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Hyeong-ki Kwon

The German model of political economy that had been an enviable

alternative to the liberal market until the late 1980s in the literature of

political economy was under serious structural crisis throughout the

1990s, causing serious doubts about its viability. Many neoliberals

and industrial experts in Germany began to doubt whether Germany

was an attractive place for business activity, initiating the Standort

Deutschland debate. Even German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder conceded

“the end of German model.”1 Many political economists and

journalists expected and recommended imitating the American

model of a liberal market. Prominent German newspapers and magazines

such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and Die

Woche ran articles titled “The Discovery of America” and “Jobwunder

in Amerika.” Wolfgang Streeck, one of the main proponents of the

German model, expected the convergence of the German economy

toward an American-led liberal market economy under globalization

because of “a secular exhaustion of the German model.” Streeck

believed that the postwar German model was based on the politics

between labor and capital within a national boundary, but globalization

represents a fluidity of financial and labor markets that extricates

whatever coordination has been nationally accomplished.

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Tobias Schulze-Cleven

The German model of labor relations is once again attracting significant attention, even if assessments of its health and economic consequences diverge. This review article clarifies debates about German labor relations and illuminates their significance for theorizing the political economy of wealthy democracies. It demonstrates how four different narratives about German practices from the late twentieth century continue to shape contemporary disagreements. While these older interpretations of the German model have been updated, their original assumptions about particular structural effects remain at the heart of current disputes, sometimes hiding as much as they reveal. This article argues that it is time to move beyond inherited abstractions and focus more on the contemporary agency of labor relations actors.

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Christopher S. Allen

For much of the past two decades since unification, the literature on the German economy has largely focused on the erosion of the German model of organized capitalism and emphasized institutional decline and the corresponding rise of neoliberalism. The first part of the article analyzes the strains unification placed on German economic performance that caused many observers to call for modification of the model in a more neo-liberal direction. The second part takes a different focus and lays out the main rationale of the paper. It inquires why such a coordinated market economy was created in the first place and whether a renewed form of it might still be useful for Germany, the European Union, and other developed democracies in the early twenty-first century. The third section articulates the origins of the institutional and ideational components of these coordinated market economy models, during both the Bismarckian and Social Market Economy periods. The final portion inquires whether the failure of the contemporary liberal market economy approach in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis and severe recession represents a possible opening for the creation of a third coordinated market economy not only for Germany but for a redesigned European Union.

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Gregory Baldi

Stephen Padgett, William E. Paterson, and Reimut Zohlnhöfer, ed. Developments in German Politics 4. 4th Revised edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Simon Green and Ed Turner, ed. Understanding the Transformation of Germany’s CDU (London: Routledge, 2014)

Ştefan Sorin Mureşan, Social Market Economy: The Case of Germany (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014).

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Christopher S. Allen

Henry Farrell, The Political Economy of Trust: Institutions, Interests and Interfirm Cooperation in Italy and Germany (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Jeremy Leaman, The Political Economy of Germany under Chancellors Kohl and Schroeder: Decline of the German Model? (New York: Berghahn, 2009)

Wolfgang Streeck, Re-Forming Capitalism: Institutional Change in the German Political Economy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

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Ben Lieberman

The history of the Federal Republic of Germany is closely connected with economic achievement. Enjoying a striking economic recovery in the 1950s, the FRG became the home of the “economic miracle.” Maturing into one of the most powerful economies in the world, it became known as the “German model” by the 1970s. Now, however, the chief metaphor for the German economy is “Standort Deutschland,” and therein lies the tale of the new German problem.

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Hartmut Häußermann

Since unification, the political, economic, and institutional structures

in the new federal states have been patterned in accordance with the

West German model. This is due in part to the extension of the

Western legal framework to the eastern Länder. The fact that the

political and economic actors of the once-socialist country are now

subject to the institutional conditions of the West encourages convergence

towards the western model. But questions have been raised as

to whether the cities in the new federal states are also adapting

rapidly to the western model of urban development. Their layout

and architecture resulted, after all, from the investment decisions

made by several generations and cannot be shifted or transformed as

rapidly as legal or institutional frameworks.

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Wade Jacoby and Martin Behrens

Our purpose in this article is to analyze changes in the German wage

bargaining system, a system that has attracted enormous attention

from scholars of comparative political economy and comparative

industrial relations. We argue that the wage bargaining portion of

the German model is neither frozen in place, headed for deregulation,

nor merely “muddling through.” Rather, we see the institutional

capacities of the key actors—especially the unions and employer

associations—making possible a process we term “experimentalism.”

In briefest form, experimentalism allows organizations that combine

decentralized information-gathering abilities with centralized decision-

making capacity to probe for new possibilities, which, once

found, can be quickly diffused throughout the organization. We will

show that the capacity for such experimentalism varies across actors

and sectors. And, to make things even tougher, neither major German

social actor can sustain innovation in the longer term without

bringing along the other “social partner.”

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Haim Sperber

The paper investigates the role Rabbi Nathan Adler played in the institutionalisation of the English Chief Rabbinate. It focuses on his appointment to Chief Rabbi and on his activities in instituting the various roles of Chief Rabbi in the post-emancipation Anglo-Jewish community. Rabbi Adler's complicated relations with early Reform Judaism in England are also dealt with. When Rabbi Adler came to London he had an image of Reform Judaism as he knew it in Hanover, where he came from. In a short period he understood the uniqueness of the English Reform Movement, and adjusted his politics towards it accordingly. Continuing the dominance of German Rabbis heading the English Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Adler brought with him to England a new mode of modern German Rabbinate, established in the mid nineteenth century. Rabbi Adler adapted, with considerable success, the German model to the British reality. Rabbi Adler was a very close associate of Sir Moses Montefiore. Their close relationship was an important factor in Rabbi Adler's success in the formulation of the Chief Rabbinate in the nineteenth-century United Kingdom.

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Konrad H. Jarausch

Perhaps two generations after the modest beginning, the FRG's successes and failures have become amenable to a more balanced evaluation. From the vantage point of the "Berlin Republic," the key question has shifted from whether the second German democracy would survive at all, to the reasons for its relatively positive course and to the extent of its lingering problems. This chapter first delves into the emergence of popular myths that characterized the Federal Republic's difficult search for identity. Secondly, it takes a look at some of the West's actual accomplishments in problem-solving, because such a comparison helps explain the eventual collapse of the East. Finally, it scrutinizes several of the competing explanations so as to reveal their political agendas and discuss their analytical limitations. Instead of presenting a simple success story, this reflection therefore strives for a critical appreciation. The paper concludes that at sixty, the FRG has entered a comfortable middle age, leaving be hind some of its earlier drama, but exuding a sense of competent normalcy. The mythical challenges of postwar reconstruction and recovery of international respectability have receded, followed instead by everyday concerns that are much less exhilarating. There are still plenty of problems, ranging from an aging population to a lack of full-day childcare, but they are shared by other advanced industrial societies. Moreover, after a century of first arrogant and then dejected difference, the German Sonderweg has finally come to an end. As a result of the meltdown of the Anglo-American version of unrestrained capitalism, the German model of a socially responsive market economy has even regained some of its prior luster. Hence, the postwar record of cautious incrementalism inspires some confidence that the Germans will also manage to meet the unforeseen political and economic challenges of the future.