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Series: Politics Today

This book offers an overview of the principal features of the German political system. It emphasises four important characteristics of the system: the way in which twentieth-century history shaped the post-Second World War political system; the stability and adaptability of that system; the unusual importance within the political system of legal rules; and the significance of Germany's association with European integration. The book surveys the Basic Law, designed in 1948-1949 as a direct response to the failure of Germany's first experiment with democracy: the regime of the Weimar Republic. The book describes the events of the fateful years 1989 and 1990, which led to reunification, in three phases: the downfall of the old regime in the German Democratic Republic; the period of adjustment and transition to a democratic regime in Germany; and the process and consequences of reunification itself. The book also examines the principal influences which have shaped the present-day political system, the electoral system and electoral behaviour of the Federal Republic, and the features of the 'party state'. It reviews the structure, operation and political effects of Germany's particular version of federalism and analyses the core institutions of government. The structure and powers of the legislative chambers, the legislative process, and the role of the elected representative are also discussed. Finally, the book charts the path taken by West Germany to develop links to 'Europe', and explores the ways in which membership of what has become the European Union impinges upon the domestic politics of the Federal Republic.

Abstract only
Geoffrey K. Roberts

and a rather different electoral system is the decline in electoral participation since the 1980s and the lack of trust in, and respect for, politicians on the part of the electorate. Elections as ‘bread and circuses’? Does it matter if, in the German system, elections rarely change governments and that they are not effective means of expressing public opinion? After all, the German political system enjoys a multiplicity of press and broadcasting media through which opinions can be expressed. Perhaps not. Despite the economic and social problems besetting the FRG

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

the wealthier West Germans relatively more. 8 So the reunification of Germany is important to an understanding of the German political system for two reasons. It has changed the size of the Federal Republic and affected its political institutions. It has also affected the political agenda, so that new problems (but also new opportunities) have arisen since 1990. Each of the remaining chapters of this book will reflect those changes. Notes 1 The ‘block system’ of parties was an arrangement by which the various political parties co-ordinated their activities

in German politics today (third edition)
Open Access (free)
Cas Mudde

attention on the ongoing process of degeneration, its views on ethical values are moderately conservative. chap2 28/5/02 13.31 Die Republikaner Page 59 59 Finally, the REP is a democratic party, in that it supports parliamentarianism, and even militant democracy, and strives for acceptance and power within the current German political system.

in The ideology of the extreme right

The study of German electoral politics has been neglected of late, despite being one of the most pervasive elements of the German political process. This book argues that concentration on electoral politics facilitates deeper understanding and appreciation of the German political system. It provides explanations and analysis of the federal electoral system, its evolution and the challenges that have been made to its format; discusses the role of electoral politics in relation to political parties and to the public; and the influence of second-order elections in the German political system. The book goes on to evaluate the effectiveness of the German electoral system in relation to its functions, and challenges the premise that electoral politics makes a difference in Germany. Ultimately, it aims to reconcile the apparently limited role that elections have in determining the composition of governments with the notion that there is a ‘permanent election campaign’ in existence in German politics.

Editor: Peter Goddard

This collection brings together work on forms of popular television produced within the authoritarian regimes of Europe after World War II. Ten chapters based on new and original research examine approaches to programming and individual programmes in Spain, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Soviet Union and the GDR at a time when they were governed as dictatorships or one-party states. Rather than foregrounding the political economy of television or its role as an overt tool of state propaganda, the focus is on popular television-everyday programming that ordinary people watched. An editorial introduction examines the question of what can be considered ‘popular’ when audience appeal is often secondary to the need for state control. With familiar measures of popularity often absent, contributors adopt various approaches in applying the term to the programming they examine and in considering the reasons for its popularity. Drawing on surviving archives, scripts and production records, contemporary publications, YouTube clips, and interviews with producers and performers, its chapters recover examples of television programming history unknown beyond national borders and often preserved largely in the memories of the audiences who lived with them. Popular Television in Authoritarian Europe represents a significant intervention in transnational television studies, making these histories available to scholars for the first time, encouraging comparative enquiry and extending the reach – intellectually and geographically – of European television history.

Abstract only
How the East German political system presented itself in television series
Sascha Trültzsch and Reinhold Viehoff

9 Undercover: How the East German political system presented itself in television series Sascha Trültzsch and Reinhold Viehoff Entertainment: The significance of fictional programmes in GDR television The former East Germany – the German Democratic Republic, or GDR – was an authoritarian state governed by the Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands; SED). The party and a network of affiliated institutions controlled all media and other forms of public communication. The avowed aim was to propagate the SED’s ideology and guidelines

in Popular television in authoritarian Europe
Geoffrey K. Roberts

asserted that electoral politics is one of the most pervasive elements of the German political process, indeed the bedrock upon which the political system is supported. It is also still an important approach – if not always in the ways in which it is important in other European democracies such as the United Kingdom or France. In this book, the case is made for retaining some degree of concentration on electoral politics in order to understand and appreciate the German political system and political process. The starting-point has to be the electoral system. The

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

, nevertheless have been important in their own right, demonstrating that the constitution itself is supreme law within the German political system, and affecting the rights of individuals, the scope of authority of institutions and the social and moral basis of the state. Here, too, a selection of such topics and cases is provided in Appendix I . The Constitutional Court is organised into two senates, each responsible for particular types of cases which might come before the Court. In this way, it can handle more cases than if it were required to meet (as does the US

in German politics today (third edition)
Open Access (free)
Fragmented structures in a complex system
Andreas Maurer

central agency responsible for formulating a coherent European policy. These features highlight a lack of clear strategy and of rapid position takingleading which can leave the German delegation in a minority position in the Council of Ministers. On the other hand, this politico-administrative system features flexible working and co-ordination structures. One of the persistent advantages of the German political system is the decentralised and departmentalised scheme of administrative interaction. Decisionmaking is filtered from the lowest level towards the highest

in Fifteen into one?