Between joint project, institutional bargaining and symbolic politics: initiatives for federalism reform in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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In recent years, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have almost simultaneously embarked on a fundamental change of their federal constitutions. These reform attempts have not only varied in their final outcomes; they have also displayed considerable differences from the very outset. This paper argues that an ideal type classification—federalism reform as a ‘joint project’, ‘institutional bargaining’ or as ‘symbolic politics’—proves helpful in capturing the main procedural and policy-related characteristics of these three reform initiatives in a systematic manner. Recognizable differences result from the specific interplay between contextual changes, interest constellations of political decision-makers, and institutional preconditions.
Translated title of the contributionZwischen Gemeinschaftsprojekt, Tauschgeschäft und Symbolpolitik: die Initiativen zu Bundesstaatsreformen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz
Original languageEnglish
JournalZeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft
Issue number2, Supplement
Pages (from-to)77-101
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2012