Party Politics in the German Bundesrat. Voting behaviour in the Bundesrat Committees

Third party funded individual grant


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Roland Sturm


Contributing FAU Organisations:
Lehrstuhl für deutsche und vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, Europaforschung und Politische Ökonomie

Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
Start date: 01/05/2016
End date: 28/02/2019


Research Fields

Föderalismus
Lehrstuhl für deutsche und vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, Europaforschung und Politische Ökonomie


Abstract (technical / expert description):


The party politicization of the Bundesrat, which is evident in the voting behaviour of the representatives of the Länder, and in the consequential down-grading of interests of individual Länder, though not intended by the founders of the Basic Law (Lehmbruch hypothesis), is an important topic of research on the political institutions of the Federal Republic. So far, however, it has remained difficult to pinpoint the exact degree of the dominance of party politics. The protocol of the plenary sessions of the Bundesrat does not register individual votes of the Länder. To test the degree of party politicization, research relied on data based on the party political composition of Land governments, and indirect evidence, such as the role of the reconciliation committee (Vermittlungsausschuss), statistical estimates, or case studies, and anecdotal evidence. Insights won in this way remain, however, remote from the locus of decision-making, the plenary sessions and the Bundesrat committees. The aim of the project is to bridge this gap by concentrating on the voting behaviour in the Bundesrat committees. Our analysis will be based on committee protocols accessible to the public. We focus on three periods, the 1950s, the 1970s, and the 2000 years. This allows us an in depth and at the same time panoramic view of party political influence on Bundesrat decisions. We test the results in a limited way for robustness by comparisons with the few cases where we know, how the Länder voted individually in the Bundesrat. We will also do some case studies and interviews for clarification.

Last updated on 2019-01-07 at 10:30

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