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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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The Bundestag: Institutional Incrementalism and Behavioural Reticence

The Bundestag: Institutional Incrementalism and Behavioural Reticence

(p.73) 4 The Bundestag: Institutional Incrementalism and Behavioural Reticence
Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Thomas Saalfeld

British Academy

This chapter explores the evidence of a mismatch between the perceived importance of democratic, representative EU politics at the German élite level and institutional design as well as political behaviour. It investigates the extent to which there has been a gradual process of Europeanization of representation at the institutional and behavioural levels. It examines how this adaptation has been mediated by institutional structures and traditions and why institutional adaptation to the growing quantity and qualitative importance of EU law has been so slow. It asks why German political behaviour in the process of democratic representation has been affected so little by European integration. The emphasis is less on the peculiarities of the EU as a political body than on the way elected politicians respond strategically to these structural constraints.

Keywords:   EU politics, German political behaviour, institutional design, Europeanization, European integration, democratic representation

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