Handbook of Political Party Funding
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Handbook of Political Party Funding

Edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Scrutinizing a relatively new field of study, the Handbook of Political Party Funding assesses the basic assumptions underlying the research, presenting an unequalled variety of case studies from diverse political finance systems.
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Chapter 13: Germany: current issues of an aging party finance regime

Manuela S. Blumenberg, Karl-Heinz Nassmacher and Holger Onken


Political finance regulation in Germany dates back to the 1940s. First, a constitutional rule called for transparency of party funds (1949). Second, a law stipulated details for transparency and public subsidies (1967). Third, an improvement of previous rules established the current regime. No significant changes have been instituted since 1994. Twenty years later the most important problem of German party finance is an aging regulation. The chapter shall emphasize three issues that were foreseen when the Political Parties Act was drafted, redrafted and amended: 1) Why are corporate donations just a minor source of party funding? 2) How do local chapters raise funds for their routine and campaign activities? 3) Is the access to public funding really fair to newcomers? Empirically based answers to these questions lead to surprising insights that may or may not result in further improvements to rules which have shown their metal over two decades.

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