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PSC 3324- Germany Study Questions


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Compare stats for Germany to the US. How do the two compare in area of population? Which one is more urbanized?
A: area and population of Germany is significantly less than US

A: Germany is about 10% more urban than the US
Compare Germany to the US. Which is experiencing the highest population growth? What do figures on ethnicity and religion tell us about diversity in the two countries?
A: US has higher population growth

A: ethnicity of the US ins more diverse and the US seems to have more religious affiliation that does Germany
Compare economic figures of Germany and US. Which one has the highest GDP per capita? Does this change when adjusting for cost of living (PPP)?

A: no
Which of the two societies enjoys more equal distribution of wealth? What is a GINI index?
A: Germany

A: Index of inequality which runs from 0 (complete equality) to 100 (total inequality)
How do Germany and the US compare in exports and imports? How do health statistics compare? Who has the higher illiteracy rate?
A: Germany more imports and exports

A: Germans expected to live longer and have lower infant mortality rate.

A: The US- 21% Germany- 14%
Compare Germany's geographic location to the US. How can these difference alone account for some difference in political and economic development of these two states?
A: Germany is a smaller country surrounded by many other countries. It makes it easier to import and export items, but harder not to be influenced politically by the other countries.
Is Germany a resource-rich country? What types of resources is it lacking? How has this effected its history?
A: lacks all resources aside from iron ore and coal. Many of Germany's relationships revolve around gaining access to resources it lacks within its national borders.
How might the fact that "Germany" existed only as a set of small principalities until 1871 effect its development in the 20th century? Did Bismarck's coalition of wealthy landownders and Ruhr Valley industrialists promote the development of dem
A: uncertain geographic boundaries and religious division

A: no- they were nondemocratic
What conditions contributed to the peculiar course of German economic development during the turn of the century? Are elements of this course still evident today?
A: obtaining necessary raw materials and accessing world markets to sell finished goods; rapidly developed shipbuilding industry and navy to secure German economic and geopolitical interets

A: yes
Bismarck is sometimes considered to be the "father of the welfare state". What drove the development of German social services? Was Bismarck simply a compassionate human being? What does this suggest about the development of social welfare bene
A: a way to blunt the effects of rapid economic growth

A: no, it was a stratgedy saying that "if we don't provide these to workers, they will go red"
What is procedural democracy?
A: held regular elections and comprising multiple parties from far left to far right.
What were the flaws of the Weimar Republic? How did these facilitate the breakdown of governance and the rise of the Nazis?
A: the political parties and social forcers as well as communists on the left refused to accept legitimacy of democratic govt; govt forced to print worthless Reichmarks due to inflation

A: Nazis took advantage of a deepening economic crisis.
Read the account of Hitler's centralization and economic policies. If these were indeed so brutal to the masses (pre-WWII), then how could Hitler be so popular?
A: he blammed things on the communist party
Which society appeals to provide the most opportunities for women? Germany or the US?
What were the main tasks facing post-WWII Germany? How might interests of the occupying allied forces and Soviet Union have shaped these tasks?
A: restoring nation statehood, establishment of govt. system, reuniting east and west

A: give them advice on how they should do it, why, etc. push them in direction of reunification
Was the split between the FRG and GDR intended to last as long as it did?
Yes, it came much sooner than it expected and sooner than most Germans wanted
How did developments in the FRG mitigate some of the problems evident during the interwar period?
A: The FRG was so far ahead of the GDR, it caused the GDR to have a lot of unemployment and poverty. Also, the FRG ended up having to endure extremely high taxes.
What is democratic corporatism? How does it differ from labor relations in the US? Which method do you fell is more effective?
A: rand and file democratic participation

A: labor, capital and state

A: the Germans method of corporatism
What legacies did the socialist economy in the GDR leave for post unification Germany?
A: the GDR thought they were strongest of eastern european commy economies but once the borders fell, the east economy was far more backwards than thought
What is the "catch-22" (no win situation) of German foreign policy?
A: fear of a too powerful Germany and economic giant- political dwarf syndrome--accused of benefiting from strong world economy for much of the past 50 years
Why are Germans so eager to promote the European Union?
A: the EU will enable it to do things and take on needed political responsibilities that it would be unable to do on its own
What might be some negative effects of Germanys deeper integration into "Europe"?
A: might threaten economic and political stability they had so long prized during first 50 years of Federal Republic

A: does it threaten what it means to be German?
Examine each of the four KK&J themes as they relate to Germany.
A World of States
A: late unification accompanied by war created state that caused tremendous fear
Governing the Economy
A: pursuit of fast economic growth produced aggressive state where econ and politica needs overlapped
The Democratic Idea
A: not obtained until 1918 despite democratic constitution
Politics of Collective Identity
A: emphasizes collective action not individualism
What lessons can we dram from post-war experiences in currect and future "democracy building efforts?" What are dangers of drawing such lessons?
A: don't rush into anything or any decisions; take advise from many countries

A: although we should learn from the past, not always the best idea to follow all the roads of the past
Compare German and American financial and business practices. What are some advantages of Germany's "organized capitalism"? Disadvantages?
A: does not emphasize individual entrepreneurship rather relies on organized network of small and large businesses

A: you never have the "boom and bust" economy which is fine without the bust but you never have the boom either so people aren't as rich, not as much money to work with in the society
What is Gerschenkron's "late industrialization" (aka economic backwardness) thesis? How does it explain Germany's economic development? Can you think of any other "late industrializers"?
A: Germany's transformation from quasi feudal society to highly industrialized one during latter 2-3rds of 19th century was characterized by explicit coordination among big businesses, a powerful universal banking system, and govt.

A: to be competitive, the German state became a significant and powerful force in the German economy
We tend to see "state intervention in the economy" in terms of extreme: either an economic system is completely laizzes faire (relying solely on market economy forces as is theoretically the case in the US) or some form of "socialism"
A: it is indirect and supportive rather than heavy-handed and overly regulatory. the relationship between state and marked in Germany is neither free market nor state dominant. Rather a state sets clear groudrules, but allows market forces to work relatively unimpeded within general framework of govt supervision.

What other innovations has Germany implemented in the following areas:
A. Vocational training and apprenticeship
B. Research and development
C. Relations between banks and industry
A: emphasis on high skills in key export- oriented manufacturing industries

A: adapt existing technologies to traditional sectors and refine already competitive sectors

A: both a bankers bank, in that it set interest rates, and the agency that determined the amount of money in circulation
How did the actions of Germany's Bundesbank once again reflect the legacies of Germany's interwar period? What happened to the Bundesbank at the end of the century?
A: preferred low inflation, both because this is a traditional demand of all central bankers and because of Germany's history of ruinous inflation during the Weimar Republic.

A: disagreed on economic policy repeatedly in the years since unification
Bismarck developed Germany's welfare state in order to appease labor and head off the various leftist movements of the day. What were some of the underlying causes for the development of Germany's welfare state after 1945?
A: they learned that in order not for the workers to go on strike they would have to give them what they wanted so they gave them benefits ect, not because Bismarck was a nice guy, rather just so not to make the workers mad
How has the European Christian social tradition contributed to the shape of Germany's social welfare system?
A: Roman Catholic and Protestant churches both advocate public spending for services as a responsibility of the strong for the welfare of the weak
What is the "crisis" of Germany's modern wefare state?
A: during the mid-1970's when unemployment grew from 1 or 2% to 4% and when some social welfare measures were capped (but not reduced)
How has unification contributed to this crisis?
A: Since the 1980's continued high unemployment (by German standards) and the costs of support for workers who had depleted their benefits presented difficult dilemmas for the welfare state.
Where is the primary "fault line" within the German labor force?
A: German jobs tend to be highly paid, so employers have tried to avoid creating part-time jobs, preferring to wait to hire until the need for employees is sustainable.
Who are the Gastarbeiter? What role have they played in German economic development?
A: guest workers from southern Europe

A: the economic boom lasted so long that by the time the economy did turn down in the mid-1970's, it was difficult for these so-called guests to return to homes in which they had not lived for a decade or more
What challenges do women face within Germany's economy? How has the European Christian tradition affected women's role in society and the economy?
A: In the East, women have made far greater social and economic progress than in the West.

A: women's benefits in Germany society have been tied more to their roles within the family than as individuals; harder for wome to achieve positions of power and responsibility as individuals than it is for their American counterparts.
Think about the generation gap in Germany. How does it affect attitudes towards the economy and political system? How was this gap played out in Germany: Reluctant Nation?
A: the younger part is the so-called "postmaterialist" social movement which focuses on lifestyle concerns rather than bread-and-butter economic issues. Combination of low birthrate and increasing age of the baby boom generation means fewer younger workers will be contributing to the welfare and retirement benefits of an increasingly elderly population
The EU is in part intended to promote a strong economy throughout Europe, but what might its effects be on specific states? Where does Germany fit within European foreign policy?
A: the preoccupation of Germany with its immediate domestic issues and the German specific nature of the institutions of its political economy have partially diminished the luster of German style policies for a Europe increasingly defined by the EU.
Where does Germany fit within European foreign policy?
A: Some suggest that the pressures of competing in a globalized world economy have made the German-specific patterns of the country's political economy more of a liability than an asset.
What is the difference between Grundgesetz and Verfassung?
A: Grundgestez is Basic Law
A: Verfassung is constitution

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