A Panacea for all Times? The German Stability Culture as Strategic Political Resource

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Abstract

The German Stability Culture is frequently pointed to in the literature as the source of the country’s low inflation policies and, at the European Union level, the design of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In Germany, the term was regularly wielded by central bankers and Christian Democrat (CDU–CSU) politicians to legitimise the move to EMU in the face of a large majority of public opinion opposed – and subsequent EU-level policy developments – particularly in the context of the eurozone debt crisis that erupted in 2009. An ordered probit analysis is used to demonstrate the depth of the German Stability Culture, showing support for low inflation cuts across all party and ideological lines. Despite this ubiquity, the term has been wielded with regularity only by the centre-right Christian Democrats and is strongly associated with this party. A strategic constructivist analysis is employed to explain this uneven but persistent usage in German domestic politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-770
JournalWest European Politics
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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