Central government only undertakes tasks or makes decisions which localities cannot or which require uniform regulation.


The gravitational pull of power to the centre is one of the things designers of the German constitution had in mind at the end of the Second World War.


Germany had a certain fundamental and rather paradoxical advantage the UK lacks - they were defeated, along with Japan, and so their institutions were largely dissolved and reinvented in such a way as to avoid the accretion of power at the centre.


This is a version of this week's topic - Subsidiarity - and we look at the German model in depth, and why it has been so successful.


Talking points:



Historic backdrop of Subsidiarity


We need to reinvent local democracy


Executive mayor in Tubingen and the pandemic


How that looks in other countries


Trust in government and optimal population (+/- 5 Million)


Advantages of principle of subsidiarity


Hazards of disempowerment


Uniform regulation and local implementation in Germany


Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety and subsidiarity

...and child protection


Regional power, policy experimentation and learning



Links:


Good 2 min overview of Subsidiarity (youtube):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD0moAiq22k


Troves of info on Wikipedia:

Subsidiarity in general:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity


...and the Catholic Church:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity_(Catholicism)


Pope Pius XI's Quadragesimo anno:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadragesimo_anno


Great conversation on Local Government in the UK (youtube, 10 min):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO8c1Iy1VWE


Successes in the fight against Covid - (Panorama/ BBC iplayer):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000thry/panorama-covid-who-got-it-right

(Story about Tubingen 42:00 minutes in)


A new kind of democracy in Yorkshire (article):

https://www.shaping-community.co.uk


In depth archive on German law:

https://germanlawarchive.iuscomp.org/?p=380


...and a top-line view on Wikipedia:

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_government_in_Germany


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