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From the Editors

Following our special issue on the 2002 Bundestag election, we now present an open issue of German Politics and Society.

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Notes on contributors

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The Federal Election of 2002

Robert Rohrschneider and Michael R. Wolf

During the summer of campaign year 2002, the election already

seemed lost for the SPD/Green government. Public opinion polls

saw the governing coalition trailing by several percentage points,

whereas the CDU/CSU, together with the FDP, looked like the sure

winner. A central reason for the malaise of the red-green government

was the ailing economy. Unemployment rates hovered at the 4

million mark and would have been even higher if governmentfunded

jobs had been added to the official unemployment rates.

Consequently, a substantial majority of citizens considered the creation

of jobs Germany’s most important problem.1 This constituted

an especially severe burden for Chancellor Schröder. In 1998 he had

promised to push unemployment rates below 3.5 million or, he

stated, he did not deserve re-election. Thus, many observers and

voters expected the September 2002 election to be a referendum on

the governments’ handling of the economy. Since the chancellor had

not delivered, voters were about to vote the incumbent government

out of office.

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Index to Volume 20 (2002)

Index to Volume 20 (2002)

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From the Editors

The current issue of German Politics and Society begins with Rainer

Baumann’s insightful article, “The Transformation of German Multilateralism:

Changes in Foreign Policy Discourse since Unification.”

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Notes on contributors

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From the Editors

Following our special issue on culture, we are pleased to present an

open issue of German Politics and Society. Our lead article by James

Ryan Anderson investigates a woefully underresearched area of German

politics and policy making: the Bundestag’s role in shaping the

country’s foreign policy. While the bulk of Anderson’s empirical

data hail from the 1950s and 1960s, the article does an excellent job

in looking at the German Bundestag’s constitutional role as overseer

of the executive and controlling the administration in foreign affairs

by using what the author calls “formal instrumentalities.”

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Notes on contributors

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How Culture Matters: Culture and Social Change in the Federal Republic of Germany

John S. Brady and Sarah Elise Wiliarty

In December 1995, the Center for German and European Studies at

the University of California at Berkeley hosted the conference, “The

Postwar Transformation of Germany: Prosperity, Democracy, and

Nationhood.” During the proceedings and in the edited volume that

resulted, conference contributors explored the reasons for Germany’s

success in making the transition to a liberal democratic polity

supported by a rationalized national identity and a modern, dynamic

capitalist economy. In charting postwar Germany’s success, the contributors

weighed the relative contribution institutional, cultural, and

international variables made to the country’s transformation.

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Regards croisés

Transatlantic Perspectives on the Colonial Situation

Emmanuelle Saada

In the past several years, colonial studies have reemerged as an important focus for the social sciences on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet there has been little exchange or communication between scholars in France and the United States. Moreover, the apparent commonality of the subject matter often masks important differences in approach, as well as differences in the political and scholarly agendas that support such research. The editors of this special issue of French Politics, Culture and Society believe that the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Georges Balandier’s classic article, “La situation coloniale, approche théorique” (Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie 11 [1951]: 44-79), presents a valuable opportunity to promote Franco-American dialogue on the colonial question. This special issue publishes some of the works presented at a conference organized in April 2001 by the Institute of French Studies of New York University and entitled “1951-2001: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Colonial Situation.”