This book investigates the politics of federalism reform in Germany which has spanned over more than a decade. Different from reform attempts in other federal countries, the German reform was split up in three distinct steps: an adjustment of legislative powers between the federal and the state level, followed by the introduction of the ‘debt brake’; and, finally, the reform of fiscal equalization. Against the background of this sequential reform, this book not only discusses the effects of single reform steps, but also examines the results and inconsistencies of the overall reform process and reconsiders its cumulated effects. The contributions collected in this volume cover a broad range of reform aspects, among them historical aspects, the role of party politics, changes in the legislative process, and the resurgence of joint decision-making. All chapters contribute to the theoretical framework which sheds a fresh view on the dynamics of federalism reforms. The chapters originally published in a special issue of Regional and Federal Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Arraying institutional layers in federalism reforms: lessons from the German case Nathalie Behnke and Sabine Kropp 2. The effects of federalism reform on the legislative process in Germany Christian Stecker 3. The effect of reformed legislative competences on Länder policy-making: determinants of fragmentation and uniformity Nicolai Dose and Iris Reus 4. The Role of Party and Coalition Politics in Federal Reform Klaus Detterbeck 5. Marble cake dreaming of layer cake: the merits and pitfalls of disentanglement in German federalism reform Sabine Kropp and Nathalie Behnke 6. A Path to Balanced Budgets of Bund and Länder? The New Shape of the ‘Debt Brake’ and the ‘Stability Council’ Stefan Korioth 7. Gradual Constitutional Change and Federal Dynamics – German Federalism Reform in Historical Perspective Arthur Benz 8. How differently actors cope with demanding constitutional amendment rules: two types of constitutional politics in federal democracies Astrid Lorenz
Nathalie Behnke leads the working group on Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz, Germany. In her research, she focuses on aspects of multi-level coordination, fiscal federalism and bureaucratic politics.
Sabine Kropp holds the chair for German Politics at the Otto Suhr Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research interests cover various aspects of comparative federalism, governance and public administration.