-education accreditation agency in Mongolia.

european union center of excellence

Alberta M. Sbragia

Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair,
Jean Monnet Chair ad personam,
director of the European Union Center of Excellence/European Studies Center, and
professor of political science,
Department of Political Science,
School of Arts and Sciences
office: 412-648-7405
cell: 412-478-4088
Faculty Bio

For assistance in reaching the faculty member, contact:
Amanda Leff
office: 412-624-4238
cell: 412-337-3350

Areas of Expertise

European Union politics and policy (such as the Euro transatlantic relations), climate change negotiations, comparative politics, Europe, comparative federalism and religion


Sbragia's career accomplishments include being designated as a Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, recognition given by the European Union to elite American academicians whose careers exemplify excellence in teaching and research related to the European Union. She is internationally renowned for her European scholarship.

From 1993 to 1995, Sbragia chaired the European Community Studies Association, the foremost national association for experts in the field. Because of her leadership, the association is now headquartered at Pitt.

She is the author of four books: Comparative Regionalism in an Age of Globalization; Debt Wish: Entrepreneurial Cities, U.S. Federalism, and Economic Development (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996); Euro-Politics: Politics and Policymaking in the "New" European Community (Edited book, Brookings Institution, 1992), largely credited with initiating a new wave of scholarly work in the United States on the topic of European integration; and The Municipal Money Chase: The Politics of Local Government Finance (Edited book, Westview Press, 1983). In addition, she has authored more than 50 articles and presented nearly 200 papers and speeches around the world.