The Origins of Chancellor Democracy and the Transformation of the German Democratic Paradigm
Author: Mommsen, Hans
Source: German Politics & Society, Volume 25, Number 2, Summer 2007 , pp. 7-18(12)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Abstract:The role of Konrad Adenauer in the proceedings of the Parliamentary Council in Bonn and his decision after his election as first federal chancellor not to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party paved the way to a fundamental transformation of the traditional German democratic paradigm versus the Anglo-Saxon concept of interaction between government and parliamentary opposition. The inherited pattern of constitutional democracy that had contributed to the structural weaknesses of Weimar parliamentarism was replaced by the concept of an interaction between government and opposition. Political parties took on the primary tasks of securing stable parliamentary majorities and providing sufficient electoral support for the chancellor. Adenauer's resolved political leadership, therefore, was an indispensable contribution to the reorientation of West German political culture from the former distrust of unrestricted parliamentary sovereignty toward Western democratic traditions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: Summer 2007
- German Politics and Society is a joint publication of the BMW Center for German and European Studies (of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University) and all North American universities associated with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
A peer-reviewed journal, it is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies. It provides a forum for critical analysis and debate about politics, history, film, literature, visual arts, and popular culture in contemporary Germany. Every issue also includes contributions by renowned scholars commenting on recent books about Germany.
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