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The Länder and German federalism$
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Arthur Gunlicks

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719065323

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719065323.001.0001

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Conclusion: the German model of federalism

Conclusion: the German model of federalism

(p.385) 12 Conclusion: the German model of federalism
The Länder and German federalism

Arthur B. Gunlicks

Manchester University Press

The most commonly cited characteristic of American federalism is ‘dual federalism’. This refers to constitutionally delegated powers for the federal government and reserve powers for the states, with each level administering its own policies. In case of conflict, federal law is supreme so long as the federal government is authorised to act by the constitution. In Germany, federalism is also sometimes described by German scholars as ‘dual federalism’, but sometimes this means the same as above (Trennsystem) and at other times something quite different. That is, it often means ‘dualism’ in the sense that the federal level is responsible for passing most legislation, and the Länder for implementing this legislation on their own responsibility, usually with only legal supervision by the federation. This chapter discusses several types of German federalism, including functional federalism, cooperative federalism, participatory federalism, executive federalism, administrative federalism, unitary federalism and competitive federalism. It also examines the characteristics of German federalism and their implications for German politics, finally addressing some of the challenges confronting the German model of federalism.

Keywords:   Germany, Länder, politics, federalism, dual federalism, federal law, federal government, functional federalism, cooperative federalism, participatory federalism

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