Arthur B. Gunlicks
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The Länder, the Bundesrat, and the legislative process in Germany and Europe

Germany's second chamber is unique in the world's federal systems, in that it is a federal, not a Land, organ, in which the member states are represented by their governments (that is, cabinets). This means that it is an executive as well as a legislative body, and also that it is not a part of parliament, which is the Bundestag alone. Rather, it is a constitutional organ, along with the Bundestag, the federal government, the Federal President and the Federal Constitutional Court, which makes it possible for the Länder, via their governments, to participate in the legislative process. Of course, this means that the Bundesrat is also a product of the historical development of federalism in Germany and of the German second chamber. This chapter explores the Länder, the Bundesrat and the legislative process in Germany and Europe. It first looks at the North German Federation and the Kaiserreich, the Weimar Republic, territorial vs partisan politics in the Bundesrat and the Land missions in Berlin.

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