Poli330 Chap3&4


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Political Science 330
Germany and France

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Poli330 Chap3&4

  1. 1. France v Germany
  2. 2. <ul><li>FRANCE </li></ul><ul><li>Pop: 59.8 million </li></ul><ul><li>Political system: unitary republic, semipresidential system </li></ul><ul><li>Executive: dual – president, PM </li></ul><ul><li>Legislature: Bicameral (Senate & National Assembly) </li></ul><ul><li>Judiciary: Constitutional Council (9 member) </li></ul><ul><li>GERMANY </li></ul><ul><li>Pop: 82.4 million </li></ul><ul><li>Political system: parliamentary democracy (16 federal states) </li></ul><ul><li>Executive: chancellor is head of government, ceremonial president head of state </li></ul><ul><li>Legislature: Bicameral Bundestag – lower house and Bundesrat – upper house </li></ul>
  3. 3. France – regime history <ul><li>Ancien regime (Bourbon monarchy) before 1789 </li></ul><ul><li>French Revolution 1789 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different revolutionary regimes until 1799 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Republic in 1792 was first modern European regime based on concept that all citizens, regardless of social background, were equal before law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consulate & First Empire – Napoleon – 1800-1814 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Napoleonic Code of Law – detailed legal framework </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Restoration (of monarchy) 1814-1830 </li></ul><ul><li>July Monarchy – 1830-1848 – Louis Philippe </li></ul><ul><li>Second Republic – 1848-1851 </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Second Empire (Louis Napoleon) 1852-1870 </li></ul><ul><li>Third Republic – 1871-1940 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created after civil war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parliamentary with weak executive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vichy regime during WWII – collaborated with Nazis </li></ul><ul><li>Fourth Republic – 1946-1958 </li></ul><ul><li>Fifth Republic – since 1958 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current president Nicholas Sarkozy </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Most of 19 th & early 20 th c – France preserved political & economic stability at cost of modernization </li></ul><ul><li>Slow growth of French population </li></ul><ul><li>Large peasantry until 20 th c – inhibited industrialization </li></ul><ul><li>Underdeveloped entrepreneurial spirit – excelled at luxury goods – not mass production </li></ul>
  6. 6. Germany – regime history <ul><li>First German state – Holy Roman Empire – Charlemagne – 800 A.D. (First Reich) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two factors hindered German state formation: uncertain geographic boundaries & religious division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Junkers – reactionary noble landlords eastern Prussia – promoted patriotic military, honor, duty, service to state </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Reich – 1871-1918 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authoritarian regime – democratic in appearance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary goal – rapid industrialization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ scramble for Africa” failed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Count Otto von Bismarck – German chancellor from 1871-1890 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kaiser Wilhelm II – abdicated at end of WWI </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Weimar Republic – 1919-1933 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Democratic Party (SPD) – procedural democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple political parties – far left to far right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flaw - parties did not accept legitimacy of democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treaty of Versailles - reparations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Depression – mark devalued </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third Reich – 1933-1945 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adolf Hitler – leader of Nazi party 1920, chancellor of Germany in 1933 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of free speech, free press </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nazi-dominated cabinet – sweeping powers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Divided Germany – 1945-1990 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cold War tensions - division – Federal Republic of Germany (West) vs German Democratic Republic (East) – communist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Berlin Wall built 1961 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenge of German unification – 1990-1998 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Berlin Wall opened 1989 – formal unification took place one year later </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unification strained Germany’s budget and democratic institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Germany in Euro Era – 1998-present </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Germany is economic anchor of EU concerns that open borders and immigration will erode what it means to be “German” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Organization of State – France & Germany
  10. 10. France <ul><li>Fifth Republic – semipresidential system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines elements of presidential & parliamentary systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both president & parliament popularly elected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dual executive: president appoints a prime minister and government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parliament can vote motion of censure – which can force government to resign </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Executive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>France first major country to adopt semipresidential system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other countries have since adopted this – Russia, Austria, Finland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Iceland, Iraq </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>President is head of state, but also has policy-making & executive power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prime minister & cabinet appointed by president but responsible to parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>President powerful because </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personalities – Charles de Gaulle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Powers conferred by constitution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Political practices of Fifth Republic – but government, not president, still first policy-making institution </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Legislature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bicameral: National Assembly & Senate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National Assembly – passes legislation, and can force government to resign by voting censure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power diminished in Fifth Republic - especially limited powers of oversight and budgetary process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive can dissolve National Assembly before five-year term ends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive cannot dissolve Senate – but Senate lacks powers of National Assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Senators elected by mayors & town councilors – nine-year terms </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Two major parties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Started with De Gaulle, became dominant again with Chirac in 1995 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes current president Sarkhozy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parti socialiste (PS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prominent in the 1980s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsored sweeping reforms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key support from civil servants, low-income groups, educated professionals </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Issues in France <ul><li>Pride in concepts of liberty, equality, fraternity </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive welfare state programs – cradle to grave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent public schools – free university education for qualifying stuents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public housing, rent subsidies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum wage higher than U.S. – six weeks paid vacation a year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Polls show 63% of French believe their country is in decline </li></ul><ul><li>Largest number of Muslims (5 million) and Jews (500,000) of any country in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Antiglobalization movement – Jean-Marie Le Pen -anti-immigrant, anti-semitic sentiment </li></ul>
  15. 15. Germany <ul><li>Federal system – 16 states with considerable power </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary democracy – similar to Britain and Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Chancellor (executive/head of government) is also head of leading party in Bundestag (legislature) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current chancellor Angela Merkel </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Executive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Head of state, weaker position than chancellor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role more ceremonial than political </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>President chosen by proportional representation in Federal Convention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chancellor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The “real” leader </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Elected by majority of members of Bundestag </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forms a cabinet of ministers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Powerful in federal, state & local governments </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Legislature: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper house – Bundesrat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Officials elected or appointed to regional (Lander) governments) 69 members from 16 states </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower house – Bundestag </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Members elected directly - 614 seats– voters choose individual district representatives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two ballot electoral system – tends to produce multiple political parties – but minor parties tend not to gain significant members </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personalized proportional representation – citizens cast two votes on each ballot - allocation of seats in Bundestag depends on portion of votes parties obtain </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Germany often called a party democracy because parties so important in shaping state policy </li></ul><ul><li>Major parties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Democratic Party (SPD) – moderate-left </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Democratic (CDU or CSU in Bavaria) – moderate-right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller centrist Free Democratic Party (FDP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now many smaller parties complicating politics </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Issues in Germany <ul><li>Continuing issues after unification </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid expansion of EU – at odds with traditional German economy </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Immigration – conflict among ethnic groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rise of right-wing violence – has education, media addressed Nazi past? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender issues – women lag behind in advancement in business </li></ul>