Germany: Administration and Politics Revisited

Edward Page

in Policy Without Politicians

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645138
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745157 | DOI:
Germany: Administration and Politics Revisited

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The separation of ‘politics’ from ‘administration’ often features in accounts of the German bureaucracy. A variety of ‘legalistic’ procedural mechanisms, above all the Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien setting out rules of procedure for ministerial decision-making, regulate the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians. However, rather than limit the role of bureaucracy, the importance of the rules seeking to maintain a degree of separation between political and administrative decision-making lies in the scope they give bureaucrats to take part in policy-making. These rules and norms can be seen as legitimizing bureaucratic participation in policy-making. This perspective casts light on an unsung paradox in comparative administration: while Germany had the reputation of being the country of the unpolitical ‘classical’ bureaucrat, its bureaucracy has for a long time been distinctly political.

Keywords: Germany; bureaucracy; delegation; secondary legislation; policy-making; political leadership; procedure; administration

Chapter.  9159 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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