Autonomy !

Autonomie. Autonomy. Greek autonomía, independent, free, self-determining; acting based on free will.

Autonomy has a negative connotation in the German culture. Those who demand their autonomy are often seen as being uncooperative, as wanting to be totally free, not connected, not tied to or related to others.

To be autonomous in Germany sounds like not being connected to the whole, not belonging, rejecting it. The term autonomy is often used in a political context. Alarm bells go off in the German head when groups demand more autonomy. A well-known radical group on the left refers to themselves as the Autonomen.

On the other hand, institutions such as universities often seek more autonomy from state regulation. In that sense autonomy stands for independence, self-reliance, and transparency. There is a very fine line in the German culture between autonomy and independence.