Geoffrey K. Roberts
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A ‘normal’ democracy?
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The majority of political institutions provided in the Basic Law, and the relations between them, have been profoundly affected by what the 'founding fathers' in Bonn perceived to be those flaws in the Weimar democracy which directly contributed to the rise of the Third Reich. The concept of 'combative democracy' exists in the Federal Republic of Germany precisely because of the causes of the rise of Hitler and the Second World War. Political education, the role of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the 'radicals decree' and other measures associated with 'combative democracy' are put in place to prevent the re-emergence of Nazism. From the 1970s onwards, the wave of 'new politics' activity increased in significance. Local and regional 'citizen initiative groups' took action to block projects likely to damage the local environment or to promote projects to provide better public amenities.

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