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that could not be overridden, and so individuals would only give their consent to be ruled by a state which had a mechanism for self-limiting its power by, for example, having an independent judiciary to check that the government respected the rights of each individual ( Locke 1966  ). Rousseau took this idea of individuals contracting to obey a common authority further by conceiving it as not just a foundational act, but as a process of democratic lawmaking by citizens. For him, this meant that that the conditions for the emergence of law in an assembly had
Constitutional politics seemingly corroborate the assumption that Germany is a Grand Coalition state. In this perspective German cooperative federalism and the supermajority required for any amendment to the constitution privilege bargaining and intertwined policy-making as modes of conflict resolution and thus support grand coalitions. In this paper I will explore whether this theory can explain constitutional politics in the German Länder. Firstly, I examine how far sub-national constitutional politics match the functioning of cooperative federalism that is a defining feature of the Grand Coalition state. Secondly, I examine sub-national constitutional politics in the five new Länder and bring the role parties played in this policy field to the fore. Overall, I conclude that cooperative federalism did not impact on constitutional politics in East Germany and that the features of consensus democracy are only partly able to explain law-making in this sector.
Werner Vandenbruwaene, Patricia Popelier and Christine Janssens
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