Der offene Bundesstaat

New book publication:

Bardo Fassbender        


Der offene Bundesstaat - Studien zur auswärtigen Gewalt und zur Völkerrechtssubjektivität bundesstaatlicher
Teilstaaten in Europa
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007 (Reihe "Jus Publicum", Bd. 161)
XVII, 495 Seiten, Leinen € 99.00
ISBN 978-3-16-149218-1 

The Federal State as an Open System

The Foreign Relations Powers and the International Legal Personality of State Members or Federal States in Europe

Short Description

The author analyses in detail the foreign relations powers and the international legal personality of the German Länder, or individual states, which is integral to the federal system established in Germany after World War II. He also examines the international legal status of sub-national state entities in other European countries (namely Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy) and, in contrast, the United States of America. In his view, the international legal personality of such entities is a characteristic feature of a specifically European type of federal state. The comparatively strong position in international law which the German Constitution of 1949 (the "Basic Law") accorded to the Länder can only be understood against the background of German constitutional history of the 19th and 20th century. The Basic Law is standing in a tradition characteristic of German federalism, beginning with the constitution of the German Empire of 1871 and continued by the "Weimar Constitution" of 1919. The line of continuity can even be traced back to the Holy Roman Empire and to the German revolution of 1848 with its (eventually unsuccessful) project of a federal constitution drafted by the Parliament in Frankfurt. Based on a careful study of the history of constitutional and international law, the present work also contributes to a solution of long-standing differences of opinion with regard to the constitutional distribution of the foreign relations powers between the Federal Government on the one hand, and the Governments of the German Länder on the other hand.
 Contents (Chapters only) 
Chapter 1: The "Open Federal State" in Europe
Chapter 2: Beginnings: The Invention of the International Legal Personality of the German Länder at the Time of the Formation of the German Empire (1866-1871)
Chapter 3: The Long Way to the Federal State: Foreign Relations Powers of the German Territories and States from the Peace of Westphalia (1648) until the Foundation of the Empire (1870-71)
Chapter 4: The "Very Best Days": The Foreign Relations Powers of the Individual German States at the Time of the Empire (1871-1918)
Chapter 5: Democratisation and Centralisation: The Foreign Relations Powers of the Länder under the Constitution of Weimar (1919-1933)
Chapter 6: Foreign Relations in the "Open Constitutional State": The Foreign Relations Powers of the German Länder since 1949
Chapter 7: Stability versus Pluralism? The "Open Federal State" in the International Legal Order of Today
By Way of Conclusion: A Look into the Future of the Place of Federal States in International Law
Subject Index and Index of Persons and Places