- A Dual Centre? Executive Politics Under the Second Grand Coalition in Germany
- German Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 3-4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article analyses executive politics under the second Grand Coalition in Germany with a particular emphasis on the role of the Chancellor and her Office. It applies a principal-agent framework to examine how the two parties in government affected the power relations within the executive. Next to external features such as the coinciding G8 and EU presidency as well as the global financial and economic crisis, particular institutional features structuring these delegation relationships, i.e. the partisan composition of the government and the rules for cabinet decision-making, account for the dynamics in executive politics during the second Grand Coalition. Initially, the traditional prerogatives of a German Chancellor were restricted and two hubs for executive coordination emerged for directing cabinet members from both government parties. The G8 and EU presidency in 2007 weakened the parties' influence and enabled the Chancellor and her Office to centralise executive politics. When the global financial and economic crises hit Germany in 2008, executive politics shifted towards a concentration of power at the Chancellery and the Ministry of Finance, also balancing the interests of both catch-all parties in government to engage in crisis management.
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