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Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Edited by Kenneth Dyson and Klaus Goetz

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197262955.001.0001

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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The process of European integration is marked both by continued deepening and widening, and by growing evidence of domestic disquiet and dissent. Against this background, this book examines three key themes: the challenge to the power of member states – as subjects of European integration – to determine the course of the integrationist project and to shape European public policies; the constraints in the domestic political arena experienced by member states as objects of European integration; and the contestation over both the ‘constitutive politics of the EU’ and specific policy choices. These three themes – power, constraint, and contestation – and their interdependence are explored with specific reference to Germany. The main findings call for a revision of the ‘conventional wisdom’ about Germany's Europeanization experience. First, while Germany continues to engage intensively in all aspects of the integration process, its power to ‘upload’ – ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, ‘deliberate’ or ‘unintentional’, ‘institutional’ or ‘ideational’ – appears in decline. Germany's capacity to ‘shape its regional milieu’ is challenged by both changes in the integration process and the ever-more-apparent weaknesses of the ‘German model’. The traditional regional core milieu is shrinking in size and importance in an enlarging Europe, and Germany's milieu-shaping power is being challenged. Second, the coincidence of enabling and constraining effects is being progressively replaced by a discourse that notes unwelcome constrictions associated with EU membership.

Keywords: European integration; member states; public policies; domestic politics; European Union; Germany; power; constraint; contestation; Europeanization

Book.  452 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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Public Law: Towards a Post-National Model in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

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