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British political science and the study of German politics

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The British study of the political system of the Federal Republic has evolved through four main phases, which have been dominated, respectively, by an interest in democratic consolidation; the foundations of Modell Deutschland; challenges to governability; and the effects of unification. In their substantive emphases, British contributions have spanned the Federal Republic's political system as a whole, although politics and public policy (in particular European integration and foreign policies) have received more sustained attention than polity issues. British perspectives have benefited from porous disciplinary boundaries, sensitivity to the historical foundations of the political system, comparative awareness, and theoretical and methodological pluralism. These qualities may not amount to a distinct 'British school' of studying German politics; but they have enabled British political science to make a very distinguished contribution to research and critical reflection on the Federal Republic's political system.

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