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Coping with disparity: continuity and discontinuity in economic policy since unification

posted on 2014-08-05, 13:39 authored 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

Published in

German Culture, Politics and Literature into the Twenty-First Century Beyond Normalization


.31 - 48


LEAMAN, J., 2006. Coping with disparity: continuity and discontinuity in economic policy since unification. In: Taberner, S. and Cooke, P. (eds.). German culture, politics, and literature into the twenty-first century : beyond normalization. Rochester, NY: Camden House, pp. 31-48.


© Camden House


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