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About the Project

"Political cohesion under conditions of fiscal scarcity – German federalism in the time of COVID-19"

COVID-19 has posed serious challenges to social and political cohesion in societies across the globe. Federal systems, where multiple levels of government are involved in efforts to control the spread of the virus, face particular difficulties when it comes to coordinating coherent responses. Coping with the crisis requires both a holistic response and tailor-made regional and local measures. This project investigates how German federalism has been managing the containment of the virus, and how it is managing fiscal scarcity caused by the extensive support packages.

Focusing in on the German case, which serves as a prime example of cooperative federalism, this research proposal answers the following questions: How do governments at both federal levels employ the institutions of cooperative federalism in times of crisis? More specifically: To what extent do incumbents adopt opportunistic strategies in federal negotiations? How do they legitimate these strategies in public discourses? Which safeguards are needed to make federal democracy more resilient?

Against the background of increasing conflict, this project will review prevalent assumptions about the latent dysfunctionalities of federalism. Since federal elections and six Länder elections will be held in 2021, this year offers a unique opportunity to explore the problem of opportunism in times of fiscal scarcity. The database will comprise protocols of parliamentary debates on financing the support packages, propositions, etc. Beyond the analysis of political texts through qualitative and semi-qualitative approaches such as discursive network analysis (DNA), we aim to collect the data in machine-readable formats to enable subsequent analyses through text-as-data approaches.

Publications

  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris (2022). Zusammenhalt im Bundesstaat. Bundesfreundliche und opportunistische Argumentationsstrategien in der Pandemie. In: dms – der moderne staat – Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management, 15(1-2022), online first, 1-22. Open Access - https://doi.org/10.3224/dms.v15i1.05 
  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris (2022). Prägt Opportunismus das föderale System? Herausforderungen des „bundesfreundlichen Verhaltens“ in der Corona-Krise. In: Wolfgang Muno, Christoph Wagner, Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach, Thomas Kestler (Hrsg.): Staat, Rechtsstaat und Demokratie. Wiesbaden: Springer, i.E.
  • Kropp, Sabine & Johanna Schnabel (2022). Germany’s Response to COVID-19: Federal Coordination and Executive Politics, in: Rupak Chattopadhyay, Felix Knüpling, Diana Chebenova, Liam Whittington, Phillip Gonzalez (eds): Federalism and the Response to COVID-19. A Comparative Analysis. Abingdon: Routledge, 84-94. Open Access - available here.
  • Kropp, Sabine (2020). Zerreißprobe für den Flickenteppich? Der deutsche Föderalismus in Zeiten von Covid-19. VerfassungsBlog, 26 May 2020. Open Access - available here.

Policy Brief

Presentations

  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris: "Kooperativer Föderalismus und politische Kommunikation in der Covid-19-Krise." Landesvertretung Schleswig Holstein, Berlin, 28 April 2022.
  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris: "Blame Games in der 'Mehrebenen-Koalitionspolitik' - Erkenntnisse aus der Corona-Pandemie." Conference, Sektion "Regierungssystem und Regieren in der BRD" (DVPW) and Schader-Stiftung, 30 and 31 March 2022.
  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris: "Kooperativer Föderalismus und politische Kommunikation in der Covid-19-Krise." Workshop, Themengruppe "Föderalismus" (DVPW), 24 March 2022.
  • Souris, Antonios:  "How to design a robust federation". Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 18 March 2022.
  • Kropp, Sabine, Christoph Nguyen & Antonios Souris: "Politische Kohäsion im Bundesstaat: Parlamente und Parteien in der Pandemie". Workshop, Special Issue "der moderne Staat" (dms), 10 and 11 June 2021. 
  • Kropp, Sabine & Antonios Souris: "Zusammenhalt im Bundesstaat? Bundesfreundliche und opportunistische Argumentationsstrategien in der Pandemie". Laws of Social Cohesion Retreat, Berlin University Alliance, 26 November 2021. 

Outreach

  • Interview with Prof. Sabine Kropp, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 28 November 2020 - online available here.
  • Interview with Prof. Sabine Kropp, Tagesthemen, 9 April 2021 - online available here.
  • Interview with Prof. Sabine Kropp, Interview with Tagesschau, 11 August 2021.

Masterthesis

  • Lamour, Eliane (2021). Parlamentsbeteiligung bei Corona-Verordnungen. Eine Analyse parlamentarischer Debatten und Initiativen in den Landesparlamenten in der „Stunde der Exekutive“. Masterarbeit, Berlin: FU Berlin.

Teaching

Vorlesungsverzeichnis
Bibliothek
SFB 700
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