This book reflects on a sense of ‘gathering crisis’ facing the German political system (Miskimmon, Paterson and Sloam, 2009). The crisis is complex and multifaceted, reflecting the enduring after-shocks of German unification; changes in Germany’s economic and social model, and its sustainability in a global economy rocked by financial crisis; and geo-political changes that challenge long-established ideas about international cooperation and security. This gathering crisis coincides with an erosion of the foundations on which the post-war political system was built. Declining support for political parties has undermined the foundations of the party state, whilst the pluralist institutional structure of the Federal Republic is blamed for decision-making gridlock. By emphasising ‘crisis’ we do not wish to suggest that the political system itself is under challenge. Berlin, after all, ‘ist nicht Weimar’ (Financial Times Deutschland, 2009). The point is rather that Germany is undergoing a delayed and no doubt necessary transformation, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, which will leave it with a different kind of political system.
|Title of host publication||Rethinking Germany and Europe|
|Editors||Simon Bulmer, Charlie Jeffery, Stephen Padgett|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|