Max Weber and federal democracy

This paper draws attention to Max Weber’s commitment to federal democracy in a series of newspaper articles in 1917, which he wrote in the face of Germany’s military dictatorship.  He argued for the division of executive, administrative and political functions between the Reich and the separate German states, not unlike the constitution of today’s German federal state. Weber advances a number of process arguments about how large states within a confederation are able to exert control that is insufficiently accountable to parliaments. It is suggested his views on federal democracy can be used as a critique of hegemonic and undemocratic features of today’s European Union.

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The Global Policy Institute is a research institute on international affairs. It is based in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of international thinkers, academics as well as policy and business professionals. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.

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