The Conceptions of the Drafters of the Weimar Constitution with Regard to the Powers of the President

Condon, Sebastian (2010). The Conceptions of the Drafters of the Weimar Constitution with Regard to the Powers of the President Honours Thesis, School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
GRMN_hons_CONDON_Sebastian_2010.pdf GRMN_hons_CONDON_Sebastian_2010.pdf application/pdf 394.59KB 673
Author Condon, Sebastian
Thesis Title The Conceptions of the Drafters of the Weimar Constitution with Regard to the Powers of the President
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Wilkes, Geoff
Total pages 88
Abstract/Summary An understanding of the causes behind the development of authoritarian government in Germany in the late 1920s and the 1930s, and the collapse of democracy during that period, is integral to any study of twentieth-century German history. The President’s use of the wide-ranging executive powers which were granted to him by the Weimar Constitution is generally recognised as one of those causes, and analysis as to why the Constitution defined the Presidency as it did is central to any investigation of the downward trajectory of democratic government during the Weimar Republic. The extensive literature on this issue generally posits that the predominantly liberal drafters – the most influential of whom were associated with the German Democratic Party – did not realise in 1919 the difficulties inherent in the granting of the presidential powers which are recognised by scholars in the field today. This thesis re-examines that understanding and argues the need for a more differentiated and more nuanced approach. With particular reference to primary source material – specifically the relevant debates of the National Assembly as well as the contemporary writings of Hugo Preuß and Max Weber – the thesis suggests that the liberal drafters understood the potential for abuse of the provisions regarding the President’s executive powers, and indeed that it is possible they may have desired some form of semi-authoritarian outcome. These conclusions have implications, not only for historical understandings of the causes which contributed to the rise of authoritarian government in Germany in the late Weimar Republic, but also for the drafters of the Constitutions of contemporary emerging democracies.

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 78 Abstract Views, 671 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Thu, 14 Apr 2011, 10:26:42 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies