The development of the political system of the Federal Republic
in German politics today (third edition)
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This chapter describes the most important factors that have influenced the development of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. The factors are the Basic Law itself and the Federal Constitutional Court that is charged with the task of interpreting that Basic Law. The chapter considers the economy, the division of Germany and the 'cold war' and the political culture of the Federal Republic, as these played a role in countering any tendencies which might have led to a resurgence of extremism. Many of the decisions made by the Court have had direct significance for the institutions and processes of the political system. Political stability and the development of a democratic political system are held to depend upon a foundation of a prosperous economy. The political culture of the Federal Republic has of course influenced the development of the political system.

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