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Coping with disparity: continuity and discontinuity in economic policy since unification
chapterposted on 05.08.2014, 13:39 by Jeremy Leaman
Fourteen years on, Germany remains an abnormal state in which many of the features of abnormality have become firmly entrenched, i.e. normalised. This is the best approximation to a shorthand characterisation of Germany’s political economy in 2004. Whatever features of ‘normalisation’/ homogenisation/ standardisation or convergence with an EU or OECD ‘norm’ can be adduced for Germany, there are features of abnormality which persist; these arguably set the Federal Republic apart from comparator states. In this paper, I only intend to examine selective aspects of economic policy, but there is little doubt that these have been and continue to be significantly affected by Germany’s abnormal features: the uniqueness of the German Question in European history, the trauma of European genocide, defeat, dismemberment and separation, national division along the systemic fault-line between ‘East’ and ‘West’, its – in part unwelcome – role as hegemonic ‘first among equals’ within the EU, and then Unification: the first and as yet only experiment in which a state socialist society was reabsorbed into a prosperous capitalist economy.
- Social Sciences
- Politics and International Studies