Economic Policies: From Pace-Setter to Beleaguered Player

Kenneth Dyson

in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Economic Policies: From Pace-Setter to Beleaguered Player

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter traces how rapidly evolving mechanisms of EU governance have affected German economic policy since the Treaty of Maastricht was agreed in 1991. Its central theme is the transition of Germany from ‘pace-setter’ in the constitutive politics of designing EMU to ‘beleaguered player’ in the regulative politics of its implementation, from Germany as policy model to Germany as the main problem. Europeanization has both reinforced traditional policy beliefs in ‘sound’ finance and acted as a catalyst for domestic policy reforms by strengthening the domestic discourse of competitiveness. It has also led to significant pressures for institutional reconfiguration, notably within the federal executive, federal-state relations, and the Bundesbank. The chapter questions the traditional assumption of a goodness of ‘fit’ between German and EU economic policies, in part because of unintended effects from the EMU and in part because, despite emphasis on a consensus about the ‘social market’ economy, Germany lacks a unitary economic policy model.

Keywords: EU governance; German economic policy; Europeanization; EMU

Chapter.  12906 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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