Conclusion: the German model of federalism

Arthur B. Gunlicks

in The Länder and German federalism

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780719065323
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700464 | DOI:
Conclusion: the German model of federalism

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The most commonly cited characteristic of American federalism is ‘dual federalism’. This refers to constitutionally delegated powers for the federal government and reserve powers for the states, with each level administering its own policies. In case of conflict, federal law is supreme so long as the federal government is authorised to act by the constitution. In Germany, federalism is also sometimes described by German scholars as ‘dual federalism’, but sometimes this means the same as above (Trennsystem) and at other times something quite different. That is, it often means ‘dualism’ in the sense that the federal level is responsible for passing most legislation, and the Länder for implementing this legislation on their own responsibility, usually with only legal supervision by the federation. This chapter discusses several types of German federalism, including functional federalism, cooperative federalism, participatory federalism, executive federalism, administrative federalism, unitary federalism and competitive federalism. It also examines the characteristics of German federalism and their implications for German politics, finally addressing some of the challenges confronting the German model of federalism.

Keywords: Germany; Länder; politics; federalism; dual federalism; federal law; federal government; functional federalism; cooperative federalism; participatory federalism

Chapter.  4759 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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