Allemagne: leçons d’un passé trouble

Saalfeld, Thomas (2008) Allemagne: leçons d’un passé trouble. In: De Waele, Jean-Michel and Magnette, Paul, eds. Les démocraties européennes : Approche comparée des systèmes politiques nationaux. Armand Colin, Paris, pp. 9-28. ISBN 978-2-200-35126-7. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

The German constitution and political system is strongly shaped by the desire for stability. This objective is the direct result of the country’s historical experience with political and economic instability as well as war and dictatorship in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries. The basics of this order have remained very stable since the Federal Republic’s foundation in 1949. Even the system ‘shock’ of German unification in 1990 did not lead to major revisions of the constitution, although critics had begun to point out that the emphasis on stability – including an extensive system of checks and balances constraining the government – may have led to policy gridlock and an inability of decision makers to adjust the social and economic order to the rapidly changing circumstances of a globalizing economy. The Grand Coalition of the two major parties formed in 2005 has had a sufficient majority in both chambers of the legislature to initiate a first reform of Germany’s federal system, which is often considered to be at the heart of the gridlock problem. It will have to be seen whether this government has the political will to go further in its reforms.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: German politics, federalism, federalism in Germany, political parties, political parties in Germany
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Centre for Federal Studies
Depositing User: T.K. Saalfeld
Date Deposited: 18 May 2008 10:09
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:11
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/3550 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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