Developments in West German Politics by Gordon Smith, William E. Paterson, Peter H. Merki

By Gordon Smith, William E. Paterson, Peter H. Merki

This e-book offers up to date exams of key traits and concerns within the Federal Republic with adequate historical past research to make the remedy of a number of the issues obtainable to these with no certain past wisdom of German politics.

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It might follow that consensus-building would be made more difficult, but the structures have now been so long in place and the 30 Structures of Government pattern of political accommodation is now so firmly set that a radical departure would be difficult. Moreover, the way in which the system has operated over the years has had a deep-seated influence on popular attitudes and expectations as to how it should work: the institutions have formed a particular kind of political culture. How the Basic Law has fostered an interdependence is most readily apparent in the federal structure.

Unlike the practice in Britain and the United States, where the parties are attuned to alternating in government, in the Federal Republic there has been no complete change of the parties in office during the whole forty years of its existence. Abrupt and divisive switches in the direction of policy however much an individual party may wish it - have simply not been feasible. At the same time, however, other factors make it difficult for the parties in federal government to push through their desired policy objectives without the active cooperation of a range of interests and other political actors.

Although earlier measurements of the West German self-image, for example, in the 1950s showed a great deal more pride in West German economic achievements than in the political system of Bonn, this situation has changed for the better since the 1960s (see Chapter 6). The more recent generations have developed a good deal more identification with the 'basic democratic order' in the Federal Republic than their predecessors exhibited. There has also developed a general rejection of the idea of the German political Sonderweg (different route from other Western countries) in the past.

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