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Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint$
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Kenneth Dyson and Klaus Goetz

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262955

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262955.001.0001

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Economic Policies: From Pace-Setter to Beleaguered Player

Economic Policies: From Pace-Setter to Beleaguered Player

(p.200) (p.201) 10 Economic Policies: From Pace-Setter to Beleaguered Player
Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Kenneth Dyson

British Academy

This chapter traces how rapidly evolving mechanisms of EU governance have affected German economic policy since the Treaty of Maastricht was agreed in 1991. Its central theme is the transition of Germany from ‘pace-setter’ in the constitutive politics of designing EMU to ‘beleaguered player’ in the regulative politics of its implementation, from Germany as policy model to Germany as the main problem. Europeanization has both reinforced traditional policy beliefs in ‘sound’ finance and acted as a catalyst for domestic policy reforms by strengthening the domestic discourse of competitiveness. It has also led to significant pressures for institutional reconfiguration, notably within the federal executive, federal-state relations, and the Bundesbank. The chapter questions the traditional assumption of a goodness of ‘fit’ between German and EU economic policies, in part because of unintended effects from the EMU and in part because, despite emphasis on a consensus about the ‘social market’ economy, Germany lacks a unitary economic policy model.

Keywords:   EU governance, German economic policy, Europeanization, EMU

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