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  • Author: Martin Rhodes, Rachel A. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: European states have a long history of banking sector nationalism. Control over credit allocation is believed to contribute to economic development and competitiveness goals, insulation from external economic shocks, and control over monetary policy. This paper explains the potentially dramatic loss in domestic control over banks created by the European Banking Union (EBU). First, we argue that ongoing liberalization in the global and European economies has made banking sector protectionism both more costly and conflictual. Second, we contend that because many of the biggest banks have internationalized their operations, they now prefer centralized European regulation and supervision. Third, supporting a modified neofunctionalist argument, we find that behind the sometimes frenetic intergovernmental bargaining in 2012-14, it is primarily the European Commission and the European Central Bank that have pushed Banking Union ahead. Supranational institutions have argued, with some success, that they have unique capacity to solve collective action and prisoners' dilemma problems. Contrary to accepted wisdom, Germany has not set or limited the Banking Union agenda to a great extent, in part because of its own internal divisions. Moreover, the Commission and the ECB have managed at critical junctures to isolate Germany to secure the country's assent to controversial measures.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Nicolas Mariot
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Political Sociology
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the problems and potentialities of asymmetrical historical comparison by examining visits by heads of State to the provinces in Germany and France on the eve of WW I. This act of political legitimisation and representation is analysed through the lens of the practical organization of the event understood as an administrative routine, thereby bringing into question many of the categories routinely mobilised to describe and to oppose two models of national integration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Sofía Perez, Jonathan Westrup
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes major changes in the regulation of the financial sector in Europe over the last three decades. Focusing on the pattern of change across five countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), the paper identifies two major periods of regulatory change: first, the shift away from postwar patterns of credit regulation in the 1970s and 1980s, and second, the intensification of state supervisory powers and the introduction of new regulatory structures from the 1990s to the present. In both cases, the authors point to the way in which different models of financial sector regulation affect the political consequences of macro-economic policy for political elites as an explanation for choices that governments have made in the regulatory arena. More specifically, while regulatory change in the first period may be largely explained by the way in which different postwar models of credit regulation impinged upon a government's political ability to impose disinflation, choices in favor of different regulatory structures in the second period (single regulator in Britain and Germany versus multiple regulators in the other countries) can be related to differences in the area of pension reform. By focusing on the political implications that different modes of financial regualtion can have for elected officials in the context of different macroeconomic scenarios, the authors offer an explanation of regualtory change that differs from accounts which emphasize the primacy of financial market forces in driving such change.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Wolfgang Streeck
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The dissolution of the standard employment relationship since the 1970s has been paralleled by a destabilization of family relations. The paper, which is a slightly revised version of a plenary lecture at the 2008 Meeting of the German Sociological Association, discusses possible connections between the rise of more flexible labor market and family structures, and explores how they might tie in with the declining birth rate. The co-evolution of labor markets and family relations can be explained by both the attractions and the constraints of free markets. The current shift toward a new social policy aimed at increasing fertility is presented as an example of how expanding market relations and the uncertainty to which they give rise in personal life cause demands for state intervention. The logic seems remarkably similar to that of the current banking crisis, where the liberation of financial markets from traditional constraints and the progressive commodification of money have ultimately issued in irresistible pressures on the state to step in and restore the social commons of stable expectations and mutual confidence. In both cases, and perhaps generally, capitalism seems to imply a need for a public power capable of creating substitutes for social relations invaded by market relations and as a consequence losing their capacity to perform some of their previous functions.
  • Topic: Government, Markets, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Achim Goerres
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Is there an antagonism between young and old in the electoral arena that could lead to the obstruction of welfare-state reforms? This article argues that this notion is a myth and lacks empirical evidence for the case of Germany. It is true that (a) there are imminent majorities of voters aged 50 and older; (b) older voters benefit from many welfare state programs and (c) life-cycle interests shape some attitudes towards single public policies. However, these facts alone do not represent an antagonism between young and old in the electoral arena. Firstly, differences in party preferences between age groups are due to generational effects associated with early political socialization. Secondly, life-cycle interests do not shape the German party competition because age is not a political division line (cleavage). Young age/old age is only a transitional boundary that all of us aspire to cross, meaning that material old-age interests are important to everyone. Finally, grey interests parties are notoriously weak and try to become parties for the interests of all age groups.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Germany introduced a federal inheritance tax in 1906. Historically, the share of its revenues compared to total tax revenues has always been low. Currently, less than one percent of total revenues are generated from inheritance tax. In countries like France, the United States and England, inheritance tax revenues are higher. With its ruling in 2007 the German supreme court has forced parliament to revise regulations on inheritance taxation. Various proposals are currently the subject of intense political debate. I take this discussion as the starting point for an investigation of fundamental arguments for and against estate taxation. Proposing that inheritances be taxed as a further type of income within the context of the income tax, I examine the impact of inheritance taxes on economic performance, family solidarity and the political community as well as the relationship between inheritance taxation and important value principles of individual freedom, social justice and equality of opportunity.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Adam Szymański
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Enlargement of the European Union is an incremental process which begins before formal accession of a given state and continues thereafter. One can distinguish four main areas of studies of this subject. These are: 1) the policy of candidates for EU membership; 2) the policy of member states towards EU enlargement; 3) European Union's enlargement policy; 4) the consequences of this process. In this study it is the second of these areas that will be analysed, with the focus on the policy followed by German governments and presidents on the question of the accession of Turkey.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The unique institutions that make up Germany's "unitary federal state," long considered part of the country's post-war success story, are now generally perceived as a "joint-decision trap" impeding effective policy responses to new economic and demographic challenges at both levels of government. Nevertheless, a high-powered bicameral Commission set up in the fall of 2003 failed to reach agreement on constitutional reforms. The paper analyzes the misguided procedural and substantive choices that led to this failure, and it discusses the possibility of asymmetric constitutional solutions that might enhance the capacity for autonomous action at both levels.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Vivian A. Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Research Papers Archive
  • Abstract: Public discourse, understood both as ideas about public action and interactive processes that serve to 'coordinate' the construction of those ideas and to 'communicate' them to the public, has been central to the success (or failure) of the reform projects of social democratic parties. Certain background factors, including countries' policy legacies, problems, preferences, and capacity set the stage for reform while good ideas which are cognitively sound and normatively appropriate as well as relevant, coherent, and consistent contribute to reform success. But institutional context also matters with regard to how ideas are conveyed to whom, with 'simple' polities emphasizing the 'communicative' discourse to the general public and more 'compound' polities the 'coordinative' discourse among policy actors. This is demonstrated with examples from Germany, France, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands
  • Author: Eckhard Schröter
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: In the late 1990s, the European Left seemed to be once more in the ascendancy with Social Democratic-led governments in power in the majority of EU countries, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. At the same time, the debate about the socalled 'Third Way' — as an icon of the apparent electoral revitalization of European Social Democracy — rose to become the most important reform discourse in the European party landscape.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Jorge A. Schiavon
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: This working paper analyses the causes of the increased international activity of federated states' units, and the way and intensity in which this activity takes place. First, it explains that the growing participation of federal entities in foreign policy is a product, on one hand, of increasing globalization and interdependence in the international system, and, on the other, of the internal processes of liberalization, democratization, and decentralization. Second, using the Mexican case as an example, it explains how the legal rules in the Constitution establish the limits of international participation of the states of the federation; then, it analyses how the institutional configuration, the division of power, and the division of purpose in the system influence the degree of intensity of participation of these federal units in foreign policy issues, within the constitutional limitations. Likewise, it considers economic capacity and geographical location of the states as variables that also seem to influence their degree of activity. Then, it briefly explores how Mexican federal entities have participated in the internacional arena. Finally, it describes the relationships, in terms of foreign policy, between different orders of government in other federal systems, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States, and contrasts these relationships with those in Mexico.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico
  • Author: Antje Fritz
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Free media and unhampered and impartial journalism are crucial elements of any democracy. Journalists provide the information which a society needs to debate current policies, public issues, societal threats, the potential failings of its institutions as well as necessary reforms. In so doing, journalism fulfils a major democratic function, which includes, as a crucial responsibility, the duty to make issues transparent and therefore to help citizens to gain information about and exert oversight of the state's executive bodies (Ward 2004). But even if those pre-conditions are satisfied, some societal areas, especially those which concern security related issues, tend to resist efforts to provide transparency and public oversight. This is especially the case when intelligence services and intelligence related issues are involved.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The announcement on 21 October 2003 of an agreement between Iran on the one hand and Britain, France and Germany on the other, is an important and welcome step in resolving the controversy surrounding Tehran's nuclear program. But it would be wrong to assume that it ends it. The challenge now is to use the breathing space provided by the agreement to tackle the questions – about its implementation, the future of Iran's uranium enrichment activities and Iran's own security concerns – that, for the time being, it has deferred.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iran, France, Arabia, Germany
  • Author: Ludger Helms
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent comparative works on the constitutional structures of contemporary liberal democracies, the United States and Germany have been grouped together as examples of democratic systems with an exceptionally high degree of “institutional pluralism”. In other typologies both countries have even been classified as “semisovereign democracies”. Whereas such classifications are of some use, especially in the field of public policy research, they fail to pay reasonable attention to the fundamental difference between parliamentary and presidential government that dominated the older literature on comparative political systems. As the comparative assessments offered in this paper suggest, the difference between parliamentary government and presidential government does not only constitute very different conditions of executive leadership in the core executive territory and at the level of executive-legislative relations, but has also a strong impact on the role and performance of the various “veto players” that characterize the political systems of the United States and Germany, and which are at the center of this paper.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Martin Höpner
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the current discussion on links between party politics and production regimes. Why do German Social Democrats opt for more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU although, in terms of the distributional outcomes of such reforms, one would expect the situation to be reversed? I divide my analysis into three stages. First, I use the European Parliament's crucial vote on the European takeover directive in July 2001 as a test case to show that the left-right dimension does indeed matter in corporate governance reform, beside cross-class and cross-party nation-based interests. In a second step, by analyzing the party positions in the main German corporate governance reforms in the 1990s, I show that the SPD and the CDU behave “paradoxically” in the sense that the SPD favored more corporate governance liberalization than the CDU, which protected the institutions of “Rhenish,” “organized” capitalism. This constellation occurred in the discussions on company disclosure, management accountability, the power of banks, network dissolution, and takeover regulation. Third, I offer two explanations for this paradoxical party behavior. The first explanation concerns the historical conversion of ideas. I show that trade unions and Social Democrats favored a high degree of capital organization in the Weimar Republic, but this ideological position was driven in new directions at two watersheds: one in the late 1940s, the other in the late 1950s. My second explanation lies in the importance of conflicts over managerial control, in which both employees and minority shareholders oppose managers, and in which increased shareholder power strengthens the position of works councils.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Martin Höpner, Lothar Krempel
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: For over 100 years, the German company network was a major feature of organized corporate governance in Germany. This paper uses network visualization techniques and qualitative-historical analysis to discuss the structure, origins and development of this network and to analyze the reasons for its recent erosion. Network visualization makes it possible to identify crucial entanglement patterns that can be traced back historically. In three phases of network formation – the 1880s, 1920s and the 1950s –, capital entanglement resulted from the interplay of company behavior and government policy. In its heyday, the company network was de facto encompassing and provided its core participants, especially the banks, with a national, macroeconomic perspective. In the 1970s, a process of increased competition among financial companies set in. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining returns from blockholding and increased opportunity costs made network dissolution a thinkable option for companies. Because of the strategic reorientation of the largest banks toward investment banking, ties between banks and industry underwent functional changes. Since the year 2000, the German government's tax policy has sped up network erosion. Vanishing capital ties imply a declining degree of strategic coordination among large German companies.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Ulrich Krotz
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article systematically scrutinizes the intergovernmental and administrative aspects of Franco-German relations with the 1963 Elysée Treaty at their core. This treaty, together with its various additions and extensions, has defined the basic processes of bilateral interaction between the French and German states. Recurrent tension in Franco-German relations notwithstanding, many observers and participants have viewed France and Germany to be connected particularly closely since the 1960s. This article explores key elements of what it is that links France and Germany. Thereby it clarifies the concept of regularized inter governmentalism, suggests viewing this specific set of international practices from a social-structural perspective, and evaluates the effects and limits of such regularized procedures. Its findings suggest that bilateral structures have complemented and undergirded a broadly multilateral post-World War II world and are likely to continue to do so.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Claus Hofhansel
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since World War II, the most distinctive characteristic of German foreign policy has been its commitment to multilateralism. This commitment has served German material interests, but it has a normative basis as well. This paper analyzes German domestic support for multilateralist policies, defined in terms of the principles of indivisibility, generalized principles of conduct, and diffuse reciprocity, in the context of negotiations on the EU's eastern enlargement. Empirically, the paper focuses on the policy areas of freedom of movement for workers and agriculture. The main theoretical argument is that domestic support for multilateralist policies depends on the distributional consequences of such policies and the ability of political institutions to manage distributional conflicts. Distributional conflict undermines support for multilateralist policies. In the case of Germany, distributional conflicts among different sectors and regions of the German economy have become more severe partly, but not exclusively, due to German unification. Furthermore, German political institutions are less able to resolve such conflicts than in the past. The evidence presented here shows more intense domestic distributional conflicts on the free movement of labor issue than over agriculture, and, as expected, we see more explicitly bilateral and less multilateralist demands by unions and employers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany
  • Author: Ulrich Krotz
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: “The Franco-German friendship is rich in memories and gestures that are at once important and symbolic, and that characterize the exceptional nature of the relationship between our two countries,” reflects former French economics minister and European Commission President Jacques Delors. Such symbolic acts and joint memories are not primarily about cooperation in specific instances. Rather, more generally, they denote what it means to act together. They lend significance to a relationship; they signify what is “at stake,” or what it is “all about.” They are about a deeper and more general social purpose underlying specific instances of cooperation. They are about the value and intrinsic importance that social relations incorporate. Symbols contribute to the institutionalization of social meaning and social purpose in dealing with one another. In this paper I clarify the concept of “predominantly symbolic acts and practices among states,” systematically explore such acts for the bilateral Franco-German relationship between the late 1950s and the mid-1990s, and scrutinize the specific meaning and effects that these practices have helped to generate and perpetuate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Philip L. Martin
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: This monograph reviews Germany's evolution from a country of emigration to a reluctant land of immigration between the 1960s and 1980s, as guest workers settled and asylum seekers arrived. During the 1990s, Germany became a magnet for diverse foreigners, including the families of settled guest workers, newly mobile Eastern Europeans and ethnic Germans, and asylum seekers from throughout the world. Germany, with a relatively structured and rigid labor market and economy, finds it easier to integrate especially unskilled newcomers into generous social welfare programs than into the labor market. Since immigration means change as immigrants and Germans adjust to each other, an aging German populace may resist the changes in the economy and labor market that could facilitate immigrant integration as well as the changes in culture and society that invariably accompany immigrants.
  • Topic: Government, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany