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Intergenerational Justice Award 2009/2010 PDF Print E-mail

Intergenerational Justice Award of the FRFG

The fifth award 2009/2010 will treat the topic: “Possibilities and limits of cooperative problem solutions in party democracies” A breakdown of the topic follows bellow.

Possibilities and limits of cooperative problem solutions in party democracies

The decision making procedures are of a high complexity in the political system of Germany. Even coalition partners of a multi-party government are representing different points of view according to their own political interests when elections are approaching. When the majorities in the Parliament and the Federal Assembly differ, the opposition becomes a veto player. The intertwining of federal and regional competences makes a party politically motivated blockade possible. Often parties use the media, associations and unions to mobilise resistance against planned decisions. Financial cuts and long-term decisions especially fall victim to the party competition. In the short term it does not appear rational to support unpopular decisions but to sharpen the party’s profile by representing the particular interests of voters. These mechanisms sometimes impede a topic oriented cooperation. The lack of costly reforms in the education sector as well as the giving up on climate protection aims in order to further backward industries illustrate that often long-term measures are blocked by single parties. Especially future and succeeding generations are thus discriminated through a lack of topic oriented party cooperation. How can such a cooperation of the parties be furthered, and how can the reflexes to oppose be contained?

This years award is focused on the German political system, thus the papers are available in German only. Please refer to our German website for further information.