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No Exit from the Joint Decision Trap? Can German Federalism Reform Itself?

Fritz Scharpf

No 24, EUI-RSCAS Working Papers from European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Abstract: Germany's unique institutions of a '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 bi-cameral Commission set up in Autumn 2003 failed to reach agreement on constitutional reforms. The paper analyses the misguided procedural and substantive choices that explain the failure of reform, and it discusses the possibility of asymmetric constitutional solutions that might enhance the capacity for autonomous action at both levels.

Keywords: Germany; federalism; constitutional change; multilevel governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-09-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec and nep-law
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5)

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