Germany: From “Guilds of Notables” to Political Class

Jens Borchert and Zeiss Golsch

in The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199260362
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601873 | DOI:
 Germany: From “Guilds of Notables” to Political Class

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The professionalization of politics in Germany was hindered by the explicit rejection of legislative salaries in the German constitution until 1906. Thus, it was the Social Democratic Party and various interest groups that provided organizational and financial resources for early professionalization. Parties were strengthened from the Weimar Republic on, leading to Germany being politically dominated by parties today. Professional politicians today are primarily to be found in the federal Parliament (‘Bundetag’) and the highly professional state legislatures. Mostly, they are party regulars, which is reenforced by the strong role of parties in the polity and by the electoral system linking political careers to intra-party decision-making.

Keywords: backbenchers; civil service; federalism; Germany; local experience; notables; office cumulation; party organization; political careers; political class; reform debates; remuneration; role of interest groups

Chapter.  11404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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