This title was first published in 2003. This insightful book examines how the challenge of reunification has been met at the local level in Germany. In doing so, it clarifies a number of central issues about the governance process in modern democratic political systems under strain. A National Challenge at the Local Level first describes who governs and how they govern at the local level. It then reveals the principal underlying political values of both elites and citizens and describes the ways in which they differ. It provides a rational explanation for the differences in these political values, particularly between the two major regions of Germany. Finally, it reveals the basis for the differences in how well local governments perform.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Local political and administrative elites: roots and roles; Ideological values of elites and citizens; Problem-ridden and conflict-riven; Social capital, institutional structures and democratic performance; Conclusion; Appendix: the German local elite and citizen surveys; Bibliography; Index.
'How and to what extent is political performance shaped by political culture and political structure? In his "A National Challenge at the Local Level" Cusack makes an important theoretical and empirical contribution to this fundamental problem. The book is a must for all those who are interested in the study of the interplay between culture, structure and political decision-making.' Professor Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Free University, Berlin, Germany '...Cusack tackles interesting and controversial issues and many of his conclusions are empirically well grounded. He produces a wealth of data...The book does not lack for empirical ballast...' German Politics '...a unique contribution...A seemingly dry subject has been made interesting through an empirical approach. An ideal reading to discover the growth of institutions and political value systems in reunified Germany, turning their difficulties into opportunities for economic vitality.' USI Journal '...Cusack tackles interesting and controversial issues and many of his conclusions are empirically well grounded. He produces a wealth of data on everything from the ages of sub-national elites to perceptions of the main problems that local communities face.' German Politics