Arthur B. Gunlicks
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Administrative structures in Germany

To some extent the Allies tried after World War II to break older administrative traditions in Germany, but the Americans and French looked for guidance at the pre-Nazi administrative structures in their occupation zones. Nineteenth-century organisational structures were largely reinstated under the formula, ‘a new beginning, but not a fundamentally new organisation’. However, there was a focus on localising administration, in part as a consequence of the Potsdam Agreement that called for ‘decentralisation’ in post-war Germany. The reconstruction of administration from the bottom up helped strengthen and stabilise local self-government. The Germans carried out wide-ranging territorial reorganisations and administrative reforms in the late 1960s and 1970s, but these efforts took the form of adjustments of the administrative organisation to long-ignored changes in social and economic developments. Today, the sixteen Länder are divided between thirteen territorial states and three city-states. This chapter explores administrative structures in Germany, federal administration, special agencies, indirect administration by nongovernmental public bodies and private persons, universities and specialised schools of higher education, public radio and television, planning in the Länder and public employees.

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