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Forty Years of German Federalism: Past Trends and New Developments

Hartmut Klatt and Arthur B. Gunlicks
Publius
Vol. 19, No. 4, Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in West Germany: A Fortieth Year Appraisal (Autumn, 1989), pp. 185-202
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330424
Page Count: 18
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Forty Years of German Federalism: Past Trends and New Developments
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Abstract

This article traces the major developments in German federalism from 1949 to the present. From a system based on a concept of "dual federalism," which was different in important ways from the American system, German federalism became somewhat more like the postwar American cooperative federalism. Criticism of this system in the 1970s led to various reform efforts, which made little headway until the 1980s and the formation of a CDU/CSU-FDP coalition government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The "turnabout" promised by this government and carried out to some extent included plans and policies to strengthen the Länder by some sorting out of functions. These efforts were successful at first, but the federal government has oriented its policies more toward the national arena. Financial constraints, the nationalization of basic rights, technological concerns, and pressures by the EC have led to new tendencies toward intergovernmentalizing and centralizing the relations between the federation and Land governments.

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