The checks and balances of party federalism : German federal government in a divided legislature

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1999
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Bräuninger, Thomas
König, Thomas
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In this study, we assess the potential for policy change of the German government of Helmut Kohl after unification combining party positions with formal bicameral settings in a spatial model of legislative action. We distinguish between two policy areas and two types of legislation, mandatory and non-mandatory legislation imposing either a symmetric or asymmetric power distribution between both German chambers. In order to identify German legislators party positions in different policy areas, we use data from ECPR Party Manifesto research covering the period from German unification in 1990 to the end of the government of Helmut Kohl in 1998. We find that the federal government of Helmut Kohl had a policy leadership position until April 1991 with no procedural differences, but the gridlock danger for governmental proposals was higher on the societal than the economic dimension. Afterwards, the government s potential for policy change was considerably determined by the type of legislation, independently from the policy dimension. At the end of the Kohl era, the governmental policy leadership position was limited to policies that left even the opposition majority of German states better off. The procedural settings mattered greatly on the economic dimension, and the danger of gridlock on societal policy was smaller only for non-mandatory legislation.

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ISO 690BRÄUNINGER, Thomas, Thomas KÖNIG, 1999. The checks and balances of party federalism : German federal government in a divided legislature. In: European Journal of Political Research. 1999, 36(2), pp. 207-234. Available under: doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.00468
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@article{Brauninger1999check-4088,
  year={1999},
  doi={10.1111/1475-6765.00468},
  title={The checks and balances of party federalism : German federal government in a divided legislature},
  number={2},
  volume={36},
  journal={European Journal of Political Research},
  pages={207--234},
  author={Bräuninger, Thomas and König, Thomas}
}
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