Peter J. Katzenstein
How can we account for the lack of large-scale policy change in West Germany despite changes in the partisan make-up of the federal government? This formulation of "the German Question" differs from the one commonly posed by students of German politics, a version usually focused on Germany's tragic confrontation with modernity and a possible revival of militarism and authoritarianism. Katzenstein here uncovers the political structures that make incremental policy change such a plausible political check against the growing force of government. This book examines in detail how West German policy and politics interrelate in six problem areas: economic management, industrial relations, social welfare, migrant workers, administrative reform, and university reform. Throughout these six case studies, Katzenstein suggests that West Germany's semi-sovereign state provides the answer to the German Question as it precludes the possibility of central authority. Coalition governments, federalism, para-public institutions, and the state bureaucracy are the domestic forces that have tamed power in the Federal Republic. Author note: Peter J.
Katzenstein is Professor of Government at Cornell University, as well as a former editor of International Organization.