The People Index (TPI) Germany A distinct democracy  with participatory limits Criterions of evaluation: TPI

A) Human Rights

1. Are all inhabitants respected as equal and free citizens?

According to the German constitution (articles 1 to 20), all citizens

are to be respected as free and equal. Also in practice, by and large,

the government respects all citizens. Equalization of women

meanwhile has been realized to a high degree. Indeed there are

certain limits:

There is still a distinct degree of wage differences between men

and women, disfavoring women. Indeed, German government,

particularly sofar based on Social Democrats, has announced to take

influence towards an equation of wages, such as by more

transparency; but Germany still belongs to the countries with the

biggest  discrepancy of wages between men and women in



Indeed, there are minory political forces pro a strict blockade of

immigration; meanwhile Germany, however, stands for being

exceedingly open for controlled immigration and foreigners. That   

constitutes a relevant international factor for a discussion about

global human rights.

Respect for all Inhabitants: 90%  

2. Are there fair and free procedures?

A well formulated constitution with a systematic catalogue of fair

juridical procedures for everyone (Rechtsstaat), a 65 years long

practice of fair and equal elections, usually fair procedures of

examination in schools and universitäties, an independent public

administration, and an exceeding significance of sports with fair and

free accessible procedures shape the dominating self-concept of

current Germany. Under these aspects Germany belongs to the most

developed democracies in the world. The practical institutional

strength, indeed, is relativized through a bundle of restrictions:

Even in lawsuits of criminal justic, deals between judge,

prosecutor, and culprit often take place - an unfairness towards third

(powerless) parties and an offense against fair law.

A long tradition of massive tax dodge has meanwhile 

significantly reduced through the increasing practice of buying up so-

called tax-cd’s with delicate bank data.and a tough public discussion.

Indeed, in many cases big business is still undergoing norms of tax

paying to  a great extent.

Strong lobbyism practically falses formally fair procedures to a

distinct degree in many policy-areas, particularly financial and bank

policy, war fare exports, car production, health policy and medicinical

products, energy policy, food and agricultural policy.

Corruption is also part of the social, economic, administrative,

and political reality in Germany. According to the Corruption

Perception Index, 2013 Germany reaches rank 12 out of 177

countries by a score of 78 between Highly corrupt (0) and Very clean

(100), 1 point worse than 2012. Recently massive forms of

administrative corruption have come to the


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Often combined with corruption and beyond, other criminal

activities happen to a distinct and partly  increasing degree, such as

activities of organized crime with drug commerce, international

money laundering, and forms of criminal violence. Policy activities,

indeed, have been intensifiedt to reduce those kind of criminality.

Basic rights of informational autonomy are no longer respected

by secret services of the USA and GB, practically accepted and even

fostered by German secret services. Those criminal activities focus

not only on citizens, but also on critical journalists, partly in favor of

certain firms - a mixture of corruption and iformational offense.


Even in the realm of completely legal governance unfair

procedures are no exception - see state universities and research with

ruling networks.

In sum: Although there is a committed public discussion on the issue

in Germany, distinct limitations of fairness are to be ascertained.

Fairness of Procedures: 55%

3. Are all national borders respected? 

In contrast to Nazi-Germany, West Germany (BDR) and GDR (East)

formally acknowledged and practically respected all given

international borders around them. That behavior has been

perceived and practised as core element of the European peace order

by reunited Germany.

Indeed individuals and organizations established in Germany belong

to the most innovative and active drivers of globalization - see

amongst others worldwide strategies of multinational firms based in

Germany (engineering firms, automobile firms, or chemical firms).

Particularly in developing countries at least latent conflicts between

those firms and domestic states respectively domestic population

punctually have been registered (such as in Brasil). Usually however

formal borders are respected.

Recently has come to the daylight that German secret services are

actively involved in criminal spying activities of the US secret services

not only against other European governments, but also against

economic firms. 

Score: Respect for International Borders: 80%

Summarized score: Human Rights  

(90+55+80)/3 = 75 % 

B) Participation

1. May the people elect and recall their government?

The electorate is entitled to choose parties and candidates to the

national parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), to subnational

parliaments (Länder), and to communal entities (Kommunen).

Because the elected deputies on their part may choose and recall a

chancler - recalling is only possible by the constructive vote of no

confidence, that is, by choosing a new chancler - there is indirect

sovereignty of the people.

Restrictions of that democratic capacity concern the choice of certain

persons: In Germany the electorate is only entitled to chose the half

of the mandates by personal election (in single one-member districts

per relative majority). The other half of deputies is elected by the

parliamentary parties. Through this reglementation deputies that

have been not elected by the people nevertheless can reach

parliamentary seats just by being sent from a party. 

A second restriction results from a 5% hurdle for parties to be

elected: Parties that gain less than 5% of all regular votes do not

reach the parliament - a quite usual reglementation in majority

election systems. Indeed, 5% are a higher hurdle than in some other

countries, such as Sweden or Netherlands.

Score Elections/Recalling: 78%

2. May the people participate in current decision-making?

In Germany, at national level, the people have no opportunity at all to

directly participate in decision-making. That complete exclusion of

direct democracy is unique in the European Union. At subnational

levels, in contrast, direct democratic decisions and initiatives not

seldom take place, although distinctly less often than in top countries

of direct democracy, such as Switzerland.

Free political communication, indeed, is guaranteed by constitution

(freedom of opinion, freedom of association, freedom of press a.s.f.).

Also in practice, current influence of political groups out of a broad

spectrum of opinions us usual in Germany. Indeed, there is astrong

political culture of journalists that interprete their own role not only

as reporting about public opinions, but also as forming up to

educating public opinion.

Finally, there have been going on two contradictional processes, a) a

process of increaing professional marketing of public policy making -

leading to a far-reaching exclusion of the aveage people from current

political process, b) the fast rising of the internet as influential basis

of politically relevant information and communication - opening up

new opportunities of expressing and publishing one’s ones’ opinions

for the people.

Altogether there are very limited opportunities of participating in

national politics for the people, while at sub-national levels there is a

better record.

Score: Participation in current decision-making: 50%  

3. How representative is the people’s representation?

The German government acceptedly represents the collective will of

the Germans. By its statistical structure the current German

parliament, elected in autumn 2013, however represents the people

only to a certain degree: By a population structure of about 1:1

between females and males, only 204 women have won mandats in

German Bundestag (national parliament) towards 416 men. Indeed

this portion has bee the highest one in the history of the German


Figure: Professional groups in German parliament



Another distinct disproportion concerns professional groups: In

German parliament traditionally members of the public service

(Öffentlicher Dienst/Beamte) are overrepresented. So this sector, that

makes about 11% of the population, covered 24% of the mandates in

1961, 50% in 1980, and 77% in 1994 - a grotesque disproportion.

Meanwhile (last election 2013) the overrepresentation of the public

sector in parliament has been reduced - although still 36% of the

deputies come from this sector (towards 11% in population).

 Score Representativity: 75%

Summarized score: Participation of the people 

(78+50+75)/3 = 67,7%


C) Coordination

1. Is there guaranteed peace?

Germany is firmly integrated in the European Union; it has

been a driving force of Europen integration aiming not only at

economic progress, but above all at establishing stable peace

amongst the European member-states. Germany, so far, benefits

from stable peace in Europe and constitutes a firm anchor of

enduring peace. 

Within its territory, Germany claims to dispose at an

effective monopoly on the use of force. That claim, indeed, is

not identical with completely protected peace in Germany:

In certain parallel cultures, such as Hooligans, rocker

gangs, and islamistic groups, the state monopoly on the

legitimated use of force is sometimes challenged. So a public

discussion on decreasing safety for Jews is currently going on.

Forms of criminal violence, such as robbery, murders,

hooligan violence, and other activities of brutal gangs, are

registered on a medium scale in international comparison.

There is a significant range of everyday violence below

criminality, particularly violence on school yards and around

schools, a statistically higher risk of violence against foreigners in

certain suburban and rural areas. Additionally also in Germany,

some political demonstrations imply violent activities.

Legal forms of force, particularly everyday force against

persons arrested or imprisoned in buildings of psychiatry, are

meanwhile heavily debated in public. So far data have come to

the daylight, Germany, particularly the German Free State 

Bavaria, show a middle-range record of illegitimate force in that


On the other side, violent force by teachers against pupils and

by parents against their children has been distinctly decreasing

during the past decades. A fundamental change from traditional

forceful to nonviolent ways of education has been taken place in

Germany. In sum, compared with peaceful everyday routine

processes, forms of illegitimate violence of the outlined sorts

constitute a relevant, but no prevailing phenomenon.

Score Peace Protection: 85%    

2. Is the public infrastructure sufficiently fostered?

Germany’s high economic performance is based on a well

developed infrastructure not only in the capital and urban

agglomeration areas, but across the country. Maintaining and

fostering this infrastructure, indeed, is an ongoing challenge that

has not been met to a completely satisfying degree. Particularly

the invested amount of capital for renewing roads, bridges, and

railway infrastructures has been distinctly lower than the

necessary amount during the last decade. Therefore there are

structurally rising risks of incidents and everyday damages.

Those deficits are contrasted with occurences of overpaying up

to completely senseless public projects - mostly induced by

distinct forms of corruption. In some cases, eventually, obvious

deficits of efforts combine with forms of overpaying and

corruption, such as in the case of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport

and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg.

Score Infrastructure: 80%

3. Is the economy well coordinated?

Germany is the biggest national economy of Europe and the

fourth economy of the world (2014). The German economy has

proven remarkably resilient in the face of recent crises.

Unemployment has reached post-unification lows, reflecting

ambitious reforms in the past decade. And the state houshold

for 2015 is planned to be completely balanced. So far it seems to

be obvious that the economy is well coordinated.


On the other side, there are some problematic features and

open challenges of the German economic policy: The German

economy has profited from its strong position in the European

Union, receiving massive cash flows from economically weaker

member-states. And Germany’s strictly cost lowering policy has

weakened the competitiveness of other European countries to a

certain degree (although the main criterion of competitiveness

is a global one). Finally a bunch of particularly strong economic

lobby groups comprises prominent German firms and

organizations, such as Deutsche Bank, multinational chemical

industry, and firms of the automobil



Score Economy: 90%

4. How evenly are the incomes distributed?

Income inequality (Gini-coefficient 28,3 in 2012)  has not

increased since 2004 and has remained lower than in most

OECD countries. Compared to the beginning 1980s, indeed, the

percentage of the highest percentile of all incomes has

massively risen, as in almost all OECD countries (OECD 2014).

The reasons were the distinct lowering of the top tax rate and

some other decreasing taxes.

According to a current study on German asset distribution,

exclusively published by Spiegel online 



German multimillionärs represent only 0.02 percent of total

population. They own 22.6 percent of the total assets, that is

about 2.58 trillions dollar - a particularly uneven distribution. So

in China multimillionairs only represent 7.3 Prozent, in the USA

12.5 percent of the total assets.

Poverty risk has increasingly affected employees with relatively

low employment protection or limited access to unemployment

insurance, as well as many part-time and self-employed

workers. The share of women working part-time is high. Youth

who have not graduated from upper secondary education face

poor lifetime income generating prospects. Education outcomes

continue to depend strongly on socio-economic background.

Score: Income Distribution: 60%

5.  Is health effectively protected?

     Life expectancy in Germany has massively risen during the

last decades. One background is a well-developed health

system. But there are very high expenditures with relatively low

results: See - at least - 40.000 fatalities through virus deseases

and bacteria in hospitals...

Score Health/Life expectancy: 86%

6. Are qualification and education, research &

development managed well?

Looking forward is a usual topic in public German politics, and

also many practical efforts are made to give the country a good

chance in the decades to come. But practical coordination in

these regards shows distinct deficits: Qualification processes

often are not flexibel enough to fastly respond to new demands

(example computer-based engineering, particularly information

technology). There is a fundamental deficit of wide-spread

political education - see the current susceptibility of young

persons for propaganda by ISIS.

Also research & development could be organized in a much

more dynamic way.

Score: Education/Research&Development: 80%

7. Ecological and financial sustainability?

Although environmental protection and sustainability are well-

established industries in Germany, practical energy policy and

automobile policy massively obstruct an effective climate

mitigation. Indeed, after having cumulated state household

deficits since the end of the 1960s until 2012, meanwhile a

completely balanced record of all public household has been

reached and is to be reproduced in the household years to


Score: Ecological and Financial Sustainability: 80%

Summarized score: Coordination for the people 

(90+80+85+60+86+80+80)/7 = 80.1%

Comprehensive Scores Germany

Human Rights: 75%

Participation: 67,7%

Coordination: 80.1%

Comprehensive Evaluation

Germany is a distinct democracy

with participatory limits

IPA Institute for Political Analysis Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz
0 20 40 60 80 100 Coordination Participation Human Rights TPI: Germany  (Functions in Percent) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Coordination Participation Human Rights TPI: Germany  (Functions in Percent)