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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Germany: From “Guilds of Notables” to Political Class

Germany: From “Guilds of Notables” to Political Class

(p.142) 8 Germany: From “Guilds of Notables” to Political Class
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Jens Borchert (Contributor Webpage)

Lutz Zeiss

Oxford University Press

The professionalization of politics in Germany was hindered by the explicit rejection of legislative salaries in the German constitution until 1906. Thus, it was the Social Democratic Party and various interest groups that provided organizational and financial resources for early professionalization. Parties were strengthened from the Weimar Republic on, leading to Germany being politically dominated by parties today. Professional politicians today are primarily to be found in the federal Parliament (‘Bundetag’) and the highly professional state legislatures. Mostly, they are party regulars, which is reenforced by the strong role of parties in the polity and by the electoral system linking political careers to intra-party decision-making.

Keywords:   backbenchers, civil service, federalism, Germany, local experience, notables, office cumulation, party organization, political careers, political class, reform debates, remuneration, role of interest groups

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