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The Rise and Demise of German Statism: Loyalty and Political Membership

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The Rise and Demise of German Statism

Loyalty and Political Membership

Gregg Kvistad

256 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-161-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 1999)

eISBN 978-1-78920-580-0 eBook

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"There is no comparable treatment available in either English or German."  · William E.Paterson, Birmingham University

"No book approaches Kvistad's volume on German statism. It is hard to single out the best parts of this outstanding book. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above."  · CHOICE


German statism as a political ideology has been the subject of many historical studies. Whereas most of these focus on theoretical texts, cultural works, and vague "traditions", this study understands German statism as a functioning logic of political membership, a logic that has helped to determine who is "in" and who is "out" with regard to the German political community. Tracing statism from the early 19th century through German unification and beyond in the 1990s, the author argues that, with its central concern for a political loyalty that is vetted "from above," it historically served the function of stabilizing the political order and containing democratic mobilization. Beginning in the 1960s, however, a mobilized German democratic consciousness "from below" gradually rejected statism as anachronistic for informing political and policy debate, and German political institutions began to respond to kind.

Gregg Kvistad is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver.

Subject: History (General)
Area: Germany