chapter  9
14 Pages

Multiple Policy Scales and the Development of Parental Leave Policy in Germany

ByHeather MacRae

This chapter discusses the federalism in Germany. It considers alternatives to the federalism approaches, and concludes that a policy scales approach, borrowed from political geography can add new layers to the analysis. The chapter problematises the category of women and feminist activists in Germany and considers how various German women's organisations have mobilised through institutions and independently. It explores the case of parental leave policy to show the simultaneous localisation and Europeanisation of policy making has blurred the distinction between levels in shaping parental leave policy. The German federal system is generally described as co-operative federalism. This involves a relationship among the German federal government and its 16 constitutive units that is defined by joint jurisdiction and shared competencies. German parental leave policy has gone through several phases over the past two decades, becoming progressively more woman-friendly with each new phase.