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The Politics of Germany

The pseudo rise, double fall and multiple personality syndrome of Germany. A presentation for COMGOVT class in CSB.

Tanya Albito

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of The Politics of Germany

The Politics of Germany Dela Flor, Angel
Pion, Paola
Yu, Adrienne The Pseudo Rise The Double Fall The Multiple Personality Disorder and the Curveball 1862 March Revolution 1848 19th Century Desire for increased political freedom, liberal state policies, democracy, nationalism, and freedom from censorship = FAILURE Industrial Revolution 1880 The Historical Legacy Political/economic/religious/regional divisions (with three dozen states) + Prevalent conservatism = LATE INDUSTRIALIZATION Unprogressive
Nation-Building The Second
German Empire Otto Von Bismarck World War I 1914-1918 Authoritarian state
Kaiser is the monarch
Minimal role of the citizens
Industrialization (competition with France)
Bureaucracy and Aristocratic Elites held economic and political power The Weimar Republic I bet JEW did NAZI this coming 1934 The Third Reich Führer Hitler World War II 1939 The Occupation Period East Germany West Germany 1945 Versailles Peace Treaty 1919 1929 The Great Depression Chancellor Adolf Hitler 1933 Democratic system
Right to vote and basic human rights
Directly elected president and parliament
Political parties
Versailles Peace Treaty
Great Depression
Political tensions increased
Pesident Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor
Lack of support from political elites and the public
Administrative and military elites longed for the old authoritarian political system
Most Germans were not committed to democratic principles Nazis’ rise to power
Extremist policies
Social and political groups
More violent attacks on Jews and minorities
Massive public works
Enlarged and rearmed the military
Expansionist foreign policy
World War II West Germany

United States, Britain, France
Denazification program
New political parties
Democratic political institutions developed
Economic system along capitalist lines
Currency and market economy reforms
Western allies favored a separate German state in the West
Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) East Germany

Soviet Union
Socialist Unity Party (SED)
Sought to destroy capitalist system
New socialist order
German Democratic Republic (GDR) Executive Legislative Bundespräsident Bundeskabinett Bundeskanzler Bundesrat Bundestag The Basic Law
interim constitution drafted by the Parliamentary Council that was to last until the entire German nation reunites Chancellor Principle - defines government policy, formal policy guidelines are legally binding directives on the Cabinet and the ministries, German Cabinet intervention is subordinate to Chancellor in policymaking Cabinet Principle - resolve conflicts that arise between departments over jurisdictional or budgetary matters Minesterial Autonomy - gives each minister authority to direct the ministries' internal workings without Cabinet interventio;
Responsible for:
Supervising the activities of their departments
Guiding their policy planning
Overseeing the administration of policy within their jurisdiction Judiciary Federal Constitutional Court Ordinary Courts Labour Courts Administrative Courts Minister President "To give a new order to political life for a transitional period."
Parliamentary Council framed Basic Law
Maintain historical continuity in political institutions
Design a political system to avoid the institutional weaknesses that contributed to the collapse of the Weimar democracy
Germany needed institutional limits on extremist and antisystem forces The Institutions and the Structure of the Government A Federal System
- Political power is divided between the federal government (Bund) and state government
- Federal government has primary policy responsibility Federal Government State Governments Jurisdiction in:
Law enforcement
Regional planning
Unicameral legislature (Landtag)
Responsible for:
Policy administration
Enforce most of domestic legislation enacted by the federal government (also regulations)
Oversee operation of local governments
Selects Federal President and justices of major federal courts Primary policy responsibility (in most policy areas)
Major force in the legislation of policy
Bicameral federal legislature
Decentralizes political power
Balancing the power of the state governments against the power of the federal government (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr Media Fallacy Problems from German Unification Media only reports on... State of the economy Social and economic health nation tracking Crime Following Two Paths What do the 2002 German Elections and 2000 U.S. Election have in common? The Federal President:
- Ceremonial functions
- Selected by a Federal Convention (composed of all Bundestag deputies and equal number of representatives chosen by the state legislatures)
- Appoints government and military officials
- Signs treaties and laws
- Possesses the power of pardon
- Nominates a chancellor to the Bundestag
- May dissolve parliament if a government legislative proposal loses a non-confidence vote The Federal Chancellor:
- Dominates the political process
- Elected by the Bundestag
- Responsible for the conduct of the federal government
- Represents a majority of the Bundestag
- Heads his own party during elections
- Controls the Cabinet
- Decides the number of Cabinet ministers and their duties The Cabinet:
- Federal government today consists of 13 departments each headed by a minister
- Cabinet ministers are appointed (or dismissed) by the federal president on the recommendation of the chancellor The Minister President:
- The head of the state government
- Next to the Federal Chancellor, most powerful political official in Federal Republic Bundestag (Federal Diet):
- Primary legislative body
- Enacts legislation
- Responsible for approving federal laws
- Evaluates and amends government’s legislative program
- Elects federal chancellor
- Scrutinizes government’s actions (“question hour”)
- Checks on executive power Bundesrat (Federal Council):
- Second chamber of the parliament
- Represents state governments at the federal level
- Acts as permanent conference of state ministers
- Represents state interests
- Evaluates legislation
- Debates government policy
- Shares information between federal and state governments
- Parliament mainly reacts to government proposals Federal Court of Justice:
- Highest court at the national level
Constitutional Court:
- Reviews constitutionality of legislation; mediates disputes between levels of government; protects the constitutional and democratic order
States administer the three lower levels of the courts
Hear both civil and criminal cases
Administrative Courts:
- Hear cases in specialized areas (Federal Administrative Court, Federal Fiscal Court, Federal Social Court)
Labour Courts:
- Federal Labor Court
- Labour-management courts WEST GERMANY

Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Economic Miracle (Wirtschaftswunder)
Integrating Federal Republic into the Western alliance
Social Democratic Party (SPD) won control of West Germany’s government after 1969 elections
Willy Brandt (SPD chancellor) proposed policy that accepted postwar political situation and sought reconciliation with Eastern Europe nations
Domestic policy reforms
Global economic problems grew
Federal Democratic Party (FDP) EAST GERMANY

Collective agriculture, nationalized industry, centralized planning
Integrating the GDR economy into the Soviet bloc
The Basic Agreement - formalized the two Germanies’ relationship as two states within one German nation; legitimized the GDR through its recognition by the Federal Republic; normalized East-West relations; economic and social exchanges increased East Germans’ exposure to Western values and ideas
GDR expanded international presence
Revised the constitution
Socialism and fraternal ties to the Soviet Union
GDR’s economic loss due to worldwide economic recession
Political change caused by the events from the rest of Eastern Europe
Emigration to the West Berlin Wall was contructed by
the GDR in 1961 (August) The Fall of the Berlin Wall
1989 Unification: Revolution or Curse?

- Economic inequalities; unemployment hike
- Policy priorities clash
- Psychological wall mindset I. Economic concerns
Trouble competing globally
Labour costs and benefits are high
Elbow society vs. competitiveness
Short-term mindset
II. Social Welfare Concerns
Health, pension, etc. cost are high
Multicultural nation = political tension
Immigration The Party System Alliance '90/Greens
Christian Democratic Union
Christian Social Union
Free Democratic Party
Left Party or Die Linke
Social Democratic Party Agenda 2010: modernize German Economy
A New World Role
redefining international identity and foreign policy goals
participation in NATO alliance and EU (international politics)
attempted to address the following:
expand powers in EU
develop European currency and other integrationist policies
expanding the union's membership
Peaceful Revolution
The Power of Democracy
GDP (2011 est.) $3.2 trillion das ende Reference/s:
Almond, Comparative Politics, Chapter 10: Politics of Germany
State government website, US-Germany
Deviantart.com Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia)
Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations Pros Cons Multi-Party System In a multi-party system, even parties with extremely radical views have a chance to be elected to power. This could result in chaotic and disastrous reforms.
Big chance of coalition government A multi-party system is more responsive to a change or shift in public opinion. Two-party systems are not as flexible because they have a more or less rigid set of opinions on every issue.
A multi-party system prevents the leadership of a single party from setting policy without challenge.
Allows each citizen to vote for the party that best fits their beliefs and represents their ideology. Present Germany Reforms! Reforms! Reforms!
Full transcript