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Institutional Linkages and Policy Networks in the Federal System of West Germany

Gerhard Lehmbruch
Publius
Vol. 19, No. 4, Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in West Germany: A Fortieth Year Appraisal (Autumn, 1989), pp. 221-235
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330426
Page Count: 15
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Institutional Linkages and Policy Networks in the Federal System of West Germany
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Abstract

West German federalism can be understood as a system of interlocking, but distinct and autonomous, "policy networks." Sectoral policy networks are integrated into overarching networks. The traditional pluri-centrism of state and societal institutions is contrasted with an integrated (but not centralized) economic policy network oriented toward national homogeneity. With the decline of Keynesian macroeconomic policy, however, regional policy networks are being upgraded. At the same time, the political party system and the politicization of administrative agencies have led to the development of an overarching network in which bargaining and accommodation have precedence over hierarchical centralization.

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