Federalism in Germany has come to be viewed as the root cause of the country’s current economic and social malaise. The federal political system which contributed enormously to the economic success and political stability of West Germany is now said to be outdated, overburdened and unworkable. German federalism is now widely seen as being synonymous with Reformstau (reform blockage) and Stillstand (inertia). Critics argue that the system urgently needs to change if Germany is to continue to compete in the global system.
This major new text offers a unique scholarly evaluation of the major recent attempts to overhaul Germany’s federal political architecture. It brings together thematic chapters by leading authorities on German federalism to provide a comprehensive assessment of the reform processes to date, their inception, scope, objectives and outputs. The contributions provide new insights into the dynamics of reform in key policy areas such as economic policy, Europe and the tax equalisation system, as well as in the institutional frameworks for decision-making. It will be essential reading for students of Germany, its politics, law and economics.
This book was published as a special issue of the German Politics.
1. Introduction: German Federalism in Transition? Carolyn Moore, Wade Jacoby and Arthur B. Gunlicks Section 1: Reform Round 1 of German Federalism 2. A More Efficient and Accountable Federalism? An Analysis of the Consequences of Germany’s 2006 Constitutional Reform Simone Burkhart, Philip Manow and Daniel Ziblatt 3. A Successful Failure? The Contested Implications of Germany’s Federal Reforms Marcus Höreth 4. Still No Exit from the Joint Decision Trap: The German Federal Reform(s) Katrin Auel 5. From Joint Decision Traps to Over-regulated Federalism: Adverse Effects of a Successful Constitutional Reform Arthur Benz Section 2: Fiscal Federalism and Reform - Round 2 6. Fiscal Federalism in Germany: Problems, Proposals and Chances for Fundamental Reforms Beate Jochimsen 7. An End to the Reform Logjam? The Reform of German Federalism and Economic Policy-Making Reimut Zohlnhöfer 8. Public Attitudes towards German Federalism: A point of Departure for Reform of German (Fiscal) Federalism? Differences between Public Opinion and the Political Debate Ole Wintermann, Thieß Petersen and Henrik Scheller 9. Side Payments over Solidarity: Financing the Poor Cousins in Germany and the EU Wade Jacoby Section 3: A Wider View 10. Disentangling Double ‘Politikverflechtung’? The Implications of the Federal Reforms for Bund-Länder Relations on Europe Carolyn Moore and Annegret Eppler 11. Community, Diversity and Autonomy: The Challenges of Reforming German Federalism Fritz W. Scharpf 12. Groundhog Day: The Non-Reform of German Federalism, Again Charlie Jeffery