Marching in line through the crisis or setting one’s own course in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic? A comparison of six policies, 16 states and two shutdowns in the German federation

Marching in line through the crisis or setting one’s own course in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic? A comparison of six policies, 16 states and two shutdowns in the German federation

When combating the pandemic, federations face the additional challenge that the responsibilities for political actions do not reside in one hand but are divided between several governments. Therefore, during the Covid-19 pandemic all federations showed efforts to coordinate their reactions. In Germany, the ‘Länder’ (states) decided on agreements concerning containment measures during regular conferences. These agreements led to uniform regulations in some periods and policies, but still left room for the states’ own (and potentially different) strategies and decisions in others. Thus, from the perspective of federalism research, the question arises as to how much diversity can finally be found in the regulations at the subnational level. We examine this question using the periods of facility closures in six policies (restaurants, bars, dance clubs, cinemas, gyms, and gambling halls) covering all 16 states and both shutdowns during 2020-2021. The results show substantial variance between states (across policies) and between policies (across states).

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ISSN: 2036-5438
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