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Momentum of Federalism? National, State, and Municipal Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_7

Author / Authors:

  • Sascha Krannich


First Online: 04 May 2022
Part of the Local and Urban Governance book series (LUG)


This chapter outlines the various political responses and measures to handle the COVID-19 pandemic on the federal, state, and municipal levels in Germany. Here, I take also a look at measures toward migrants and refugees as specific examples of vulnerable groups who are particularly affected by federal and state responses during the pandemic. In addition, I discuss to what extent the concept of federalism was rather beneficial or more debilitating in this political process of finding the right responses and measures. I refer to legal provisions—passed by the federal German government and by 16 member states and various selected cities and municipalities—as well as publications of leading research institutions, which had major impacts on political decisions, and media reports between the beginning of March 2020 and early March 2021. For lack of space, I focus only on the most relevant responses and measures. The findings refer to the following central points: The pandemic politicized Germany enormously and provoked an extremely active legislation of federal and state governments and local entities. While most of the political responses were successful until late summer 2020, federal and state governments struggled to find the right measures during fall and winter 2020/2021. Overall, federalism was so far more an advantage than a disadvantage to manage the pandemic crisis politically.

Cite this chapter
Krannich, S. (2022). Momentum of Federalism? National, State, and Municipal Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany. In: Nunes Silva, C. (eds) Local Government and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Local and Urban Governance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_7


  • Book Chapter