This work explores the German idea of federalism denoting "diversity within unity". Historians, linguists and political scientists examine how federalism emerged in the Holy Roman Empire, was re-shaped by 19th century cultural movements, and was adopted by the unified state in 1871 and again after 1945. The myth of federalism as a safeguard against totalitarianism is tested in regard to the Third Reich and the GDR. The book concludes with an outlook on German federalism's future in Europe.
MAIKEN UMBACH is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Manchester. Her award-winning thesis appeared as Federalism and Enlightenment in Germany, 1740-1806. She has published on various aspects of modern German political cultural history.