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Germans born in the second decade of the last century will have been a subject of no less than six political regimes, seven if they lived in the former German Democratic Republic. Today, Germany’s democratic polity, pluralistic society, institutional structures, and market economy are growing increasingly strong. In clear and compelling prose, Hancock and Krisch argue that German politics today is the politics of a “normal” European democracy moving toward the EU. The authors discuss Germany’s course of modernization, which involves rapid industrialization and social development following the nation’s first unification in 1871 and its subsequent torturous course of political change embracing Imperial authoritarianism, the democratic experiment of the Weimar Republic, Nazi totalitarianism, and postwar variants of communism and Western-style democracy. Chapters detail the country’s political history, as well as its culture, new constitutional debates, parties, and economic policy, and culminate in a look at Germany in global context.
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About the Author
M. Donald Hancock is professor emeritus of political science at Vanderbilt University. He has previously taught at Columbia University, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, and the universities of Bielefeld and Mannheim in Germany. Hancock is the founding director of two centers for European Studies—the first at UT Austin and the second, founded in 1981, at Vanderbilt. The latter is now designated the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies (which Hancock has also served as associate director for outreach activities). He is the coauthor (with Henry Krisch) of Politics in Germany (2009), and co-editor and coauthor of Transitions to Capitalism and Democracy in Russia and Central Europe (2000), German Unification: Process and Outcomes (1994), and Managing Modern Capitalism: Industrial Renewal and Workplace Democracy in the United States and Western Europe (1991). Hancock has served as co-chair of the Council for European Studies and as president of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies and the Conference Group on German Politics. He is currently working on a collaborative study of economic, societal, and military security in the Baltic region.
Henry Krisch is professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He has published three books on Germany and numerous articles.