Still No Exit from the Joint Decision Trap: The German Federal Reform(s)

Author: Auel, Katrin

Source: German Politics, Volume 17, Number 4, December 2008 , pp. 424-439(16)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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One of the central projects on the Grand Coalition's agenda 2005 was a reform of the German federal system. And while an earlier Reform Commission had failed, the Grand Coalition was indeed more successful: the first stage of the reform came into force in September 2006. Does that mean Germany will finally escape the 'joint decision trap' and the well-known Reformstau? The paper will argue that the outcome is a result of the same strategies to avoid deadlock that have been observed in the past. Instead of opening the 'joint decision trap', Bund and Lander were at best able to adjust it slightly. And a first outlook on the ongoing second stage of the reform suggests that a very similar outcome can be expected.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2008

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