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Germany's Difficult Passage to Modernity: Breakdown, Breakup, Breakthrough

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Series
Volume 4

Policies and Institutions: Germany, Europe, and Transatlantic Relations



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Germany's Difficult Passage to Modernity

Breakdown, Breakup, Breakthrough

Edited by Carl Lankowski

208 pages, index

ISBN  978-1-57181-211-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 1999)

ISBN  978-1-57181-282-7 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (December 2001)

eISBN 978-1-78238-990-3 eBook

https://doi.org/10.3167/9781571812117


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Reviews

"... addresses a wide array of issues that are central to the study of German history and contemporary politics and society, and it does so in a way that is conceptually interesting, innovative, and provocative."  · German Politics and Society

"The book is rich and merits attention from people working in the area."  · Economic and Industrial Democracy

Description

Germany's institutional anatomy, its norms, and the spirits that animate it can only be properly understood if one takes into account such factors as its economic power and central position within Europe. This volume traces the difficult passage of German society to modernity, offering new perspectives on the "German question," largely characterized by the absence of key ideological underpinnings of democracy in the early modern period and a constitutional exceptionalism on the eve of the 20th century. The essays describe the organizational infrastructure and behavioral norms that account for the success of Germany's postwar economy and polity, but also register the tensions between the increasingly individualist outlook of post-1968 Germans and the country's highly organized and ritualistic decision-making structures, which often severely test the democratic foundations of the republic.

However, Germany is not unique in its efforts to find a balance between traditional and modern forces that have shaped its history. This volume demonstrates that Germany's experience, past and present, teaches broader lessons that speak to the central concerns of our time: what are the historical precursors of and vital attitudes towards democracy? How much structural variation will be feasible in political economies embedded in Europe after the introduction of the Euro and in the context of economic and other globalization? The considerable insights into these questions provided by this volume celebrate the inspiration given to colleagues and students who have worked with Andrei S. Markovits, to whom it is dedicated.

Carl Lankowski is Coordinator of European Area Studies at the Foreign Services Institute, Arlington, Virginia.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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