Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany [Course Book ed.] 9781400820962

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Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany [Course Book ed.]
 9781400820962

Table of contents :
CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS
MAP OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE, 1871–1914
INTRODUCTION
PART ONE: SOCIAL THEORY, SOCIAL POLICY, AND THE STATE
PART TWO: THE PRUSSIAN-GERMAN STATE AND ITS SOCIAL POLICY
PART THREE: THE LOCAL STATE AND ITS SOCIAL POLICIES
APPENDIX. Table of Complete Regression Models for Poor-Relief Spending and Unemployment Insurance: German Cities
NOTES
REFERENCES
INDEX

Citation preview

Regulating the Social

E D I T O R S Sherry B. Ortner, Nicholas B. Dirks, Geoff Eley

T I T L E S

I N

S E R I E S

High Religion: A Cultural and Political History of Shepa Buddhism by Sherry B. Ortner A Place in History: Social and Monumental Times in a Cretan Town by Michael Herzfeld The Textual Condition by Jerome McGann Regulating the Social: The Welfare State and Local Politics in Imperial Germany by George Steinmetz

PRINCETON STUDIES IN CULTURE / POWER / HISTORY

Regulating the Social THE WELFARE STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS IN IMPERIAL GERMANY

• GEORGE STEINMETZ •

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY

Copyright  1993 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, Chichester, West Sussex All Rights Reserved

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Steinmetz, George, 1957– Regulating the social : the welfare state and local politics in imperial Germany / George Steinmetz. p. cm. — (Princeton studies in culture/power/history) Includes bibliographical references and index. eISBN 1-4008-0765-4 1. Germany—Social conditions—1871–1918. 2. Germany—Social policy. 3. Public welfare—Germany—History—19th century. 4. Germany—Politics and government—1871–1918. I. Title. II. Series. HN445.S67 1993 361.6′1′0943—dc20 92-44333 CIP

This book has been composed in Adobe Sabon



FOR JULIA





C O N T E N T S



LIST OF TABLES

ix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

xi

ABBREVIATIONS

xiii

MAP OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE, 1871–1914

xiv

INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: SOCIAL THEORY, SOCIAL POLICY, AND THE STATE

1

13

CHAPTER ONE

Social Theory and the German Welfare State

15

CHAPTER TWO

Toward an Explanation of the Welfare State in Nineteenth-Century Germany

41

CHAPTER THREE

The Rise of the Social Question and Social Policy in Nineteenth-Century Germany

55

PART TWO: THE PRUSSIAN-GERMAN STATE AND ITS SOCIAL POLICY

71

CHAPTER FOUR

The Central State in Imperial Germany

73

CHAPTER FIVE

The Prussian-German Welfare State: Social Policy at the Central Level

108

PART THREE: THE LOCAL STATE AND ITS SOCIAL POLICIES

147

CHAPTER SIX

Municipal Politics and the Local Regulation of the Social until the 1890s: Poor Relief and Worker Policy

149

CHAPTER SEVEN

Change in Municipal Politics and the Regulation of the Social after the 1890s: Scientific Social Work and Proto-Corporatism

188

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Conclusion

215

APPENDIX

Table of Complete Regression Models for Poor-Relief Spending and Unemployment Insurance: German Cities

221

NOTES

223

REFERENCES

309

INDEX

369



2.1.

5.1. 6.1. 6.2. 6.3. 6.4. 6.5. 6.6. 6.7. 6.8.

6.9.

6.10. 6.11. 6.12. 6.13. 7.1. 7.2. 7.3.

T A B L E S



Models of Social Policy-Making in Imperial Germany (with forms of social policy shown in parentheses): Local and National Politics Labor Court Cases in Selected German Cities Changes in Rates of Municipal Voter Enfranchisement Year in Which the Elberfeld System Was Officially Introduced in Various German Cities Ratio of Indoor to Outdoor Relief Costs in Bremen and Breslau, 1880–1913 Sex Ratios in Ongoing and Temporary Poor Relief Monthly Poor-Relief Rates in Selected German Cities in 1909/1910 (in marks) Description of Variables Included in the Regression Analyses Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients for Total PoorRelief Expenditures per Capita: German Cities, 1911 Average Total Poor-Relief Expenditures per Capita by Size of Bureaucracy and Occurrence of Violent Protest between 1906 and 1914: German Cities Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients for Outdoor Poor-Relief Spending as Proportion of Total Poor-Relief Expenditures: German Cities, 1911 Emergency Public Works in Cities, 1891–1911 Logit Coefficients for Provision of Emergency Work for the Unemployed in a Nonrecession Year (1907): German Cities Spending on Emergency Public Works in Offenbach, 1899–1913 Logit Coefficients for Provision of Emergency Work for the Unemployed in a Recession Year (1908): German Cities The Growth of SPD Municipal Council Participation in Large Cities, 1907–1913 Logit Coefficients for Presence of Unemployment Insurance before 1914: German Cities Percentage of Cities with Unemployment Insurance by Proportion of SPD Councilors and Occurrence of Violent Protest between 1906 and 1914

45 134 156 159 161 164 166 170 175

176

177 179 181 184 185 196 210

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Percentage of Cities with Unemployment Insurance by Proportion of SPD Councilors and Administrative Complexity: German Cities 212 A.1. Complete Regression Models for Poor-Relief Spending and Unemployment Insurance: German Cities 221



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S



I HAVE been working on this book for over eight years and have, therefore, incurred a large number of debts along the way. I was supported at various stages of the research with fellowships from the University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences, the University of Wisconsin Graduate School, the Council for European Studies, the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD), the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Social Science Research Council. Each of these institutions is hereby appreciatively acknowledged. I would also like to thank the librarians and archivists at a number of institutions: the Staatsbibliothek, Landesarchiv, Senatsbibliothek, Historische Kommission zu Berlin, and the Archiv des Diakonischen Werkes in former West Berlin; the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Stadtarchiv, and Stadtbibliothek in former East Berlin; the former Zentrales Staatsarchiv I in Potsdam (now the Bundesarchiv, Abteilungen Potsdam) and Zentrales Staatsarchiv II in Merseburg (now the Bundesarchiv, Abteilungen Merseburg); and the Universities of Wisconsin and Chicago. During my various research trips to Germany I have received generous help from Christoph Conrad, Klaus Dettmer, Rolf Dumke, Christoph Engeli, Richard Evans, Peter Flora, Heide Gerstenberger, Horst Groschopp, Wolfgang Hofmann, Lothar Machtan, Claus Offe, Horst Rohls, Adelheid von Saldern, Jürgen Scheffler, Peter Schöttler, Florian Tennstedt, and Richard Tilly. I am grateful to James Sheehan, Richard Tilly, and Dieter Groh for sharing historical data with me. Robert Scholtz initiated me into the mysteries of the archives of the former GDR. In Paris I received valuable assistance from Michelle Perrot and Mr. Didier Lazard. I would also like to express my gratitude to a number of historians and sociologists who have helped me in this country with various sections of this research, especially David Crew, Gerald Friedman, Chuck Halaby, Michael Hanagan, Bob Jessop, Ira Katznelson, Claudia Koonz, Alice Kuzniar, Ed Laumann, Michael Mann, Gerald Marwell, Ann Orloff, Bill Parish, Charles Ragin, Theda Skocpol, Charles Tilly, and Bill Wilson. I am especially grateful to Ron Aminzade, who first inspired me to work in historical sociology and has commented generously on my writing all along, and to my thesis advisor, Erik Olin Wright, who introduced me to social theory and social research and shepherded my dissertation through each of its phases. My colleagues and students at the University of Chicago have contributed greatly to this project. Ed Amenta, Ronald Aminzade, Geoff Eley, and David Laitin read earlier drafts of the entire manuscript and offered very sound advice, most of which I have tried to follow. I would also like to thank my parents, who have helped in more ways than one; Eric Gorman, who did bibliographic

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research in Chicago; Diana Gillooly, who helped enormously with the copy editing; and my editor, Mary Murrell. Above all, I would like to thank Julia Hell, whose work has had an enormous impact on my own, and who read the manuscript at the last minute after having to live with it for such a long time. This book is dedicated to her.



A B B R E V I A T I O N S

AfS AJS APSR ASR AStA BzG CdI CSR CSSH DVAW GfSR GSR GuG HZ IWK JfWG JGVV JMH JNS MEW NLR P&P P&S Protokoll SPD Parteitag

Reichstag, VA Reichstag, VStB SDVAW SJdS StadtA Berlin VSWG ZfG ZStA I ZStA II



Archiv für Sozialgeschichte American Journal of Sociology American Political Science Review American Sociological Review Allgemeines Statistisches Archiv Beiträge zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung Centralverband deutscher Industrieller Comparative Social Research Comparative Studies in Society and History Deutscher Verein für Armenpflege und Wohltätigkeit Gesellschaft für Soziale Reform German Studies Review Geschichte und Gesellschaft Historische Zeitschrift Internationale Wissenschaftliche Korrespondenz zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte Jahrbuch für Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und Volkswirtschaft (Schmollers Jahrbuch) Journal of Modern History Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Werke New Left Review Past and Present Politics and Society Protokoll über die Verhandlungen der Parteitag der Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (various years). Reichstag, Verhandlungen, Aktenstücke Reichstag, Verhandlungen, Stenographische Berichte Schriften des Deutschen Vereins für Armenpflege und Wohltätigkeit Statistisches Jahrbuch deutscher Städte Stadtarchiv Berlin Vierteljahrsschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft Zentrales Staatsarchiv I (Potsdam; Bundesarchiv, Abteilungen Potsdam) Zentrales Staatsarchiv II (Merseburg; Bundesarchiv, Abteilungen Merseburg)

Regulating the Social



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THIS IS A BOOK about the development of a set of original state strategies for regulating the social in Germany before World War I. Since T. H. Marshall it has been recognized that the advent of the welfare state not only represented a redistribution of income but also has contributed to more fundamental qualitative changes in society. In the Netherlands, for example, sociologists have found that welfare programs result in a palpable difference in the emotional ground-tone of everyday life.1 Writing on France and on the welfare state more generally, François Ewald has argued that the advent of universal social insurance heralded a fundamental change in the very “nature of the social contract.”2 As the guarantees of the “insurance society” developed steadily and almost invisibly, people have come to accept them as the foundation of social life. Writing in the United States today about the welfare state means writing in the context of its dismantling.3 This dismantling of the American welfare state has heightened the already palpable difference in the state’s contribution to the basic quality of life in the U.S. and Western Europe, especially for working people. The most telling effect of this difference is that the U.S. welfare state lags far behind West European countries in terms of eliminating absolute poverty.4 The major attack on the welfare state comes from those who advocate a shift to strict reliance on markets. Underpinning this attack theoretically is an essentialized notion of sovereign individuals or families as rational, selfcontained monads.5 More importantly, this attack is based on the highly problematic dichotomy of state and economy (civil society). Following Michel Foucault and others, I will introduce a third term, the social, located “between” the state and civil society. This terms refers to a realm of specifically trans-individual structures, identities, culture, and social needs and risks. Welfare-state policies are centrally concerned with this realm. A central part of the argument revolves around the historically changing strategies for regulating the realm of the social. This involves a fundamental rethinking of theories of the state and social policy. This theoretical perspective does not imply an idealization of European welfare states. Indeed, we find that most European welfare states have been subjected to harsh criticism from positions other than the free-market advocates. Many of the earliest critiques of social policy emanated from the socialist Left and the labor movement itself.6 Typically, the Left has seen the welfare state as a double-edged sword, diverting workers’ political energies toward secondary battles and leaving capitalism’s basic exploitative structure intact while palliating some of its lesser iniquities. In more recent years the welfare state has come in for questioning by the New Left and its successors.7 Foucault, Jacques Donzelot, and others have exposed the manipula-

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tive and disciplinary side of welfare policies. Feminists have criticized the patriarchal character of social policy, arguing that the welfare state is divided into two unequal streams that reinforce gender divisions and female subordination, besides providing women with more meager benefits than men. Studies such as the current one therefore cannot limit their attention to the progressive or praiseworthy sides of social policy, as in certain “Whig” histories of the welfare state.8 These criticisms not only point to some of the shortcomings of even the more “developed” Western welfare states but also raise new questions about the processes that led to modern social policies: Why does the welfare state develop so unevenly across countries, regions, and localities? Why is social spending generous in some places and miserly in others? What accounts for the exclusions and disciplinary features of social programs? Where did the idea of public social policy come from in the first place, and how has it changed? Why did it take hold and proliferate? This book approaches these issues by exploring the origins and development of the welfare state in Germany during the “long nineteenth century,” with a special emphasis on the German Empire or Kaiserreich (1871–1914/ 1918). It examines social policies at both the local and national levels of government. Both the national- and local-level discussions are based on a variety of archival and primary printed materials as well as secondary studies. The centerpiece of the discussion of municipal social policy is a set of statistical analyses of intercity variation in the programs’ introduction, spending levels, and formal qualities. This statistical analysis is based on an original dataset on the ninety-four largest cities in pre-1914 Germany. The broad theoretical approach is to conceptualize modern social policy in terms of strategies aimed at the regulation of the social. As I will argue in the third chapter, the “social” should be understood as a concept embedded in human practices, an “actually existing” concept.9 It arose historically during the nineteenth century and designated a certain region of society, a space between the economy and the state. It was an arena of collective needs, grievances, and disruptions that were related to the transformations in the economic realm. Insofar as the social represented a threat to order—the order of the state and the capitalist economy—it posed the “social question” or, rather, a series of social questions. In turn, the social was seen as an area in need of regulation. “Regulation” in the present context refers, most generally, to the partially conscious, “strategic,” use of political power, economic resources, and cultural authority to shape collective practices. Regulation refers to all attempts to order collective forms of behavior, whatever the apparent goal of these efforts or their actual degree of success. It involves the use of formal and informal social arrangements, institutions, and norms to create or encourage orderly patterns of behavior. The term alludes deliberately to the central concept of “regulation theory,” without accepting the entire body of this theory.10 The self-identified regulation theorists are interested mainly in the contribution



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of the regulatory ordering of practices to capital accumulation. Yet the concept of regulation has a much broader potential range of applicability. Most importantly, the nature of the goal to which regulation is being applied is not inscribed within the concept itself. One could speak, for instance, of the attempted regulation of cultural practices by a self-appointed cultural vanguard, with the aim of reasserting traditional intellectual values, canons, and cultural hierarchies. States and political officials are often involved in the pursuit of regulated behavior for the sake of order itself as a goal sui generis. It is also important to note that divergent regulatory programs may attempt to “colonize” the same practices. The contemporary family is a prime example of a social terrain that is subject to a range of divergent regulatory projects. (Most obvious are the attempts to order intra-familial practices along capitalist, religious, and educative lines.) Why should we add to the already crowded conceptual field of the social sciences? Clearly, regulation is closely related to the notion of hegemony, especially in its original Gramscian meaning. The main problem with hegemony is the enormous range of interpretations that have accrued to it since Gramsci. Most provocative is the discourse-theoretic approach of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, which has reinforced an idealistic reading of hegemony that expels its original materialist and economic dimensions. On the other hand, theorists of international relations have proposed a very different version of the category of hegemony.12 The notion of “regulation” might also recall the earlier sociological concept of “social control” or Foucault’s “discipline.” Social-control theory has been widely criticized for connotations of absolute and seamless domination, whether or not this was the intention of the writers using the phrase. Foucault’s notions of “discipline” and “governmentality” are arguably less monolithic, but they are problematic in other respects. Foucault does not theorize alternative disciplines, contending projects of governance, or partial disciplinization. And in a dichotomous and ultimately essentialist sociology, he often suggests that the opposite of discipline is some form of “undisciplined” behavior existing outside of or prior to power relations.13 Regulation is not (yet) saddled with any of these objectionable connotations or contradictory definitions. How have we moved from an original concern with things being done for nonelite social groups—the beneficial effects of the welfare state—to an approach emphasizing things being done to those same people? The first reason is that although the beneficial effects of social policies on personal welfare are fairly evident, their other political and ideological effects are far less familiar. We will certainly trace the origins of policies that tend to be widely valued today, such as social insurance. The point is that an analytical approach to these policies cannot be satisfied with singing their praise but must dispassionately trace their origins and their effects. This is especially the case if certain aspects of the German welfare state are being considered as an exportable model by increasing numbers of politicians and activists in the United States today, especially in the Democratic party.

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Moreover, although most of the early social policies were targeted specifically at the poorer segments of the population, the working class was a minor player in the creation of the welfare state in most of Europe, including Germany. This is another problem with “Whig” approaches that picture the rise of the welfare state as the self-emancipation of the working class or as the nation’s self-enlightenment. The exclusion of most of “the nation” from the policy-making process in pre-1914 Europe was the result of several factors: the nearly universal restrictions on voting, even for adult males; the weakness of parliamentary bodies vis-à-vis hereditary monarchs and their appointed bureaucracies; and the minority status and ostracism of the political parties and interest groups claiming to represent workers, women, and the poor. The lower classes were not completely shut out of the formation of social policy before 1914, of course. In some European cities, Socialist politicians and women’s organizations were able to influence municipal social policy directly; a small number of town councils were even controlled by socialists. Poor people were also sometimes able to put their stamp on the day-to-day operation of social programs by participating in their administration or through direct resistance. This book will trace these forms of limited and indirect power in the German case. Yet even if the population targeted by the welfare state were its sole author, it would still be important to analyze social policy in terms of regulation. Even the most “progressive” social programs do more than redistribute income or guard against risks. All social policies, whether socialist or conservative, are implicated in regulating a whole range of practices. (The same holds for neo-liberal “antisocial” policies that throw people back upon the very real “regulatory” powers of markets.) Even if—especially if—the expansion of social rights is our “knowledge constitutive interest” (Jürgen Habermas), it is necessary to understand all the other regulatory baggage that has accompanied the actually existing welfare state. There is much to learn from mapping the entire range of social goals, effects, exclusions, sanctions, and definitions built into the welfare state that was bequeathed to us in the twentieth century. THE CASE OF GERMANY: LEADING THE WAY Germany plays a special role in this excavation because it has all the distinction and notoriety of having produced the first modern welfare state.14 It has often been noted with some surprise that modern social policy first emerged in Germany (and soon thereafter in Austria) rather than in countries whose economies developed earlier, such as England or France.15 Indeed, Hamburg’s poor-relief system of 1788 had been something of an international model itself at the end of the eighteenth century. A similar system of municipal poor relief, codified in Elberfeld in 1852 and adopted by most major



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German cities during the following decades, was widely emulated abroad. The national framing legislation for poor relief introduced in Prussia in 1842 (and later carried over into Imperial Germany) was unusual for its time, stipulating that all paupers were to receive some sort of relief.17 Following the introduction in the 1880s of national compulsory social insurance for sickness, work accidents, and old age, Germany came to be regarded as the international leader in social reform.18 The German government’s Imperial Insurance Office proudly promoted the national social insurance system at world exhibitions in Chicago (1892), Brussels (1897), Paris (1900), and St. Louis (1904).19 Equally interesting are two types of policy that emerged in Germany after 1890 and that began a fundamental redefinition of the ways in which the social “question” had been formulated and addressed since the 1840s. These involved, first, the gradual introduction of “proto-corporatist” institutions, in which labor and socialist organizations were directly involved in making and implementing social policy, and second, the extension of poor relief into the new problematics of “social work.” Although new social programs continued to be introduced by the national government between 1890 and 1914, most of the more dramatic changes now occurred in the urban realm, for reasons that will be explored in the last chapters of this book. The pre-1914 German welfare state therefore allows one to study the simultaneous existence of at least four distinct types of social policy: poor relief, “Bismarckian” social insurance, proto-corporatist policies, and modern social work. Although these do not exhaust the full universe of forms of social policy, they represent four distinct and extremely influential strategies for regulating “the social.” More recent social programs have often operated within the traditions, the specific categories, technologies, and goals, established by these early forms. Focusing on the world’s first welfare state, rather than one of the followers, has advantages if one is interested in exploring alternative theories of the welfare state. By looking at the “first case,” one possible explanation for social policy is bracketed—-international diffusion. This is not to say that diffusion processes are unable to account for the emergence of the welfare state elsewhere. In practice, however, it is often difficult to disentangle the relations between international diffusion and other causal factors.20 The German case is also ideally suited for the comparative examination of theories of the welfare state. Indeed, it provides enough internal “variation” to allow one to make comparisons like many current cross-national studies, while avoiding the pitfalls of comparing overly heterogeneous entities.21 First, it must be recognized that Imperial Germany was not fully unified as a nation or state even after unification in 1871. Imperial Germany was characterized by numerous linguistic/ethnic minorities (Poles, Danes, Sorbs, and Alsatians), and national identity remained precarious.22 The patchwork of federal states retained significant autonomy in financial, cultural, and military matters. Even more important for the current study is the relative inde-

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pendence of municipalities from central authorities in matters of policymaking, especially social regulation. The resultant variation in urban welfare strategies represents a precondition for fruitful intercity comparisons. At the same time, Imperial Germany’s relative internal homogeneity makes it suitable for these sorts of subnational comparisons. The increasing national political unity of the German Empire was a function of the Reich administration and parliament (the Reichstag), national political parties such as the Social Democratic party (SPD), the army, and “national” political culture and high culture. The fact that Imperial Germany was attacked by an array of domestic political groupings does not call into question the existence of a nation state. Indeed, by systematically orienting their practices to a social-political-cultural entity called “Germany,” its opponents contributed to its facticity, to the “nation-state effect.” A more pragmatic advantage of focusing on a single country has to do with questions of documentation and discourse. The German state and lower levels of political government such as cities used an increasingly standardized language to describe, document, and carry out their business. This relative degree of cultural uniformity makes internal comparisons among political units less problematic. It means that elites in different cities and regions are more likely to have used words in the same way and to have used similar formats in documenting their activities. Any study of German history confronts certain unique issues. Germany is not just “any” case—or as Jürgen Habermas put it on the occasion of Ronald Reagan’s visit to the Kolmeshöhe military cemetery at Bitburg in May 1985, “We are not living in just any country.”23 Of course there have been continuing efforts to occlude the singularity of the Nazi crimes, most famously during the Historians’ Debate (Historikerstreit) of the 1980s. The equation of Nazism and Stalinism has become even more widespread within Germany as a sort of ideological sea change or shift in “mentalities” since the collapse of the state socialist regimes in Eastern Europe.24 In spite of these strategies of denial, no historian of nineteenth-century Germany can avoid the long shadow that the Holocaust casts backwards and forwards across German history. The very singularity of German history seems to eliminate the possibility of achieving one of the supposed goals of crossnational research, namely, “to replace proper names of countries by explanatory variables.”25 The uniqueness of twentieth-century German history has two important consequences for the study of its nineteenth-century welfare state. First, any investigation of German history is automatically relevant to debates on the origins of Nazism, due to the existence of a well-entrenched interpretation that sees Germany as having followed a Sonderweg, or peculiar path of development, in comparison with its western neighbors (Britain in particular).26 Geoff Eley and David Blackbourn have emphasized how ubiquitous this “German exceptionalism” paradigm has been for more than a century,



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becoming a sort of “new orthodoxy” by the 1960s. Liberal political actors, like historians, have taken its basic parameters for granted.27 And it resurfaces at key historical junctures like 1989–1990, when arguments for retaining a separate but reformed East German state met with renewed warnings against German exceptionalism. Any evidence from the nineteenth century will automatically be assessed for its bearing on the Sonderweg thesis. The Sonderweg thesis emphasizes the repeated failure of the German middle classes to carry out their assigned or “normal” historic role and to advance modern values, liberal-democratic institutions, and a properly bourgeois culture. The assumption is that any delay in the “necessary synchronization of socioeconomic and political development,” such as characterized the empire, has grievous consequences for the future.28 The paramount cause of Nazism is the absence of a bourgeois democratic revolution in Germany during the nineteenth century, especially in 1848, when “German history reached its turning point and failed to turn.”29 A fateful imbalance resulted: while German industry grew swiftly, premodern political practices and cultural values, based primarily in the aristocratic-agrarian Prussian ruling elites, were retained and reproduced well into the twentieth century. These features of German history, and the concomitant weakness of liberalism and modernity, are then evoked to explain the possibility of Nazism. As Hans-Ulrich Wehler puts it, “The Prussian submissive mentality (Untertanenmentalität), Prussian reverence for authority (Obrigkeitsdenken), Prussian militarization of society, the unholy alliance of Prussian Junkers, politicians, and military men first brought Hitler to power . . . and then supported and consolidated the National Socialist system of domination.”30 Eley has shown the analytic pitfalls of writing German history teleologically, as if all events since Bismarck or Luther have pointed ineluctably toward the Holocaust. Nonetheless, the continuing attraction of the thesis of nineteenth-century Germany’s traditionalism, illiberalism, and lack of Bürgerlichkeit makes almost any study of the Kaiserreich, whatever its immediate topic, relevant to broader discussions of German history. The period of the Kaiserreich actually plays a key role in the exceptionalism narrative, because this is the period during which political and cultural backwardness were allegedly consolidated against economic modernity. The Imperial German state, as one of the major sites where precapitalist elites and practices are said to have retained their unnatural dominance, is a privileged site for evaluating the Sonderweg thesis. In an essay on the recent revisions in the positions of Wehler and other exceptionalists, Eley points out that it is in the political domain in the stricter sense that the weakness of the German bourgeoisie was always thought to be most clearly revealed: in the economy and civil society, even in the public sphere in the broader sense, bourgeois achievements can be shown, but in the state and civil society (so the argument runs) the power of the traditional élites remained as strong as before. . . . The advance of the bourgeoisie stopped at the gates of the political system.31

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Social policy, as one of the chief arenas of state activity, is central for an evaluation of the Sonderweg thesis; yet as Eley has observed, this is “a problem of rather surprising neglect.”32 When it is addressed, German social policy is typically construed as an expression of neo-feudal paternalism and the weakness of liberalism, or disqualified by the manipulative motives that inspired it. Wehler, for instance, contrasts Bismarck’s social insurance with a vaguely specified “modern style of state intervention,” one whose “proper effect” would be to redistribute national income.33 Ralf Dahrendorf refers to the welfare state as “authoritarian” and claims that social policy “immobilized” people rather than promoting capitalism.34 Even studies that acknowledge certain progressive aspects of the early German social interventions discuss them under the aegis of the “defense of traditional authority.”35 Alternatively, the imperial welfare state is seen as a symbolic gesture meant to appease an unnaturally radicalized and estranged working class; the implication is that only pure motives can give rise to authentic social policy, and that the high degree of class polarization in the Kaiserreich was abnormal. Another approach is to single out national social insurance as one of Germany’s few “positive” deviations from the Western norm—although admitting the modernity of such a key element of German politics would seem to undermine coherence of the Sonderweg thesis.36 It is somewhat ironic that the very facet of the German polity that seemed so advanced to so many foreigners during the nineteenth century should have such ignominy heaped upon it by German historians. But the problems with each of these treatments are more serious, having to do with an undertheorization of social policy and the unexamined operation of an implicit model of the welfare state apparently based on an idealized image of the late-twentieth-century parliamentary welfare state, perhaps along the lines of Sweden during the postwar period. Not only is Imperial Germany being measured anachronistically against a twentieth-century yardstick, but the yardstick itself is faulty. The second sense in which the pre-1914 welfare state is relevant for the question of the origins of Nazism is related to, but logically independent of, the first. The early welfare state may have contributed to Nazism even if it did not form part of an entire cluster of premodern attributes as suggested by the Sonderweg thesis. Detlef Peukert has argued, for example, that Nazi eugenics can be traced in part to the social policies and doctrines of the late nineteenth century and the Weimar Republic. Earlier programs and theories concerning the youth problem and juvenile delinquency were radicalized by the Nazis in their murderous eugenics programs.37 Similar continuities between the late nineteenth century and Nazi policy have been traced for biomedicine, public health, and care for the aged.38 This study stops in 1914 and cannot trace the lineages of Nazi policy back into the nineteenth century in any detail, although the conclusion will turn a speculative eye to this question. But I will deal directly with the first issue, concerning the relative modernity and Bürgerlichkeit of the Imperial Ger-



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man welfare state. I will reject the political version of the Sonderweg thesis, the position that politics and the state were neo-feudal or antibourgeois during the empire. On the other hand, I will not simply embrace the opposite conclusion, that Imperial Germany had a “capitalist” state. Rather, the German state showed a unique combination of traditional structural features and decisively modern interventions. An account of the general nature of the state (in chapter 4) will set the stage for the more detailed discussion of social policies. I will reject the Manichean choice of condemning the imperial welfare state as traditionalist or praising its modernity. Social policy was much more complex and multifaceted than it has appeared in previous accounts. Seen from certain angles, the welfare state pointed toward Nazism, reinforced social divisions and bourgeois hegemony, and was geared mainly toward restoring social order; on the other hand, certain aspects of social policy helped to relieve sickness and poverty. But almost all social policy under the empire can be understood as related much more strongly to the leading classes and values of industrial capitalism than to preindustrial or neo-feudal norms and strata. I will try to explain why policies took the form that they did, focusing on the different constraints on local and national elites and the differing balance of force at the two levels. The real task will be to discover the conditions that gave rise to the objectionable forms of social policy and to the more progressive forms. Part 1 of this book develops the methodological and theoretical framework. The first chapter develops the distinction between explanation and theory and provides an overview of existing theories of the welfare state and social policy. Chapter 2 presents a guide for the rest of the book, a condensed version of the explanation of the central and local states and their social policies. The key here is the emergence of four separate paradigms of regulation through social policy, each associated with specific target groups, techniques, conceptual categories, and as a result, different theoretical perspectives that are best able to explain the policies’ development. Chapter 3 deals with the background conditions for the rise of the welfare state in nineteenth-century Germany, namely the new forms of social fear that registered the results of industrialization and collective revolutionary actors. It is concerned specifically with the rise of the notion of something like a “social” realm during the nineteenth century. The social raised a number of problematic “questions” (the social question) and called for regulation. Part 2 deals with the central state of the German Empire and its social policy. Chapter 4 surveys the existing explanations of the Imperial German state and develops a general model of the state’s functioning. It is argued that the Prussian-German state was in fact controlled by social groups whose class background and interests would predict a “normal” opposition to industrial capitalism. Yet at almost every critical juncture these very elites sided with industry against agriculture and promoted the penetration of capitalist markets and a capitalist logic in parts of society that were still rela-

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tively traditional. Paradoxically, state officials’ very pursuit of “traditional” absolutist goals of administrative autonomy and war led them to strengthen the capitalist forces that were then able to hem in the autonomous state even more. Chapter 5 looks at social policy in Imperial Germany in relation to state officials, social movements, and the dominant classes. Here I sketch the development of the first two paradigms of social reform, modern poor relief and the Bismarckian strategy of defining and demobilizing the working class through social policy. A central issue throughout this chapter is the varying relations between the popular classes and social policy. The threat of the disorderly poor and the organized working class both played a role in stirring the state to action in the social realm. Yet the relative political weakness of the working classes meant that they had very little control over the actual form of the programs that were introduced. The third part of the book explores the local state and its social policies, including the rise of novel municipal strategies for regulating the social at the end of the nineteenth century. My approach throughout this section is to relate the general structure of local politics to urban regulatory interventions into the social. Because there were more significant changes in the nature of politics at the local than at the national level after the mid-1890s, urban social strategies also developed more rapidly. Cities pioneered the more interesting social experiments after 1900. Throughout this third section I engage in statistical analyses of intercity policy variations in order to pin down the determinants of urban social programs. In the first part of chapter 6 I discuss the dominant structure of urban politics before the 1890s, direct and undiluted bourgeois control, in relation to its paradigmatic form of social policy, poor relief. Statistical analysis suggests that local relief spending was related to popular disruptions and the level of municipal bureaucratization. The second part of the chapter details the initial local social-policy responses to the working-class threat. The emergency public-works projects are exemplary in this context. These local efforts were comparable in many respects to the Bismarckian “divide and conquer” form of policy that had crystallized at the national level during the 1880s. Greater levels of local Social Democratic power therefore actually discouraged elites from providing emergency works, as indicated by the statistical analysis. Chapter 7 describes a linked series of changes in local politics that set in around the turn of the century: the gradual replacement of the economic bourgeoisie by other middle-class groups at the head of city government; the changing social-policy views of the liberal parties that still governed most of the cities, even as they faced shifts in the social composition of their membership and mounting challenges to their grip on city government; the rising importance of professionals and scientific experts in local affairs; and the increasing representation of the SPD in municipal institutions. Two new strategies for social regulation emerged as a result of these changes in local



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politics: scientific social work and proto-corporatism. The former pointed toward the biologization of the social and contained eugenicist elements that were radicalized during the Nazi regime; the latter pointed toward the fullfledged neocorporatism of the Weimar Republic and West Germany. In a statistical analysis of the introduction of municipal unemployment-insurance schemes, the so-called Ghent system, I find that local elites were more likely to embark on a proto-corporatist strategy where the local Social Democratic party was peacefully involved in municipal council affairs and extraparliamentary disorders were minimized. This book is situated at the intersection of three broad tendencies in social theory and research that have developed rapidly during the recent decades. The first of these trends is the reemergence of theoretical work on the state in the social sciences. The second strand consists of social-historical studies of politics, especially working-class politics, local politics, and what is generally referred to as “micropolitics.” The third and broadest development is the reemergence of historical sociology. As Philip Abrams wrote, “History and sociology are effectively the same enterprise.”39 The present study attempts to effect a merger of history and social theory. The goal is to write history theoretically while treating social theory as historically contextualized. Yet I am enough of a sociologist to begin with an extended discussion of general theoretical issues before moving to the historical case.

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THEORY, EXPLANATION, AND THE STATE This book’s overarching goal is to explain the emergence of a set of new strategies for regulating the social in Germany between the middle of the nineteenth century and 1914, with a focus on the imperial period. More specifically, I will ask what the existing theories of the state and social policy can tell us about the German welfare state before 1914. By the same token, the German case has implications for current theories of the state and politics. The centrality of earlier German political doctrines and experiences to modern theories of the state, especially the cluster of theoretical reflections around “state autonomy,” underscores the broader importance of the German case to reconstruction in the area of political and social theory.1 This book offers a specific explanation of these welfare policies, but it will also argue that there is not a single theoretical model that is best suited for this explanatory task. This does not mean that the state is inaccessible to the language(s) of theory and can only be described using particularistic narratives. My argument is that it is necessary to combine more than one “state theory” in order to account for a single state, rather than treating alternative theories as mutually exclusive. Such theoretical pluralism is required for several different reasons. First, the things that we call states change over time, so that different theories are required in different historical periods. Second, states are internally divided and heterogeneous, so that different models are needed to account for their diverse branches and—more significantly in the present context—for their different levels: local, regional, and central. I will argue that different causal mechanisms, and combinations of causal mechanisms, were at work in determining the German state at different times before 1914. I will also argue that the local and national levels of the state were shaped by different factors. Yet the explanation of even a specific branch of the state in a particular period may call for more than one theoretical language. This points to the most important and general reason for theoretical pluralism: States (as we are discussing them here) are concrete objects of analysis, not abstract conceptual entities. There is no reason to expect the concrete to be determined homogeneously by a single causal mechanism, although it may be; this is an empirical question that must be settled separately in each case. We are familiar with this kind of argument from other areas of study. For example, it is common in contemporary sociology to argue that subjective identity is shaped by class, race, and gender—three different mechanisms—and per-

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haps by others. When social scientists approach the state, however, they seem to be enthralled by the god of “parsimonious” explanation. To clarify this point it is necessary to distinguish between theories and explanations, and to attend to the relations between what the realist philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar calls mechanisms and events.2 Social theories are concerned with identifying and describing abstract, underlying “mechanisms.” Examples of the latter include natural selection in Darwinian theory, the unconscious in psychoanalysis, and class relations or the labor theory of value in Marxism. “Realism” in the philosophy of science takes for granted an ontological distinction between observed regularities (which the positivists called “constant conjunctions of events”) and the underlying mechanisms that produce those regularities. Scientific theories, including social theories, are ultimately concerned with mechanisms and not with specific empirical occurrences. Science also tries to produce explanations. Explanations, as the term is being used here, take as their central object concrete outcomes in the empirical world—or what Bhaskar calls “events”—and not the abstract mechanisms. Understanding the opening of the Berlin wall in 1989 might require theories of comparative political systems, economic crisis, class structure, small group decision-making (the Politbüro), the media, and nationalism. To explain the workings of the French state in the twentieth century, one would need to understand, inter alia, theories of international relations, pluralist political structures, democratic ideologies, the autonomous strivings of bureaucrats to enhance their own power, and capitalist class power. One might also find that the mechanisms central to a given theory play a more important role in one period than in another. It would also be possible to simply combine class power, pluralist culture, geographic determinism, managerial theory, etc., into a new “compound” theory, thus avoiding the distinction between theory and explanation altogether. This solution would only be temporary, however, because each new empirical case would require the elaboration of a new “theory.” The result would be an endless proliferation of highly specialized “theories” with extremely limited ranges of applicability, a process that would hollow out the very meaning of theory. A preferable solution is to respect the integrity and level of abstraction of theoretical systems, and to combine them as necessary in order to explain specific “events.” Each “event”—in our case, each specific state—is treated as what Max Weber called a “historical individual.”3 Bob Jessop has proposed the paradoxical but useful term “contingent necessity” to describe a realist approach to explaining states and other social objects. As Jessop notes, “ ‘contingent’ is a logical concept and concerned with theoretical indeterminability, [whereas] ‘necessity’ is an ontological concept and refers to determinacy in the real world. Thus ‘contingent’ means ‘indeterminable within the terms of a single theoretical system’; it can properly be juxtaposed to the notion of ‘necessity,’ which signifies the assumption underpinning any



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realist scientific enquiry that ‘everything that happens is caused.’ ” This extremely condensed illustration of a realist theory of science is meant to clarify exactly what it means to be committed simultaneously to general theories of the state and to the explanation of concrete states. States are concrete rather than abstract objects of analysis. I will argue that the state can be adequately explained in certain periods in terms of a single causal mechanism, whereas at other times it cannot. Or as Jessop puts it, the task of state theorists is to “build up an understanding of the state . . . through a steady spiral movement from abstract to concrete, and from simple to complex.”5 This reasoning clashes with the standard social-science ideal of attaining “parsimonious” explanations through maximally general theoretical statements. Many sociologists act as if explanations of specific events (e.g., political attitudes, divorce rates, occupational attainment, voting behavior) should ideally be based on a single theory. By insisting that each event be explained in terms of a unique theoretical mechanism, this approach collapses across levels of abstraction.6 Perhaps such an approach is justified for the study of objects whose definition is either very narrow or highly abstract. The objects of historical sociology rarely fit this description, however—nor, I assume, do most other objects in the social sciences.7 The injunction to produce explanations within the confines of a single theoretical system is impossibly reductionist, and makes it impossible to grasp any social-historical object as complex as the “Imperial German state.” Realist arguments also clash with the increasingly popular rejection of analysis and explanation as goals in the human sciences. Some refusals of analysis and explanation take the “conservative” form of a return to traditional narrative. Yet as Hayden White has convincingly shown, such narratives are thoroughly structured and shot through with plot devices, which themselves are inherently theory-laden. Earlier positivist critiques of history also demonstrated the ubiquity of unacknowledged explanatory devices in traditional narrative histories.8 Another tack has been to reject “explanation” in favor of “interpretation.”9 If interpretation is understood in the German sense of Verstehen, it is no less problematic than explanation: there is at least as much reason to doubt the scientist’s ability to enter the “inner life” of other subjects—particularly dead ones—as to believe that real “events” can be approximated in scientific description.10 Indeed, such claims to authoritative interpretation have been the main focus of the corrosive attacks of deconstruction and poststructuralism. But when deconstructionists embrace “interpretation” over explanation, they usually mean that no single reading (of the text or of history) can claim priority over others. To clarify this relationship between deconstruction and realism, we need to introduce Bhaskar’s third category, experiences. As Erik Olin Wright points out in his gloss on Bhaskar, experiences (or observed “facts”) are not identical with “events.” They are “events” as perceived and recorded, whether by scientists or others. “Experiences” are simultaneously a product of actual events and of the observer’s preexisting perceptual cate-

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gories, interests, attention, recording instruments, and overall paradigm. The belief that experiences are influenced not only by perceptual categories but also by actual events differentiates a realist from an idealist epistemology. As Wright notes, “While concepts may determine what we can see (the range of possible observations), it does not follow from this that they determine what we do see (the actual observations within that range). . . . data are constrained by the world, not just by our theories of the world.”11 As a result, the relationship of evidence to theory is much more complex in a realist view of science than in a positivist one.12 Deconstruction in the social sciences can be seen as concentrating its attacks primarily on the relationship between “events” and “experiences/ facts,” by insisting that real events, even if they exist, cannot be known.13 Strong versions insist that what we see is determined by our “theories of the world,” but not by “the world” itself. Deconstructionists often claim that they are suggesting only one possible interpretation among many. They may even offer multiple possible interpretations of the same text. The rhetoric of poststructuralists in the social sciences, however, more frequently suggests that they are proposing a decisive, authoritative counterexplanation, rather than simply another possible “reading.” Laclau and Mouffe’s influential Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, for example, deconstructs the Marxist theory of history only to reconstruct an alternative historical narrative, one that is no less definitive and closed.14 “Discourse” and “articulation” simply replace class struggle and the forces of production as the “motor of history.” Some writers also use a language of “contingency” in a way that elides the difference between multicausal explanation, which is compatible with realism, and indeterminacy or undecidability, which is not. (To repeat, “contingent” in the present discussion means “indeterminable within the terms of a single theoretical system,” not indeterminable tout court.) The discussion until now has assumed that adequate theories of the welfare state exist, and that the analyst needs only to choose the theory or theories best suited to explaining the case at hand. The rest of this chapter will present some of the more influential theories of social policy. Many of these theories are actually embedded within larger theories of the state. For this reason it is necessary first to address the problem of defining this ambiguous object. In the last section of this chapter I will draw out the implications of the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Foucault for social policy, neither of whom presents an explicit theory of the welfare state. SOCIAL THEORY AND THE WELFARE STATE Recent discussions of the state and social policy in the social sciences have been dominated by a debate between the so-called statist theorists and a heterogeneous array of other perspectives that the statists qualify as “society centered.” The statists emphasize the autonomous decision-making initiatives of political officials and the independent impact of administrative ca-



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pacities on what states do. The society-centered approaches are said to view the state as determined by forces outside of itself, such as social classes, gender and race relations, or economic forces. This way of setting up the debate assumes that both sides agree on the meaning of terms like the state and society but disagree on their relative causal weight. The assumption is that all writers on the state are basically trying to explain the same thing. Many contemporary theorists would reject the way in which the statists set up the terms of debate, especially the reified distinction between state and society. As Jessop writes, many of the Marxist and non-Marxist theorists categorized as “society-centered” by the statists have in fact rejected the binary concepts “state” and “society.”15 Such a dichotomous social topography may actually hinder the development of adequate theory by overlooking the fact that state and society are not trans-historic, constant features of every (modern) society. The belief in the existence of something called “the state” may actually be an essential feature of the state. Both Jessop and Timothy Mitchell have proposed the term state effects to deal with the problem that the state is both a mythical object and a real one.16 The existence of state and society as discrete and bounded entities, like the location and clarity of the boundaries between them, is a variable and constructed feature of social formations. The point here is not to reaffirm that the state or political system is causally explained by society or the social system—a claim that a statist could legitimately challenge. The complaint is rather that the language of “state-centered” and “society-centered” theory implies that these two categories are clearly differentiated and fully present in every society, that they are “invariant points of reference for the structural differentiation and variation of societies,” in Talcott Parsons’s terms.17 This language also discourages thinking about the ways in which the state-society boundary may be eroded even after it has been constructed, as in the rise of so-called neocorporatism. And it suggests that the realms of state and society taken together are mutually exhaustive of the topography of human life (an assumption that I will criticize in chapter 3).18 The recent radical set of criticisms of state theory calls into question the very existence of the state as a real rather than mythical entity. These critiques do not take the same form as the conventional Anglo-American social-science rejection of the state as the fantastic invention of Hegelians or other continental political philosophers. Rather, they argue that the state is a cultural construct. Its existence is ratified by the ongoing activities and discourse of people inside and outside the governing apparatuses. The core of the idea of the state is that there is indeed a centralized, authoritative entity with the ultimate power to define and enforce collectively binding decisions within a given territory, in the name of the collective good or common weal. The mistake of state-centered theory, this would suggest, is to confound “the state” with a material apparatus, with money, weapons, and personnel. As Philip Abrams writes, the state “is not an object akin to the human ear.”19 Rather, Abrams continues, the state is more like God; but the sociologist of religion is not called upon to believe in the existence of God.

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It also does not follow, however, that the sociologist could afford to ignore a God in whom people actually believe, especially when social practices are organized around this belief. What do these considerations have to do with the German case? Many of the leading theories of the welfare state, especially those positing a more active role for the state, were originally formulated by Germans, or by writers reflecting on German history.20 Commentators have frequently noted that the state-theoretical tradition has been much stronger in Germany and on the continent than in the United States or Britain. The state also plays a more powerful role as a practical and “folk” concept in everyday life in Germany, as anyone who has lived there or studied its history will recognize. Indeed, one might argue that the centrality of the state or cognate concepts in the theoretical production of German academics and “experts” is a function of its taken-for-grantedness in German political culture more generally. One important consequence for the present study of the “naturalness” of the state concept in Germany is that we can speak freely of the state, without being overly concerned about imposing an alien or anachronistic construct on our data.21 It also makes us less wary of retaining the contrast between state-centered and society-centered perspectives at least as a way of entering the discussion of theory. Hegel, who stands at the threshold of the modern understanding of the state, contributed more than most other theorists to this categorial map. As the discussion moves further away from Hegel, however, we will find that the forced choice between statist and societal theories becomes less and less capable of capturing the main theoretical foci and differences. Contending approaches to the state typically differ in terms of their overall Fragestellung or problematic, their relative emphasis and central concepts, and not simply by attributing causal primacy to either the state or society. Many Marxist state theorists work with some notion of state autonomy, for example, just as most self-proclaimed statists permit social forces to influence the operations of the state.22 The differences among so-called society-centered theories are in some respects as great as their similarities. Empirical and historical studies of states are rarely based on such one-sided and mutually exclusive theoretical statements. This discussion will focus on tracing the historical lineages of welfarestate theories and the less-familiar recent work, because there are several recent overviews of the mainstream social-science literature on the state and social policy.23 In the first section I will discuss the genealogy of statist approaches to the state and social policy. The second section concerns Marxist and neo-Marxist theory. I then turn to approaches that retain the state/society frame without clearly privileging either term in the relation. The next sections address modernization and feminist theories of the welfare state. The final section deals with Bourdieu and Foucault, two recent theorists of the relations between power and subjectivity whose writings are extremely productive for the study of social policy.



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THEORIES OF STATE AUTONOMY AND STATE CULTURE The most consistent tradition of German state theory stretches from the cameralism and “police science” (Polizeiwissenschaft) of the early modern period through to Hegel, Johann Kaspar Bluntschli, Wilhelm Roscher, Gustav Schmoller, Max Weber, and Otto Hintze in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.24 Unlike modern political theory, the cameralist literature resists being read as a theory of the determination of politics: its dominant tone is advisory and prescriptive. In contrast to the earlier forms of police science and the Machiavellian literature, which focused on the static defense of traditional hierarchies and princely sovereignty, cameralism from the mid-seventeenth century onward represented a “positive” state orientation toward change, growth, and the assurance of the public good, collective and individual happiness, or common weal.25 Cameralism reactivated an Aristotelian tradition in which the state’s goal was to encourage work discipline, trade, and economic growth (the “common welfare”), with the ultimate purpose of strengthening the state’s own finances.26 As Foucault pointed out, the new “art of government” codified in this police science had as its principal target the populations within territories. The new police science suggested a form of governing that included primitive forms of social policy such as health care, education, and relief for the poor, coupled with punishment for idleness and unlicensed begging. Such proto-social policies were understood as intrinsic to “enlightened absolutist” rule.27 In the later eighteenth century, cameralists such as Joseph von Sonnenfels and Johann Stephan Pütter began to narrow the definition of the goal of “police” to internal security and to remove from it the “concern for the promotion of public welfare,” but welfare-like policies remained part of this narrower focus on disorder.28 It may seem gratuitous to place Hegel at the fount of statist theory, given the enormous influence of his political philosophy on thinkers of the left and right, on both statist and “society-centered” traditions. Hegel’s alleged glorification and causal prioritization of the state have been the subject of much dispute.29 His early writings analyze the state as a creature of private property that must be transcended. Yet Schlomo Avineri also points out that Hegel uses the term state in his early writings to designate what he would later call civil society, the realm of atomized subjectivity, needs, and markets. In the 1821 Philosophy of Right, by contrast, Hegel insists on the crucial “difference” between state and civil society. The state is an “individual subject” and not a reflection of society. The bureaucracy’s independence is underscored by Hegel’s description of it as a “universal class” that “has for its task the universal interests of the community” (paragraph 205). In the section on public authority and the poor (paragraphs 238–245), Hegel adumbrates a theory of the rise of the welfare state as the product of historical necessity. The historical rise of civil society “tears the individual from his

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family ties, estranges the members of the family from one another, and recognizes them as self-subsistent persons.” As a result, the state assumes the earlier functions of the family, taking its place “where the poor are concerned.” Finally, Hegel emphasizes relations among autonomous states as the key feature of the modern historical moment, anticipating state-centered theory’s emphasis on the geopolitical determinants of domestic politics.30 A forceful state-centered political philosophy was able to develop by drawing selectively on specific aspects of Hegel’s political writings. German writers on the state in the middle of the nineteenth century moved slowly away from political philosophy to a more positive-empirical approach. Like Hegel, conservative nineteenth-century social thinkers such as Lorenz von Stein, Victor Aimeé Huber, Friedrich Julius Stahl, and Hermann Wagener preferred monarchy (constitutional or otherwise) to parliamentary or republican forms of government. They understood monarchy as hovering above social groups and wielding nearly unlimited decision-making powers, as interest neutral and independent of society.31 What Stein called the “kingdom of social reform” was seen as necessary for harmonizing “the conflicting interests and social spheres on a higher plane.32 Clearly influenced by Saint-Simon, Stein combined this with a distinctly “societycentered” theory of the welfare state (which he called “social administration”) as an ineluctable product of social class conflicts.33 Along with Huber, Stein argued that the constitutional form of government was directly controlled by the propertied classes. In some sense, therefore, these writers combined statist and society-centered analyses of political forms. The prevalence of such dualisms in nineteenth-century German political theory was probably related to the combination of constitutional and monarchical aspects in the German states.34 Various strands in the statist tradition of German state theory were developed further by Max Weber, Otto Hintze, and Carl Schmitt, whose writings present most of the central themes of current state-centered approaches.35 Weber and Hintze insisted on the autonomy of the modern bureaucracy. Hintze saw Germany as “the classical land of bureaucracy in the European world, like China in Asia and Egypt in antiquity.”36 Although Hintze emphasized the autonomy of the state vis-à-vis society (and the signal importance of geopolitical relations for domestic events), he was more concerned to uncover historical variations in the primacy of the political.37 Hintze claimed that there was an overall strengthening of the state’s influence over society, a change that included the great expansion of social policy in the years before and after World War I. He attributed these shifts to the arms race and the “proletarian movement,” and spoke of social policy as “a result of the social movement, which induced the state . . . to begin with socialpolitical legislation.”38 But while these trends in the state were described as partially driven by societal forces, the culmination of the general trend was a growing “subordination of the economy to the requirements of government.” Hintze concluded that there was “no evidence of an autono-



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mous economic development of capitalism, wholly detached from the state and politics,” but that “the affairs of the state and of capitalism are inextricably interrelated . . . two sides, or aspects, of one and the same historical development.”39 Weber failed to articulate a strong theoretical interpretation of the welfare state in either his sociological publications or his political writings.40 Like Hintze, Weber supported a progressive social policy as an imperative “not just of economic progress and social justice, but above all also of the development of national power.”41 He harshly criticized Bismarck’s patriarchal brand of social policy (which he compared to “certain American practices,” i.e., patronage) and rejected “the point of view of master rule and patriarchalism, the bonds of welfare institutions and those who would treat the worker as an object for bureaucratic regulation, and insurance legislation that merely creates dependency.” Weber championed instead protective labor legislation, legal guarantees for workers’ right to organize and strike, and “equal participation of the workers in the collective determination of working conditions.” During a lull in social legislation in 1912, he tried to organize an initiative to pressure the government into action.42 Yet Weber’s prognosis of the increasing domination of the state bureaucracy and of formal/instrumental rationality more generally in society led to an overall pessimism about the possibilities for reform. As Mitchell has suggested, statism is ultimately subjectivist and thus a cultural theory. States are analyzed as decision-making bodies. The key to a state’s decisions is therefore to be found in its rulers’ goals and ideologies, or else those of competing states.43 Within German state theory, this cultural dimension received its strongest expression in the writings of Carl Schmitt. For Schmitt, the “central concept of every theory of the state” is “the political,” whose essence is the ability to determine distinctions between friend and foe.44 The designation of the enemy is not, according to Schmitt, made at the behest of some social class or grouping; the state is autonomous by definition. Particularly novel is Schmitt’s “culturalist” emphasis on state autonomy as the power to “define the situation.”45 Again, Schmitt did not develop a theory of the welfare state, but his insistence on the feasibility of a “total state” dominating the social points toward certain emphases in the current state-centered discussions.46 The main thrust of recent state-centered work has been to affirm the autonomy of state managers: their heteronomous interests and the independent impact of these interests on policy-making and thus on society. Strictly speaking, state autonomy is a claim that the state may defy the preferences of the most powerful actors in civil society; in Theda Skocpol’s phrase, the state is “potentially autonomous.”47 For Eric Nordlinger, statism suggests that the state is “not only frequently autonomous insofar as it regularly acts on its own preferences, but also markedly autonomous in doing so even when its preferences diverge from the demands of the most powerful groups in civil society.”48 Related to this state-centered notion are vari-

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ous incrementalist theories that depict bureaucrats (or the “new class”) as seeking enhanced autonomy through larger budgets and more extensive policy.49 Several other perspectives have emerged recently under the heading of “state-centered theory.” Building on themes in Weber and Hintze, some statists have focused on state capacities,50 i.e., the impact of institutional structure, resources, personnel, and the general strength of the state apparatus on the state’s ability to realize official goals. They have accentuated the influence of geopolitics, war, and the international states system on domestic policy.51 A third theme in statist work, signaled above, has been the role of officials’ ideology and of political culture within the state apparatus. Statists have discussed the ways in which political theories, knowledge, and the legacies of earlier policies influence the state’s activities, including its capacity to act effectively.52 Statists have drawn particular attention to the “interrelations between states and ‘knowledge-bearing occupations.’ ”53 Finally, some statists have emphasized the “sociopolitical” impact of the state on society. Although the question raised here would seem to be different—the state’s effects as opposed to its determinants—the two sides cannot be so easily separated. In what Skocpol calls the “Toquevillian” perspective, “states matter. . . . because their organizational configurations, along with their overall patterns of activity, affect political culture, encourage some kinds of group formation and collective political actions (but not others) and make possible the raising of certain political issues (but not others).”54 This focus on the patterning of society by the state does not necessarily exclude any reciprocal influence of social conflicts on the state. It has been noted that statist writings often contain both a “hard” theory, which claims that “state-centered variables are more important than society-centered variables in explaining particular historical outcomes,” and a weaker version that merely calls for greater attention to the state as an independent entity.55 It should also be noted that a concern with the state’s effects on society is hardly unique to self-declared statist theorists. Many West German critical and Marxist state theorists, for example, have drawn attention to the modern state’s increasing penetration of society. Joachim Hirsch has depicted the rise of a hypertrophic and repressive “security state,” while Habermas has described the colonizing impingements of the “system world” on the “life world.”56 Despite these criticisms of the statist tradition, it has the major advantage of taking seriously the existence of the state as a material and cultural entity. Whatever the advantages of Foucault’s focus on the microscopic level of power (discussed at the end of this chapter), the statist approach acknowledges that power also tends to be concentrated. Modern states are the most superordinate of these nodes of concentrated power. They are also characterized by a specific set of techniques of power. The most important of these, as Mitchell has pointed out, may be the very power to “make the state appear to be a separate entity that somehow stands outside society.”57 In addi-



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tion to this basic definitional singularity are several more familiar characteristics of the state that distinguish it from other sites of power: its (relative) monopolization of violence within a specific territory, its claim to represent the common good, and the compulsory nature of membership in the state.58 Like the statists, my point of departure will be the central loci of state and municipal power. I will make no assumptions about the degree of state autonomy from society and the dominant classes, however, but will pose this as a central question in the investigation. MARXIST AND CLASS CONFLICT THEORIES OF THE STATE AND SOCIAL POLICY The decisive step in the introduction of an explanation of the state based in society was made by Karl Marx in 1843–1844.59 Marx criticized the strict division of state and society in Hegel’s theory, and, in the words of one hostile Hegelian, he “degrad[ed] the state from a Wirklichkeit to a product of the economy.”60 Marx rejected the notion of the bureaucracy as a “universal class” capable of rising above the conflicts of need and interest in civil society. Although Marx occasionally portrayed the state as disengaging itself from society, as in his analysis of France under Napoleon III in The Eighteenth Brumaire, this very act of autonomization was said to be a result of social contradictions. As Jessop reminds us, “It is a commonplace that Marx did not produce an account of the state to match the analytical power of his critique of the capitalist mode of production.”61 Marx’s writings in fact suggest several different models of the relations between state and society, and each of these has generated a soi-disant Marxist theory of the welfare state. The crudest theory depicts the state as an “instrument” of direct class rule. This theme is visible as early as Engels’s argument in 1844 that the English bourgeoisie “defends its interests with all the power at its disposal by wealth and the might of the State.” It received its most famous formulation in the Communist Manifesto, where the executive of the modern state is described as “but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.”62 A second strand in Marx sees the state as functionally fulfilling certain needs of the capitalist economy, and therefore as independent of the machinations of individual capitalists. Because the needs of the economy vary historically, different state forms and types of state intervention emerge with different stages in production relations and capital accumulation.63 In Capital, Marx argued that the English state was virtually compelled to intervene and regulate the exploitation of labor during the nineteenth century: “The general extension of factory legislation to all trades for the purpose of protecting the working class both in mind and body has become inevitable.”64 Each employer had an individual interest in maximally exploiting his labor force, but this endangered the long-term interests of capital as a class. In

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order to implement this legislation the state needed to be somewhat autonomous from the dominant capitalist class, which resisted it vehemently. A third theme, emerging most clearly in Marx’s political writings, views the modern state not as a tool of the bourgeoisie or an omniscient collective capitalist, but as what Marx called “the official résumé of society,” representing in condensed form the full complexity of the class structure and the balance of class forces in society.65 As we will see in chapter 4, Marxists have often taken this route in describing the German state during the last third of the nineteenth century as representing both agrarian Junkers and industrial capitalists. But, according to this approach, the working class may also be indirectly represented within the state and its activities. Marx writes of the factory laws that “their formulation, official recognition and proclamation by the state were the result of a long class struggle.”66 Later Marxists have elaborated upon these three strands in Marx, analyzing social policy in terms of a state (1) directly controlled by the bourgeoisie, (2) influenced by the class struggle, or (3) representing an “ideal collective capitalist” that acts in capital’s long-range interest without being directly manipulated by it. I will survey these three general trends in Marxist theory before turning in the following section to the more recent “intermediate” theoretical formulations. Since the 1970s, some former Marxists have drawn closer to state-centered theory, arguing that capitalists and the state are mutually dependent upon each other, without one being causally privileged even in the “last instance.”67 Direct Capitalist Control Corresponding to the first approach to the state in the writing of Marx and Engels, various theorists describe the state as directly controlled by capital or some subset of the capitalist class.68 Included here are the so-called instrumentalists as well as various approaches that trace the origins of welfare states to “enlightened capital,” “corporate liberals,” and their representatives.69 Sometimes social reformers are treated as a sort of avant-garde of the capitalist class. One recent history of the British welfare state, for example, claims that social reformers “pressed and agitated for a State . . . which [could] contain and modify some of the excesses of capitalist employers, not for the purpose of undermining capitalism, but for encouraging its general viability.” These reformers forced “manufacturers and industrialists to recognize ‘the true interests of their own order.’ ”70 Social Democratic Theory Understandably, German socialist writers were most inclined toward the theory that labor itself was responsible for advances in social reform. The most prominent exponent of this “class struggle” approach was not a socialist, however, but Bismarck himself, who claimed in 1884 that the socialinsurance legislation of the 1880s would never have come about without the



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socialist threat. Social Democratic theorists and historians later accepted this credit for the welfare state, casting their own party in the central role.71 This “heroic” narrative resurfaced after 1945. The main East German history of social policy, written by Paul Peschke, insisted that “German social insurance [was] created as the result of persistent class struggles”: “without working-class organization, no social assistance.”72 The problem with this interpretation was that the SPD’s already weak Reichstag group had voted against all of the original social-insurance laws during the 1880s. The working-class impact thus had to be conceptualized as taking an indirect form. In 1910, Friedrich Kleeis, an SPD expert on social policy, sketched several forms that such indirect influence might take. Given the marginalization of the SPD in national politics in 1910, it seemed unlikely that the socialists would gain “decisive power over lawmaking” in the near future. The crucial element driving social policy, therefore, was the class struggle, “the father of all things”: “Lively struggles were and are necessary not only for the introduction but also for the further development of worker protection.” It was also crucial that the governing elite be made aware of these struggles, because “only increased fear of Socialists is able to push social reform forward.” Kleeis thus anticipated the major arguments proposed in recent years by certain Marxists and “social democratic” theorists of the welfare state. In a different vein, Kleeis suggested that open social criticism had “sharpened the conscience of the ruling classes and induced them to pursue social policy.” Finally, he argued that social-political laws and institutions had a “class character” and contained “only those concessions to the workers which were unavoidable.” Social policy had raised working-class living standards and, in so doing, improved the conditions for future socialist agitation. Yet at the same time, “even where the worker is apparently equal, in reality he is still the subordinate part.”73 Kleeis thus underscored the importance of distinguishing surface features and underlying realities, and pointed toward an understanding of the state as a complex inscription of diverse and potentially contradictory class features—a form of analysis pursued by Marxists more recently.74 During the Weimar Republic, the socialist theorist Eduard Heimann developed the notion of the variable class character of different social policies. Heimann argued that social policy represented the “institutional expression of the social movement” in both its strengths and weaknesses.75 Heimann differentiated three basic types of policy with specific social effects and relations to the “social movement.” The first form consisted mainly of protective legislation, and like Marx in his analyses of the factory laws, Heimann argued that such policies were necessary for stabilizing capitalist production. These restrictions would be imposed even without social pressures. The second form consisted of policies that transform the parameters of the system in favor of the working class, like unemployment insurance and wage guarantees. These programs were the result of intense struggles, and provoked bitter resistance, but they still did not challenge the basic structure of the capitalist economy. A third type of policy, however, transcended the

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economistic logic of capital and the conventional labor movement in favor of extra-economic values, such as democracy and self-determination. Examples of this third form were laws guaranteeing workers the right to organize and to participate in the organization of work and other production decisions.76 The actual array of social programs at any given time would contain elements of all three forms, leading Heimann to speak of the dialectical or “conservative-revolutionary double character” of social policy.77 Theories that assign signal responsibility for social policy to labor movements and parties have recently assumed the label “social democratic.”78 Social-democratic theorists suggest that the crucial force behind welfarestate expansion is the strength or longevity of socialist/labor parties in government. A related approach attaches more importance to extraparliamentary labor organizations and struggles and to the relative power of labor, i.e., the overall societal balance of forces between the working class and employers.79 “Social movements” explanations of welfare are less fixated on the working class, focusing instead on the pressures and disruptions of poor people and other disenfranchised groups. Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward trace changes in public-welfare policy to riots and violent civil disorder by extraparliamentary actors.80 Charles Tilly and others have made similar arguments concerning the impact of unrest—or the fear of unrest among the middle classes and rulers—on precapitalist social policies.81 Structuralist Neo-Marxism “Structural” variants of Marxism emphasize the social constraints and pressures on the state and its policies. In some versions of structural Marxism, the needs of capitalist accumulation virtually compel the state to implement specific welfare policies.82 Such interventions are functionally necessary for capitalism and will occur without the urging of capitalists or even against their opposition. The state is an “ideal collective capitalist.” Social policy is essential for the initial socialization and educational qualification of young workers and their subsequent maintenance. The state must weigh the need to guarantee the reproduction of labor power against the contradictory imperative to weaken labor’s bargaining power.83 In an article first published in 1977, Claus Offe presents an account of a functionalist analysis of social policy, before showing its debilitating weaknesses and pointing the way toward more recent neo-Marxist or post-Marxist theories of the welfare state. Capitalist industrialization, he argues, creates a need for public policies that guarantee the “recommodification” or “active proletarianization” of labor power, because “the wholesale and complete transformation of dispossessed labor power into active wage-labor was not and is not possible without state policies.”84 Economic processes alone are unable to guarantee the quantity and quality of labor required by industry. Offe then points to two key factors that undermine a functionalist theory of welfare. The first recalls the statists’ emphasis on state capacities: The



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state may simply lack “the requisite foresight and analytical capacity for diagnosing the functional exigencies of capital more accurately than the bearers of the valorization process themselves.”85 Second, the state faces the dilemma of having to meet certain working-class demands in order to maintain its own legitimacy and that of the class structure—even though some of these policies may undermine capital accumulation. The notion of legitimacy as developed by Offe, James O’Connor, and Jürgen Habermas was, for obvious reasons, not a major concern at Marx’s time. As Habermas writes, the state provides “a guaranteed minimum level of welfare, which offers secure employment and a stable income,” in an attempt to fill the deficit in legitimacy that the private market is no longer able to generate unilaterally and to “bind the masses’ loyalty” to the private form of capital utilization.86 These approaches to the state provide a focus for asking questions about the relations between the welfare state, social classes, and capital accumulation. I will argue that the broad outlines of social policy were related to the factors central to these class approaches: capital accumulation, the social threat, and the organized presence of the working class. Yet the Marxist approaches provide an incomplete explanation. To understand the formation of state policy, we need to grant more autonomy to the state, as the perspectives in the next section argue. German social policies were sometimes designed to promote social order for its own sake. State managers sought social order for reasons that were not identical to capitalist interests or capital accumulation, even if they were partially related. Similarly, Marxist and class theories can tell us very little about the assumptions about appropriate male and female roles and behavior that were built into social policies. STATE AND CLASS AS COEQUAL DETERMINANTS OF WELFARE POLICY With Offe, we have moved away from approaches that posit a necessary correspondence between capitalist needs and state activities toward a view of such correspondence as only a possible yet problematic outcome. A similar argument was proposed by Rudolf Goldscheid and Joseph Schumpeter after World War I, who analyzed the limitations imposed on the state’s social-policy initiatives through its dependence upon tax revenue.87 State officials are compelled to promote capitalism even if they have an autonomous policy agenda, due to the state’s dependence on tax revenues generated in the private economy. The added taxation needed for expansive social programs could not be allowed to interfere with savings and investment, because the state depended upon continuing accumulation for its very survival. Offe elaborates this by describing four constraints on the state in capitalist society: (1) The state is prohibited from directly organizing production; (2) the state is powerless without resources from taxation; (3) this requires the state

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to promote private accumulation in its own self-interest. (4) The fourth constraint, applicable to democratic-parliamentary regimes, is that “any political group or party can win control over . . . state power only to the extent that it wins . . . elections.”88 The pressure to promote accumulation therefore derives not only from the state’s dependence on privately generated revenues; state managers in democratic regimes will lose their electoral support or their jobs if they allow the incomes of workers and capitalists to suffer through an accumulation crisis. This does not mean, however, that the state is necessarily able to resolve crises of private accumulation. In contrast to functionalist state theories, failures are by no means excluded from the realm of possibility. Indeed, as John Keane points out, Offe’s work is notable for emphasizing the “systematic failures in welfare state policymaking and administration.”89 A primary reason for the welfare state’s tendency to fail is that it must promote the commodification of labor (and capital) through programs that are decommodified, i.e., that work outside of markets. Although Offe’s writings on social policy proceed from the standpoint of the state, he is not primarily concerned with the problem of the conditions for autonomous state action. Charles Tilly and Fred Block explicitly address the issue: when, if ever, can the state openly oppose the interests of the dominant economic classes? Tilly argues that “states are shaped chiefly by the need to wage and prepare for war.”90 But although state-making is driven by the “state-centric” pursuit of war, “social” variables mediate the impact of these military goals on the actual form of the state. In pursuit of their bellicose ends, states need to mobilize capital and soldiers. The prevalence or combination of “capital-intensive” versus “coercion-intensive” forms of development (or surplus extraction) within the jurisdiction of a given state conditions the success of state-making and the form of state that emerges. Although not concerned primarily with welfare provision, Tilly suggests that it has been one response to claims made by the noncapitalist classes with whom the state had “bargained” for the provision of war-making manpower.91 Tilly’s approach ultimately resists classification as either statist or societal, because he pays equal attention to both “sides.” Yet his states—unlike those of Skocpol or other statists—cannot become fully autonomous from dominant class forces except in a small number of clearly defined cases.92 Tilly shows, in one reviewer’s summary, “that if states have autonomous purposes, their structure and behavior are more predictable from the economic structure. . . . Thus the autonomy of state purposes, distinct from the purposes of the upper classes, does not produce causal autonomy any more than the autonomous purposes of firms render market prices causally indeterminate.”93 Fred Block’s synthesis of statist and Marxist themes theorizes both the state’s “normal” structural subordination to capitalism and the conditions



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for its potential autonomy. Like Offe and Tilly, Block portrays state managers as pursuing their own interests but as constrained by the state’s reliance on revenues from the capitalist economy.94 Concern for maintaining business confidence and promoting accumulation tends to keep state managers in check, unless they are willing to cut off their own lifeblood. Public policies that overstep the boundaries of acceptability to business elites will be censured by provoking capital disinvestment or flight.95 During periods of economic depression or war, however, the private economy is less able to keep state managers in check. At this point we can only agree with Block that “arguments about which of these factors [societal level and state level] are more important tend to divert us from the more important issue of understanding the complex and changing interaction between state and society.”96 Taken together, the writings of Tilly, Block, and Offe suggest a theory of the “semiautonomous” state. This would be a sort of hybrid between the statist insistence on the state’s independent projects and indigenous qualities and the Marxist emphasis on the ways states are embedded within broader economic processes, class relations, and social dynamics. It is skeptical about the possibility of a state coming “unstuck” and disengaging itself from the surrounding society, although it is willing to continue trying to specify the conditions under which this might be possible. The Imperial German state provides an ideal setting for exploring the dialectics of autonomization and constraint. MODERNIZATION THEORY AND THE WELFARE STATE A few words should be said about the other “societal” explanation which traces the welfare state to a general process of societal modernization. This analytic frame has serious theoretical and empirical flaws but needs to be addressed because it is frequently applied to the German case.97 The basic modernization theory of the welfare state was proposed over one hundred years ago by the German economist Adolph Wagner, who argued that “capitalism brought in its wake certain new needs that only the state was in a position to satisfy.”98 The industrialized nations would therefore experience a continual expansion of their public sectors, especially in the “culture and welfare” sectors, as per capita income rose. Although the logic behind this expansion was not explicitly spelled out, its correlates were said to be population density, urbanization, per capita income, and industrialization. This “Whig” narrative of social progress received its most famous statement by T. H. Marshall in his 1949 essay on the secular extension of citizenship to include the “social element,” by which he meant “the whole range from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society.”99 Social scientists

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made predictions similar to Wagner’s Law under the mantle of “modernization theory” or the “logic of industrialism thesis,” and some found that the “law” may hold in the aggregate for industrial (and Western) nations.100 Recent investigations have concluded, however, that economic development and social-need variables cannot explain the differential timing of the passage of social-insurance legislation, at least among industrialized states.101 Modernization theory does a reasonable job explaining gross variations in less-conflictual social programs, but it is fairly helpless when faced with phenomena such as the deterioration of unemployment insurance in the U.S. during the 1980s. The fundamental theoretical weakness of the modernization perspective is that it cannot specify the mechanisms by which economic growth translates into policy. A relationship between industrialization and the growth of the welfare state is not incommensurable with structural Marxist theories— although this does not imply that functionalist Marxism, which also ignores such mechanisms, is superior. Industrialization is sometimes seen as important because it facilitates revenue extraction by the state, yet this view glosses over important intervening factors.102 First, although industrial firms may in general be easier to tax than other productive units, states vary in their ability to extract these revenues (as emphasized by the statists; see above). Extracted resources are thus best considered from the standpoint of state capacities. Second, dependence upon specific kinds of taxes, such as those acquired from businesses and industrialists’ incomes, may increase the government’s vulnerability to individual and collective mobilization against its policies, including social policies. These factors are best considered from the standpoint of constraints on state managers. Other modernization theorists argue that industrialization reduces the functions of the family and other private institutions that shield individuals from material duress, requiring the state to take over the family’s tasks. Linda Gordon points out that “these lost ‘functions’ of the ‘traditional’ family were mainly women’s labor, and modern welfare states do not in fact replace them with anything except differently organized women’s labor.”103 A bigger analytical problem, however, is that the loss of these buffering institutions does not correlate strongly with the rise of the welfare state.104 Why, according to this theory, should Germany and Austria have preceded highly industrialized Britain in introducing national social insurance—not to mention the world’s leading industrial power for much of the twentieth century, the United States, whose welfare state is still “incomplete”? Modernization theory is thus conceptually flabby and empirically feeble. Many of its empirical predictions are indistinguishable from Marxist theory, but it fails to specify the underlying mechanisms that account for these “conjunctions of events.” Modernization theory is also ill suited for explaining international differences in the timing of social reform. It is a crude tool that may be best suited for mapping the West’s sense of superiority vis-à-vis the less-developed world.105



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GENDER, RACE, AND THE WELFARE STATE This brings us to the last major group of welfare-state theories, based in feminist theories of gender and sexuality and research on race and ethnicity. As with the discussions of state-centered and Marxist state theories above, I cannot begin to recapitulate the vast and still-growing literature relevant to this problem. Instead, I will present a survey of the themes that need to be kept in mind in any study of the welfare state. The prevailing view among feminists is aptly summarized by R.W. Connell: “We cannot understand the place of gender in social process by drawing a line around a set of ‘gender institutions’ [i.e., kinship and the family]. Gender relations are present in all types of institutions.”106 Included among these institutions are the state and its social programs. The state is widely regarded as a male institution, albeit for different reasons. In the middle of the nineteenth century, a prominent German state theorist contrasted the “masculine character” of the modern state with the Church, which was “not a State . . . because it does not consciously rule itself like a man, and act freely in its external life.”107 Others argue that the state’s links to violence make it inherently masculine.108 Many feminists focus on the law and liberal concepts of citizenship. Catherine MacKinnon develops the argument that the state is male because “the law sees and treats women the way men see and treat women.” Male, objectivist epistemology is the liberal state’s norm.109 Carole Pateman emphasizes the problematic definition of the modern liberal state as separate from both civil society and the family. Although civil society is “private” with respect to the state, the “family” is doubly private, in the familiar Hegelian social geography. Liberal citizenship originally presupposed the ownership of property, and even critical liberalism insists that citizenship is instantiated in the public sphere (Habermas); yet women’s traditional performance of unpaid and “invisible” labor in the “private” realm of the family fails to qualify them in both respects.110 Social policy occupies a complex position with respect to gender, women’s subordination, and the state. On the one hand, Linda Gordon, Jane Jenson, Frances Fox Piven, and others have argued that the welfare state is “both friend and foe”: “Women, who received much less money from the welfare system, actually gained more power from it [than men],” because they could use it to reduce their dependence on male household heads.111 A recent Dutch study, for example, found that women who had sought refuge in women’s centers revealed a profound sense of security and tranquillity based on an “internalization” of the welfare state; their (former) husbands, by contrast, regarded the welfare state with “rage and jealousy” as a “competitor.”112 On the other hand, Gordon and other feminists (including Nancy Fraser and Barbara Nelson) have argued that social-policy systems are divided into male and female “streams.” These streams differ in terms of both the sex of their primary beneficiaries and the logic of their

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operation. Although women currently “constitute the substantial majority of the clients of most social insurance and welfare programs,” they are especially concentrated in the traditional public-assistance sector.113 Thus the state tends to assign women the disempowered role of “client,” and women are just as disadvantaged economically within the welfare state as they are outside of it.114 Men, by contrast, tend to be beneficiaries of the social-insurance stream of the contemporary welfare state, granting them the “right” to social benefits and the relative empowerment that goes with that right.115 In addition to reproducing gender inequality by providing women with inferior benefits, social policy is analyzed as embodying definitions of appropriate behavior, identities, and sexual practices for both men and women.116 The concepts of “gender order” and “gender regimes” as discussed by Sheila Shaver, R.W. Connell, Jill Matthews, and Ann Orloff attempt to capture the welfare state’s gendered logics of operation in this broader sense. The term gender order is used to define the totality of all patterns of “power relations between men and women and definitions of femininity and masculinity” in an entire society; a gender regime refers to the set of gender relations and definitions operative in a particular institution.117 The gender regime of a welfare state, writes Shaver, gives “state sanction to norms about sexuality, marriage and family structure, parental responsibility and the sexual division of labor in domestic and paid employment.”118 This framework acknowledges variations in types of gender regimes. Shaver finds that the Australian state income-maintenance system has a “more weakly differentiated gender subtext” than the U.S. welfare state. In a similar vein, Jane Jenson concludes that the different modes of incorporating women in the British and French welfare states reflect the divergent assumptions in their respective feminist and labor movements about appropriate roles for women.119 It is also important to heed David Crew’s admonition that real fathers, mothers, and children may have some latitude for refusing the definitions of gender and the family proffered by states.120 Feminists do not necessarily assume that the imperatives of male dominance and definitions of women as subordinate will always prevail over other considerations, such as class, race, or raison d’état, in social policymaking. Sheila Shaver, for example, insists that “gender and class do not give a full analysis of the structure of domination exercised through the welfare state. Race and ethnicity are at least as important.”121 U.S. welfare history offers a string of examples of racial differentiation, from the racially discriminatory Civil War pension system and the perennial use of stigmatized welfare programs targeted at the black “underclass,” to the construction of high-density public housing in already “hyperghettoized” neighborhoods and the state’s failure to eliminate discrimination in housing markets.122 Nazi Germany’s eugenic policies represent the epitome of such “racial regimes” in welfare policy.123 This book will explore in some detail the gendered aspects of German social policy at the national and local levels. Imperial Germany’s most sig-



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nificant contribution to racial welfare policy was in laying some of the groundwork for eugenics through the biological classification of social risks and remedies. The only directly racial forms of social policy, however, were in the German colonies, which cannot be discussed here.124 BOURDIEU, FOUCAULT, AND THE WELFARE STATE A final word needs to be said about interpretations of the welfare state inspired by Bourdieu and Foucault. Both writers explicitly discuss the ways in which power and domination impinge upon the body and shape practices and social-classification schemes. Like feminists, they draw attention to sexuality and gender as privileged sites for the exercise of domination. Both direct attention to the less brutal forms of domination, to the kinds of “gentle violence” (Bourdieu) that characterize welfare policy. As Foucault puts it, “the government of men by men . . . involves a certain type of rationality. It doesn’t involve instrumental violence.”125 Of course there are many differences between Bourdieu and Foucault, particularly with respect to Bourdieu’s more detailed and complex elaboration of practice and subjectivity. Like Foucault, Bourdieu is concerned with transcending the dichotomies of subjective and objective, body and mind, in social theory. But Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and of the different forms of capital (cultural, social, economic, symbolic) are richer and better able to grasp the dimensions of practice that partially escape domination. Whereas Foucault alludes only glancingly to forms of practice that escape discipline, perhaps for fear of violating them through discursive appropriation, Bourdieu is directly concerned with the possibilities for limited “improvisation” within the constraints imposed by individuals’ holdings of different forms of capital and their locations within specific “fields.”126 Foucault devotes little attention to theorizing such partially strategic practices by the dominated, focusing rather on forms of resistence that are not compromised by their participation in prestructured games. It would be impossible to provide a complete overview of these intricate theoretical edifices or to test one against the other empirically. My more limited goal here is to explore the productivity of each perspective for the specific analysis of social policy. This is necessarily an imaginative reconstruction, because neither author has discussed the welfare state in any detail. It also builds in part on the work of followers of Foucault and Bourdieu. What might an analysis of social policy look like from Bourdieu’s perspective? Because social policy is an “affaire d’État,” it is important first to reconstruct Bourdieu’s ideas about the state, a topic that he has only recently started to address. At the end of La noblesse d’État Bourdieu discusses the emergence of what he calls an “autonomous bureaucratic field” in the modern world. On the one hand, the state is the product of a new noblesse de robe, one based on scholarly titles rather than pedigrees of noble birth. The

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scholarly aristocracy works to establish “bureaucratic power positions relatively independent of already established temporal or spiritual powers.”127 At the same time, the state guarantees the reproduction of this nobility by recognizing their credentials and legitimating their claims to dominate the state. It is doubtful that high educational qualifications would so thoroughly structure the bureaucratic field in other national cases, especially before the twentieth century. Yet Bourdieu calls attention more generally to the importance of analyzing the state as a partially autonomous field (or set of fields) with its own indigenous forms of “capital,” to the socialization and habitus of state managers, and to the strategies they use to reproduce their power. In this respect the analysis bears some resemblance to the thesis of the semiautonomous state discussed above. The state becomes the institutional basis for the reproduction of social groups defined by their holdings of specific forms of capital. Recalling the “Tocquevillian” focus on the state’s transformative effects on society, Bourdieu also argues that the reproduction of the scholarly nobility exemplifies a more general “magical power” of the state to ratify the value and even the very existence of relations and events such as marriages, births, accidents, or illnesses. The state’s validation makes them undergo “a veritable ontological promotion, a transmutation, a change of nature or essence.”128 Bourdieu’s most frequently cited discussion of social policy argues that it is a form of “symbolic violence” through which the overt violence of the economic field is concealed and the economically dominant groups reproduce their power. One strategy for encouraging this “mis-recognition” (méconnaissance) involves “legitimacy-giving redistribution, public (‘social’ policies) and private (financing of ‘disinterested’ foundations, grants to hospitals and to academic and cultural institutions).”129 This particular argument is not incompatible with neo-Marxist analyses of the welfare state as a legitimatory mask for capitalism, and it shares with these theories two basic shortcomings. To the extent that wage earners themselves contribute some or all the funds for social-insurance schemes, they are more likely to view benefits as an entitlement than as a gift. Even if benefits are understood as gifts, the economically dominant class may not gain in legitimacy, unless it is seen as simultaneously controlling the state—an impression that the holders of economic capital are unlikely to encourage. The whole thrust of this argument is difficult to reconcile with the more recent discussions of the autonomy of the bureaucratic field. Even if the legitimation thesis explains the universal existence of a minimum of social provision in all modern capitalist societies, it cannot explain conflicts around social regulation or variations in welfare policy. For this, concepts such as habitus, fields, and distinction strategies would have to be brought into the study of both policymakers and the social groups addressed by social programs. State managers’ practices and representations in the social arena can be partly understood in terms of their habitus and the struc-



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ture of the bureaucratic field of social policy-making. Officials’ habitus should account for their images of the social question, of the groupings that make up society and their relative prestige and needs, and of the ultimate goals of social policy, including the sorts of behaviors that policy should encourage. Like any field, social policy will be traversed by conflicts over the reallocation and redefinition of values. The role of struggles over distinction and classification in social policy is illustrated by the efforts of German white-collar employees to obtain social-insurance coverage that was institutionally separate and materially superior to that of blue-collar workers.130 The French Vichy administration’s granting of legal status to the “cadres” in the 1941 charte du travail similarly solidified a social-class grouping as superior to the manual laborers.131 The postwar struggles of self-employed groups in Europe to gain coverage by the welfare state can also be seen as a bid for symbolic as well as economic capital.132 Foucault’s oblique and often contradictory statements on social policy pose the greatest challenge to a theory of the welfare state. Discipline and Punish examined disciplinary technologies, institutions of correction, normalization, policing, and expert discourses as they inculcate internally regulated behavior and produce modern forms of individuality.133 But as is well known, Foucault’s history of discipline radically dismantled the state and diminished its centrality with respect to the microscopic operations of the institutions comprising the “carceral archipelago.” By emphasizing the dispersed local points of contact between “capillary” power and the subject, Foucault appeared to reduce the state to just one among many sites of power. In the 1970s, Foucault wrote that “one of the first things to be understood is that power isn’t localised in the State apparatus”:134 There is a sort of schematism . . . that consists of locating power in the State apparatus, making this into the major, privileged, capital and almost unique instrument of the power of one class over another. In reality, power in its exercise goes much further, passes through much finer channels.135 I would say that we should direct our researches on the nature of power not towards the juridical edifice of sovereignty, the State apparatuses and the ideologies which accompany them, but towards domination and the material operators of power, towards forms of subjection and the inflections and utilisations of their localised systems, and towards strategic apparatuses.136

He also decisively rejected the “Manichean” couplet civil society–state which “afflicts the notion of the State with a pejorative connotation while idealizing society as a good, lively, and warm ensemble.”137 Yet this rejection of the state as privileged object of theory should not be taken at face value. Foucault was opposed here to a certain type of fixation on the state that elides state and sovereignty, that conceptualizes power as “juridical and negative rather than as technical and positive.”138 As he specified, “I don’t want to say that the State isn’t important; what I want to say

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is that relations of power, and hence the analysis that must be made of them, necessarily extend beyond the limits of the State.”139 There is no reason one cannot analyze the operations of what we call “the state” in terms of positive strategies of power; and in fact, this is exactly the sort of analysis suggested by Foucault’s later lectures and writings on cameralism and police science. In other words, Foucault became more interested in the state stricto sensu. In these later writings, Foucault suggested several stages in the development of power or “governmentality”: pastoralism, the early state (monarchy), the “police state,” and the modern legal/welfare state. Political rationality first grew up in Western societies, writes Foucault, through the idea of pastoral power, involving particular knowledge by the pastor of each of his “sheep”: “What I mean in fact is the development of power techniques oriented towards individuals and intended to rule them in a continuous and permanent way.” Here “pastorship” was an individualizing power in contrast to the state, which was “the political form of a centralised and centralising power.”140 The sovereignty of the state emerged later. The state’s power holders were less like “shepherds”: their task “doesn’t consist in fostering the life of a group of individuals,” but rather in “forming and assuring the city’s unity.”141 Foucault also notes a shift in the way political writers discuss the state beginning in the mid-sixteenth century, a shift from “a concern with the nature of the state and then the prince and his concerns per se, to a broader and more detailed consideration of how to introduce economy and order (i.e., government) from the top of the state down through all aspects of social life.”142 In fact, the state did not ignore individuals; rather its power was of “both an individualizing and a totalizing form.”143 The modern form of pastoral power was concerned especially “to develop those elements constitutive of individuals’ lives in such a way that their development also fosters that of the strength of the state.” Disciplinary power, which is the hallmark of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was focused on normalization, i.e., individualization. The new regime of power is called “bio-power,” because it is concerned with developing the capacities of populations, rather than strengthening the prince. It works through scientific categories and operations on the human body and, most recently, through legal forms. The contemporary welfare state occupies a curious intermediate position in this analysis. It embodies the universalizing legal-juridical form of “sovereignty” (i.e., “political power wielded over legal subjects”) as well as “pastoral power wielded over live individuals.”144 These principles as combined in welfare policy are summarized as “security” and “discipline.”145 Clearly, some branches of what we call the welfare state are concerned more with legal subjects, for example social insurance, whereas other branches are directed mainly at biological subjects and concerned with individual discipline. Foucault did not live long enough to clarify his thoughts on the relationship between these two moments in the welfare state, but researchers associ-



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ated with him have continued to work on various aspects of social policy.146 For Jacques Donzelot, Giovanna Procacci, and François Ewald, social policy creates a new sphere, “the social,” which is characterized by “solidarity” and the replacement of rights with duties. This involves the creation of direct bonds of social reciprocity between social classes and individuals, the elimination or socialization of the notion of responsibility through social risk and social insurance, and the “de-dramatization of social problems,” culminating in what Ewald calls “la société assurantielle.”147 Duties and solidarities replace positive rights linked to the sovereignty of the moral subject.148 One problem with this is that the effects of social policy are deduced from the text of contemporary laws and theoretical descriptions. This approach also draws attention away from the large region of welfare-state activities that are not based on solidarities and duties. Ewald concentrates on the least problematic of the major social programs, social insurance, and specifically workmen’s compensation for industrial accidents. But historically, programs like “poor relief,” social work, and the like cannot be separated from social insurance. Whereas some of the welfare state’s activities address already-existing problems and create bonds of solidarity, others construct new risks, define and reclassify new social groups, such as “youth” or “the aged,” and construct concomitant programs. Ewald’s notion of a “new social contract based on solidarity” is substantially weakened when these aspects of state activity are taken into account.149 Other researchers inspired by Foucault have been more consistent with the dominant thrust of his work, namely the focus on bio-power and the welfare state’s capacity for dividing, classifying, and disciplining subjects.150 Even if Foucault had lived longer, it is unlikely that he would have clarified what remain two central problems with his work on discipline and welfare. The first concerns the issue of agency. Here I am referring not to the question of resistance, for which Foucault in fact provides very definite answers, whether or not one agrees with them. I am referring instead to the agency of those doing the disciplining. Foucault refuses even to identify these groups, beyond references to a set of theorists who often had little to do with the actual implementation of disciplinary policies. Second is the problem of the relationship between modern “disciplinary” powers and capitalism, and of the relative importance of determinants that are analytically separate from capitalism. Foucault is notoriously vague on this issue. Other historical studies of these disciplinary practices have failed to address this issue frontally, probably because their authors are either devotees of Foucault or (more commonly) unremittingly hostile to his work. The writings of Foucault and Bourdieu thus raise questions about social policy that are absent, or only implicit, in other approaches. I will pay attention to the use of discipline in German social policy, and to its “civilizing” and classificatory dimensions. Although this chapter has presented a somewhat baroque array of theoretical approaches, all of them will prove to be of partial use in understand-

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ing nineteenth-century German social regulation. The rest of the book will not, however, laboriously assess the applicability of each “theory” to each historical “fact.” As I argued in the first section, social-scientific explanation is not typically a parsimonious process of selecting the “winner” from a field of competing theories. Explaining most social and historical phenomena requires that one trace the articulation of a variety of causal mechanisms that are usually associated with diverse theoretical frameworks. The next chapter will present a summary of the overall argument in the rest of the book.



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Toward an Explanation of the Welfare State in Nineteenth-Century Germany ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF SOCIAL POLICY AND EXPLANATORY MODELS In the preceding chapter I suggested that any social object as complex and concrete as the welfare state could probably only be explained in terms of a combination of causal mechanisms rooted in different theoretical systems. Chapter 1 also presented a variety of alternative theories of social policy. The purpose of this chapter is to sketch the explanatory models that will guide the historical discussions of local and national social programs in the rest of this book. Such an approach may be somewhat jarring to sociologists, who typically draw their conclusions only after a set of hypotheses has been drawn up and tested. Moreover, historians’ epistemological predilections and professional habitus often clash with the idea of “detachable” conclusions or theoretical “models.”1 My hope is that telling a pared-down version of the story at the outset will make it easier to follow the theoretical argument through the historical narrative.2 The object of explanation in this book is the origins and functioning of different “paradigms” of social regulation (or social policy) in Imperial Germany.3 Social-regulation paradigms differ in various respects. Each paradigm includes both a theoretical-cognitive side, with blueprints and social theories, and a “real-material” dimension, involving implementation, adjustment, and operation. Each represents a different way of imagining the social realm and its fault lines, of trying to (re)organize it, and of responding to problems that arise in concrete implementation. Paradigms differ in their images of society and of the working class, in the way that they define social problems, in the social groups that they address, and with respect to the intensity and kind of participation that they grant to workers and to other excluded social groups in their concrete formulation and functioning. Paradigms also differ in terms of the kinds of benefits they provide. With respect to the explanatory tasks at hand, it is significant that the realization of different social-policy paradigms is related to different causal variables. The concept of social-regulatory paradigms is related to Gøsta EspingAndersen’s useful notion of “welfare state regimes” but is broader in that it encompasses the intellectual and cultural elements that precede and accompany institutionalized social-reform practices. Paradigms include both explicit and implicit and lay and expert theories and classification schemes about the world. They are ideologies in the broadest sense, concerning the

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structure of the world, normative values about how the world should be, and beliefs about the possibilities for changing the world. “Welfare state regimes,” by contrast, is a political-economic concept focused specifically on the “complex of legal and organizational features” that interweave the relation between state and society.4 I will identify four main social-policy paradigms in Germany during the sixty-five years preceding World War I: (1) modern poor relief; (2) the Bismarckian paradigm, or what I will call “worker policy”; (3) proto-corporatist social policy; and (4) scientific social work. My objective will be to describe these four paradigms and to propose explanations for their introduction and growth. Poor Relief What I am calling “modern” poor relief emerged in Germany over the course of the nineteenth century. Although this form of social policy was centrally involved in the nexus of proletarianization, industrialization, and commodification, it did not have the “working class” per se as its specific, explicit addressee. Poor relief addressed “potential” workers, such as mothers and orphans, in addition to such categories as the aged, the disabled, and other persons who were permanently unsuited for work. In contrast to “Bismarckian” and proto-corporatist social policy, the working class was not at the conceptual and practical center of poor relief. Modern poor relief was codified in Germany by the so-called Elberfeld system, which focused on inculcating notions of individual responsibility and industriousness in the poor. Emblematic of this approach and its focus on self-reliance was the requirement that former paupers pay back the costs of their aid. It was also standard to provide assistance in cash rather than in kind in order to encourage self-regulating behavior among the poor. The contradiction at the heart of poor relief, of course, was that official discourse acknowledged the structural, super-individual roots of social problems, while at the same time insisting on individual responsibility for poverty and its elimination. This contradiction between an individualizing discipline, on the one hand, and a sociological analysis of the causes of poverty on the other, was typical of all nineteenth-century social policy, but it was expressed most blatantly in the poor-relief paradigm. Poor relief is discussed in chapters 5 and 6. Bismarckian Worker Policy The working class was central to the second and third forms of policy, which revolved around a reframing of the social question as the “worker question.” These two forms differed, however, in that the Bismarckian paradigm treated workers as an object of state policy, whereas the proto-corporatist paradigm treated them as a partial subject. More specifically, the second and



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third forms differed in their treatment of the Social Democratic party and the closely associated free labor unions. The apotheosis of the Bismarckian worker paradigm of social policy was the social-insurance legislation of the 1880s (although similar interventions had occurred in 1849 and 1854, when Prussian legislation required workers to join sickness funds).5 This legislation was designed to contain the working class by recognizing its social existence while attacking its organizational base. The insurance laws primarily benefited the “core” proletariat of manual workers who were employed, skilled, and male. Most workers in domestic, agricultural, or white-collar occupations were ineligible for social insurance, as were people with tenuous relations to labor markets. The general thrust was to prevent workers’ organizations from taking over social programs by locating control with state officials, employers, or with “individualized” workers, i.e., workers who did not represent any organization.6 Various policies implemented by German cities, including job exchanges and public-works employment, corresponded to the “Bismarckian” paradigm as well. Urban elites also sought to bypass and undermine the socialists by offering workers social programs that competed with the trade unions’ own welfare operations. Almost all municipal work-relief programs, for example, involved two significant exclusions: First, groups that were not part of the core official working class, such as the unmarried, day laborers, or recent migrants from rural areas, were generally ineligible. Second, labor unions and producer cooperatives were not allowed to participate in the administration of local emergency works programs. This form is dealt with in chapters 5 and 6. Proto-corporatist Policy The advent of “proto-corporatist” interventions during the 1890s marked a significant break with the Bismarckian form of social policy. Here the socialist labor movement was acknowledged and accepted as at least a subordinate partner in the formulation and implementation of social programs. This approach roughly resembled the well-known “neo-corporatist” form of structured interactions between interest groups and the state, a form that has been typical in Western Europe during much of the twentieth century.7 Designated representatives of labor interests were permitted and even encouraged to articulate workers’ interests. Official labor representatives were enlisted in implementing public policies and defending them vis-à-vis the rank and file. The new social policies worked through the socialist trade unions rather than bypassing them.8 The socialist labor movement was acknowledged and accepted as a junior partner in policy-making. Like Bismarckian policy, the proto-corporatist paradigm was thus addressed primarily to the better-earning and stable stratum of the working class that dominated the socialist trade unions. This form existed almost exclusively at the municipal level before 1914. One example of proto-corporatist policy in urban Imperial Germany was the “Ghent system” of municipal subsidies for

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labor unions’ unemployment-insurance funds.9 Another was the “social commissions,” committees created by local governments to design social policies in consultation with worker representatives. Local proto-corporatism laid the groundwork for the full-fledged corporatism of Weimar and adumbrated the main lines of West Germany’s “social partnership.” It is discussed in chapter 7. “Scientific Social Work” The fourth form of social policy can be called “scientific social work,” although this term does not refer to any officially defined body of social-work literature.10 Social work both extended and transformed the modern poorrelief paradigm. Like poor relief, scientific social work was not focused explicitly on the working class. Also like poor relief, clients were not allowed to participate in the administration of social programs, nor did they have a right to benefits. But social work included other features that had been absent in poor relief, including professionalization and bureaucratization; the centrality of experts; the more fine-grained definition of a whole array of new social problems, categories, risks, and client types, such as the juvenile delinquent; and the use of “scientific” criteria, especially biological ones, in defining reality. Although the traditional workhouse had always employed physical punishment, the discipline of the body was intensified and diversified under the new paradigm, with its focus on hygiene and prevention. The new emphasis on the prophylactic rather than reactive treatment of social problems encompassed a whole pedagogy of social existence, from temperance to campaigns against kissing, spitting, sneezing, and other causes of tuberculosis. Some of these interventions clearly had a positive and lasting effect on public health. But as Detlev Peukert has suggested, other elements of the social paradigm that emerged at the turn of the century paved the way for the eugenicist programs of the Nazi era. Social work is discussed in chapter 7. A CONTEXTUALIZED EXPLANATION OF SOCIAL POLICY Which of the different theories of the state are best able to elucidate these four forms of social policy? The answer that I will suggest is a historical and contextualized one. No single theory is able to explain social policy across time and across levels of the state. Different models are necessary for both the synchronic and diachronic explanatory tasks. The table below is the best starting point for developing this account. The two most important pieces of information are located in the cells of the table. The theoretical models that are best able to explain state actions in a given period and at a specific level of government are shown in italics. In parentheses are the paradigms of social regulation associated with a given period and level of the state. The theoretical approaches were presented in



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TABLE 2.1 Models of Social Policy-Making in Imperial Germany (with forms of social policy shown in parentheses): Local and National Politics DISCURSIVE CONTEXT: ELITE CONCEPTUALIZATION OF SOCIAL DANGER

Discourse of Social Disorder

Discourse of Social Revolution

Local State Early 19th century–1890s

ca. 1890–1914

1. Direct Bourgeois Control of the State and “Piven and Cloward” Thesis of Extraparliamentary Collective Disorder (modern poor relief) 2. Professional/Scientific State (scientific social work)

3. Social Democratic Theory of State (proto-corporatist policy and worker policy)

Central State 1830s–1848 (Prussian state) ca. 1850s–1900s ca. 1900–1914

4. Semiautonomous State (modern poor relief) 5. Semiautonomous State (modern poor relief) 7. Semiautonomous State (modern poor relief)

6. Semiautonomous State (Bismarckian policy) 8. Semiautonomous State, with Partial Parliamentarization (Bismarckian policy and limited scientific social work)

the preceding chapter, and the four main paradigms of social regulation are discussed in more detail below. It is important to note that earlier social programs usually continued to exist in the later periods, even if they were no longer at the core of social strategy. Local governments continued to provide poor relief after 1890, for example, and many central state policies were still structured along “Bismarckian” lines. The left-hand column is broken down into rough historical periods. In other words different theoretical models are best able to explain social policy in different historical subperiods. This is due to the evolution of political structures. The left-hand column also distinguishes between the local and central levels of the state, based on the hypothesis that the two levels functioned differently. (Before German unification, the “central state” refers mainly to the Prussian state). The periodization scheme should be taken as only a broad approximation. The table reifies social processes in order to simplify their visual presentation, freezing the beginning and end points of a given process. In the upper-left-hand part of the table (cells 1 and 2), for example, the transition from direct bourgeois control of local government to professional-scientific control was neither abrupt nor ubiquitous. This transition itself was the result of several factors that are not shown in the table,

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including changes in the structure of industrial capitalism, suffrage laws, and income distribution. The result was the withdrawal of bourgeois industrialists from local affairs, but this was an uneven and partial process. By the same token, the year 1890 marks the approximate onset of a set of gradual changes. Although 1890 is shown as signalling the new relevance of socialdemocratic theory for explaining urban social regulation, the growth of socialist power in local government was uneven in its speed and extent. In fact, as I will argue, the Social Democrats were only able to influence policy in cities where they were both relatively strong and oriented toward participation in conventional municipal politics. Finally, along the top horizontal axis of the table are listed two discursive formations that provide the context for the explanatory models in question. Elite social-policy responses were determined in part by the specific way in which social danger was interpreted. Threats welling up from “the social” influenced social policy, but only in a discursively mediated way. Two relatively distinct discursive formations were elaborated by middle-class writers and political actors over the course of the nineteenth century. One built upon older imagery of inchoate social disorder, as expressed in riots, epidemics, and the like; the other was organized around an even more threatening scenario of revolutionary social transformation led by organized socialists. Social policy and discussions of social problems tended to center on one of these two registers. The form and target groups of a social program depended on whether middle-class fear was captivated by images of chaotic social disorder or organized social transformation. Elite fear undergirded what in the nineteenth century was called the “social question” and shaped the formulation of policy responses to that question. Some form of elite anxiety figured as a background condition in each type of social regulation. In other words, social fear was a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for social regulation. I will trace the genealogy of these themes in chapter 3. Local Social Politics before the Turn of the Century The simplest model of social policy concerns the local state during the period between roughly the 1860s and the turn of the century (cell 1 in the table). The form and development of social policy during this period are best explained in terms of the direct control of the local state by the propertied bourgeoisie. Of course, there were intercity differences in the timing of the bourgeoisie’s rise to power, but by the 1860s–1870s, the propertied urban bourgeoisie held the reins of political power in most cities. This direct monopoly of power was assured by an array of severe restrictions on the local electoral franchise, which prevented most people from voting. What this meant in practice was that prior to the 1890s, local politics was an almost pure expression of the ideology and habitus of the liberal urban bourgeoisie. This was especially true of modern poor relief, with its individualizing and market-oriented features.11 The aim of poor relief was to sepa-



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rate the able-bodied from those who could not be expected to work, and to integrate both groups into markets: the able-bodied into labor markets and the aged and infirm into consumer markets. Social fear figured into the production of poor relief in several ways. First, the need for some type of public policy to regulate the poor was driven home by the crises of mass pauperization during the 1830s and 1840s. To be sure, cities had provided relief before the 1840s, but only in 1842 did the Prussian state issue a law requiring all cities to provide at least a minimal level of assistance to their resident poor. Second, local elites also tended to increase relief spending in response to riots, demonstrations, and other indicators of social disorder. This means that the “Piven and Cloward” explanation is correct, at least within this limited context. As we will see in chapter 6, intercity variations in relief spending during the empire, including spending levels, were due in part to the fear inspired by public disorders. Cities did not raise poor relief expenditures, however, in response to the militancy of Social Democrats or organized labor. Poor relief was not understood as a method for demobilizing organized socialism. Even after the 1890s, poor relief continued to be articulated with the themes of the earlier discourse. Local Social Policy after 1890 Several developments began to change the face of local politics, slowly and unevenly, after 1890. The first was the displacement of the liberal industrial and commercial bourgeoisie from the leading positions in local government. They were replaced by full-time politicians, professionals, “experts,” and other noncapitalist sectors of the broadly defined middle classes, such as homeowners and women’s associations. Industrialists withdrew from municipal affairs as their businesses became more time-consuming and less locally based, and they were also forced out as more people became eligible to vote in local elections. The second major change was the rising participation of Social Democrats in local politics. Along with the Catholic Center party, the SPD began to challenge the traditional hold of the liberal Honoratioren on municipal power. Third, and partially in response to these changes, the liberal parties began to develop a more open and experimental orientation toward social policy. And finally, the changes in liberal social policy reflected the increasing number of professionals and experts in the liberal parties, and the parties’ attenuated connections to the local bourgeoisie. The effects of these changes will be explored in chapter 7. One result was the emergence of a new mode of social policy that I have referred to as “scientific social work.” Social policy began to reflect the world view and habitus of scientific experts and professionals. Rather than relying on bourgeois “common sense” for solving social problems, as had formerly been the case, expert knowledge now became central. The new social hygiene relied on bio-political disciplining of the body and was even more thoroughly “Foucauldian” than the earlier disciplinary elements of poor relief. Unlike older poor relief, the leading goal of scientific social work was not to encour-

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age work and commodification; it focused instead on prevention, normalization, and health, on training and reforming the body, and only secondarily on labor market participation. The emergence of this new policy was signaled by the use of the terms Fürsorge and Wohlfahrt (roughly, “care” and “welfare”) instead of Armenpflege or Armenunterstützung.12 It is here that women and gender relations become explicit foci of social policy. The other central change in local social policy after the 1890s was related to the increasing importance of workers in municipal elections and the SPD in local government (table 2.1, cell 3). Whereas there were almost no Social Democratic councilors during the 1870s and 1880s, by 1913 there were nearly 3,000 of them in the larger cities, and almost 12,000 in cities and towns overall.13 In a sort of forward flight, many local elites experimented after 1890 with policies resembling the Bismarckian approach of directing programs specifically at the industrial working class while avoiding and undercutting autonomous worker organizations. As noted earlier, examples of this paradigm at the local level included job exchanges and public-works employment. The key concern was to minimize the influence of worker organizations. For example, when the National Liberal Dortmund city officials created a municipal labor exchange in 1897, they were “especially afraid of the possibility that the working class, and therefore the SPD, would be able to exert an institutionalized influence on policy-making.”14 It soon appeared that the independent workers’ movement was not likely to disappear or to let itself be marginalized out of existence. Many officials concluded that positive measures had to be taken to integrate the socialists into the polity. The new local programs accepted the socialist party and free trade unions and tried to work with them along the lines of neo-corporatist policy-making. In this limited sphere we seem to find confirmation of the “social democratic” thesis that public social policy reflects the strength of organized labor. Social-democratic theory needs to be amended slightly, however. Most social-democratic theorists argue that the working class can only influence policy through direct majoritarian parliamentary control; in the present case, the working class was able to ensure its representation in the state even from a minority position. The Semiautonomous Prussian and German States Turning to the central state, we find more continuity. The Prussian state between the 1830s and 1870, and the central state of the unified German Empire thereafter, operated in roughly the same way. In contrast to local government, these central states were extremely insulated from social pressures and from both the capitalist class and the dominated classes. The social background of the states’ upper-level officials was largely noble (see chapter 4). From at least one perspective, then, the Prussian-German state could have been expected to favor an agrarian, precapitalist course against industrial



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capitalism. Indeed, being independent of the bourgeoisie, the state was able to ignore sectoral demands and even the short-term interests of powerful capitalist organizations. Yet the most surprising feature of this state was the extent to which its policies, including its social policies, corresponded to the basic, general needs of the industrializing capitalist economy. With one or two exceptions, the state systematically favored capitalist industry over the neo-feudal form of agriculture in the east. Why did this state promote industrial modernization when its key positions were occupied by precapitalist, agrarian elites who loudly proclaimed their commitment to the old agrarian regime? This is in part a question about the limits on state autonomy, about the ways in which state managers are forced to betray their subjective goals or putative class interests. It is also a question about the strategic, if not fully deliberate, conversion of the basis of Junker power from land to bureaucratic “capital.” Three factors seem best able to account for the industrial capitalist orientation of the state, including its social policy. First, the Prussian and German states were increasingly dependent on the private economy for fiscal resources. Most public revenues were raised through taxes. Direct taxes required the compliance of property owners, while indirect taxes depended on economic growth and a prospering capitalist economy if they were to bring in money. A politically induced slump could lower imports, railroad traffic, consumption levels, and business in general, thus emptying the state’s coffers. And during wartime, the state could no longer rely on the state treasury and regular income but typically had to raise loans from private banks. The second constraint was the German state’s dependence on private development and production for its military needs. This went beyond the state’s dependence on private credit and increasingly encompassed technical developments and industrial production in the private sector as well. Most of the key innovations in armaments during the nineteenth century had emerged in the private sector. Research and development played an increasingly important role as the arms race heated up in the decades before World War I. The army’s own workshops were incapable of keeping up with the demand for mass-produced armaments. The third factor was the socialization and ideological interpellation15 of the state’s civil servants into an ethos supportive of capitalist industrialization. They were inducted into a Prussian state tradition of state-led industrialization. The nature of German student life and the content of university education for future civil servants had similar effects. German civil-service careers operated increasingly according to bourgeois meritocratic standards.16 Aristocratic boys were thus transformed into supports for bourgeois culture and industrial capitalism, whether or not they were genuine supporters. At the same time, by undergoing this transformation, this étatisation, the former landed elite was able to convert its waning landed “capital” into a new form of capital over which its background gave it nearmonopoly rights, the capacity to rule. The critical role of education in this

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process was less in terms of credentialing, pace Bourdieu, than in reinforcing the “modern” ethos described above. State elites were thus led into a condominium with industrial capital. How does this model of the state relate to German and Prussian social policy? The state’s activist orientation and its commitment to the industrializing project led to a national social policy that was simultaneously actively interventionist and limited in its activism to programs that supported industrialization, or at least did not threaten it. Although there were pressures on the state to attend generally to the needs of industry, the state was not directly controlled by the bourgeoisie. It was therefore able to ignore sectoral demands and the short-term interests of powerful capitalist organizations, and to ply a partially independent course in social policy, even when major sections of the bourgeoisie opposed it. At the same time, state officials tailored their policies closely to the perceived needs and interests of industry. The accident-insurance legislation put total control of insurance in the hands of industrial associations. National insurance was also supported by capitalists, who recognized that the preexisting system, in which insurance for workers was required in some towns and not in others, led to competitive disadvantages. There was no movement among industrialists simply to eliminate sickness insurance; enough of them recognized the economic and political advantages of a healthy work force. Old-age insurance encountered little resistance, because businessmen thought that they would pay for the assistance of the aged anyway through poor relief, which they supported indirectly through their local taxes. Why not get workers to pay a bigger chunk of their own future relief, by requiring them to make social-security contributions? Significantly, Prussian and German social reform tended to stop outside the factory door, respecting the autonomy of the capitalist. Factory legislation, including inspection, safety, and wage and hours legislation, was thus very limited. Within the overall boundaries set by these relations of the state to industrial capitalism, however, there was a fairly wide range of alternatives. To understand the details of state social policy we need to attend to three other factors. The first is the earlier discourse on the social threat, which inspired the first social interventions. The second is the later discourse about the working-class threat. Finally, there is the slow and partial parliamentarization of government in the empire. Central Social Policy around 1848 and Thereafter: Centrality of the Working-Class Threat The Prussian state occasionally engaged in social policy before 1848, most notably with the poor law of 1842 and the Prussian Industrial Code of 1845, which allowed cities to require apprentices and journeymen to join a health insurance fund. Yet the industrial working class was not the center of attention in this legislation. Only after 1848, and especially after the 1860s, did the industrial proletariat become the focus of the state’s social-political



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undertakings. The immediate reason for this shift was the redirection of attention away from the undifferentiated masses, paupers, and “dangerous classes” after the 1848 revolution, which had seen armed militancy by workers in Berlin and elsewhere. The heightened sense of social fear was consolidated by the rise of the organized socialist labor movement during the 1860s. Events such as the German socialists’ declaration of support for the Paris Commune sharpened the sense of danger. Even if one recognizes the key role of the socialist threat in stimulating the social legislation of the 1880s, this is very different from the direct form of influence stressed by the “social democratic” theory of the welfare state. It also differs from local politics, because the socialists were never brought into a governing coalition even in a subordinate role at the national level. Because the socialists were never strong enough in the national parliament to force the governing coalition to deal with them directly, the proto-corporatist option was not tried at the central level before 1914. Central Social Policy around 1900 and After: Partial Parliamentarization Let us turn, finally, to the question of parliamentarization, or what political sociologists refer to as “pluralist” dynamics, and their impact on the welfare state. During the 1880s the political parties in the Reichstag had been able to influence the form of social insurance, but they did not initiate the legislation.17 Starting around the turn of the century, the Reichstag and political parties were increasingly able to shape the course of domestic policy directly, including social policy.18 The Reichstag increasingly served as a conduit to the state for societal pressures, eroding the government’s earlier insulation from society. As the volume and complexity of national legislation grew, imperial administrators were increasingly forced to turn to the parliament for assistance. Most significantly, political parties and organizations were now able to initiate social policies. Parties played an independent role in policy-making that cannot be reduced to that of a social conveyer belt. The very limited moves toward “social work” themes in national policy were primarily the result of pressures from groups outside of the state apparatus. Pressures from “scientific” groups like the eugenicists and the social hygienists and from social-movement organizations like the feminist Bund für Mutterschutz (Federation for the Protection of Motherhood) slowly began to work their way into policy. Political parties differed in their influence. The Center party played an increasingly important role in introducing new themes into national social policy, for example in the Widows’ and Orphans’ Insurance legislation.19 White-collar organizations successfully pushed for the introduction of separate social-insurance plans for whitecollar employees in 1911.20 But the Social Democrats were never strong enough to force the governing coalition to deal with them directly, even if they influenced social policy indirectly by raising certain issues and controlling a steadily growing bloc of votes. This isolation of the SPD was reflected

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in the particular forms of neo-corporatism practiced by the central government before 1914. Although some social groups were represented in a properly corporatist form in national politics (commercial capital in the Chambers of Commerce and artisans in the guilds), industrial workers were not integrated into policy formation at the national level.21 THE QUESTION OF GENDER AND THE WELFARE STATE Women’s and gender issues did not become a central and explicit object of social regulation until the turn of the century, with the growing prestige of the natural sciences and the rise of eugenics and social hygiene, the women’s movement, and parties like the Catholic Center and the SPD. Concerns about declines in birth rates and population “quality” formed the thematic core of the new gender interventions, although a range of other gender anxieties began to play an ever-greater role in public discourse. The mounting battles over contending “gender projects” were fought within particular policy areas, such as social hygiene, social work, widows’ pensions, and the limitation of women’s work hours. The stakes were more general: to win control of the authoritative definition of appropriate gender roles, acceptable sexual practices, and normal family forms.22 The lack of open conflicts among different gender projects before the 1890s, however, does not mean that feminist perspectives on the state are useless for analyzing earlier patterns of social regulation. On the contrary, all social programs can be interrogated as to their comparative treatment of men and women and their implicit definitions of gender, sexuality, and the family. All welfare states, in other words, can be analyzed in terms of their gender regimes, a concept discussed in chapter 1.23 As Wendy Brown writes, “The state can be masculinist without intentionally or overtly pursuing the ‘interests’ of men precisely because the multiple dimensions of socially constructed masculinity have historically shaped the multiple modes of power circulating through the domain called the state—this is what it means to speak of masculinist power rather than the power of men.”24 These aspects of social policy were not articulated explicitly in the first three paradigms, however, but were part of their “gender subtext” (to borrow a phrase from Nancy Fraser).25 CONCLUSION This chapter has made two overarching claims about the analysis of the emergence and development of social policies. The first is that differences among social interventions can best be grasped and specified in terms of “paradigms of social regulation.” Each paradigm contains a theory about the way society works, a set of “folk” concepts and classifications, and one or more concrete ways of trying to regulate the social (“social policies”).



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Second, I argued that different theoretical models are needed to explain the incidence or the intensity of these different social interventions. This is what I meant by specifying the contextual validity of social theories. But it is important to clear up two ambiguities associated with this approach. The first concerns the relationship between the regulatory paradigms and the causal mechanisms that are said to determine social policy. Asking where the new paradigms come from, one might suspect that they are determined by the very same forces that govern the new social policies. The social paradigms would then be little more than conveyor belts for the more fundamental causal factors (or independent variables). For example, the increased levels of socialist representation in German city councils after the 1890s might be said to underlie both the new forms of social policy (unemployment insurance, social commissions, etc.) and the new social theories calling for limited cooperation with the labor movement. If policy paradigms were really no more than mediators with no independent effects of their own, they could safely be ignored. My response to this first possible objection is that the lay paradigms cannot safely be ignored without running the risk of reductionism. The reason is that social policies—like most other state interventions—are structurally underdetermined, regardless of a given state’s degree of autonomy or its determination by social factors. Even the policies of a state controlled “instrumentally” by an industrial bourgeoisie could not be predicted directly from the capitalists’ supposed interests. Individual capitalists and industrial sectors might not agree on the best course of policy, and even if there was unanimity it could not be simply explained with reference to common economic or class positions. Interests, even “material” ones, are not stamped like number plates on the backs of class actors (Nicos Poulantzas) but are the result of struggles for ideological hegemony.26 The social policies of an autonomous state would be similarly underdetermined. Although some statist theories suggest that all state managers pursue basically the same goals (increasing their power, assuring social order), statists also draw attention to “policy legacies” and similar ideological processes internal to the state. Again, the implication is that the structural parameters of state politics cannot completely explain the content of state policy.27 There is another ambiguity concerning the notion of the “contextual validity” of theories. It might be objected that there are actually two distinct senses in which theories can be said to have varying relevance in different circumstances. In the first sense, the structural and cultural parameters of the situation make some theories less relevant than others. This is illustrated by the “Piven and Cloward” thesis about the effects of extraparliamentary violence on social spending. I argue that this theory helps to explain poor-relief spending in Wilhelmine cities but not unemployment insurance. The reason for this differential usefulness is that political elites used different interpretive frameworks to think about the problems of “unemployment” and the cluster of issues around pauperism and the poor. As a result, the same inde-

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pendent variable—collective violence—was related more strongly to poverty policies than to unemployment programs. It might be argued, however, that there is a more straightforward way in which theories seem to vary in their ability to explain different policies, and that it would be misleading to discuss this situation in terms of the “contextual validity” of theory. If the explanatory variable associated with a given theory is present only at a low level, the theory would not be falsified by the variable’s ineffectiveness. My claims for contextual validity focus instead on cases where the causal mechanisms associated with a given theory are actually less effective. This can be illustrated by the discussion of “social democratic theory,” which I argue is less able to explain national social policy than municipal social policy in the empire. The theory could conceivably have been more helpful in explaining national social policy if the SPD had been more strongly represented in the national parliament. This might then be seen as a simple case of differences in the “level” of a specific explanatory variable—socialist parliamentary power—rather than an example of contextual differences in the effectiveness of a theory.28 The conclusion would be that social-democratic theory was equally relevant at the national and local levels. I would argue, however, that the socialists were actually less influential in the Reichstag than in most local councils: an incremental increase in socialist parliamentary representation did not have the same incremental effect on social policy as at the local level. The most important reason for the smaller impact of socialist gains nationally had to do with the unwillingness of the conservative parties and national officials to cooperate with the SPD.29 An even more general question concerns the very definition of the “social question” and “social policy.” As the next chapter will argue, the definition of social policy itself can only be grasped as part of a particular historical constellation. The chapter will discuss the rise of the notions of “the social” and the “social question” and the emergence of policies aimed at regulating the new social realm during the first half of the nineteenth century.



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THIS CHAPTER sets out to describe the emergence of the notion of a specifically “social” arena located “between” the economy and the state in nineteenth-century Germany. The problems associated with the social were codified in specific and changing ways, which are discussed in the chapter. During the first half of the century, middle-class anxieties associated with the social tended to be organized around “pauperism” and various forms of social disorder. These issues were usually referred to as the “social question.” After 1848, the social question slowly metamorphosed into the “worker question,” which focused on a more specific and dangerous group of threats: the industrial working class, the socialist labor movement, and social revolution. Being posed as a “question,” these social fears also elicited a series of answers. Various responses were offered, but the one that is of most concern here is the idea of systematically regulating the social through public interventions. One goal of this chapter is to specify the concept of social policy. Social policies can be understood as state interventions designed to resolve in a nonrepressive manner problems welling up from the social. These “problems” are not material forces but discursive elaborations. It follows that social policies vary as a function of the way in which the “social question” is posed. In Germany, the earlier discourses around poverty and disorder generated a different set of policies than the later discourses around industrial workers and revolution. THE CONCEPT OF THE SOCIAL AND THE SOCIAL QUESTION The notion of a specifically “social” realm, separate from both the economy and the state, emerged in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe) during the first half of the nineteenth century. The presence of this new concept can be felt across a wide array of texts, including popular and academic writings on poverty or “pauperism” (see below), Prussian decrees concerning railroad accidents and poor relief, and the poetry and literature of the Vormärz (PreMarch). This new conceptual entity was signaled by the entry of the adjective sozial into German around this time.1 Changes in the perception of the basic structure, components, and geography of human society were even more important than the use of specific terminology, however. The rise of

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the social represented a new way of mapping the basic compartments of human existence, a change in what Émile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss called “primitive classification schemes.”2 It was a sort of sea change in mentalities, at least in the mentalities of the people who held political power and whose views were recorded or expressed in print.3 The social was understood as somehow located “between” the regions of the economy and political power. The social was a realm of collectivities and structures that transcended the level of individuals, “needs,” and markets, differing in this respect from the economy, or “civil society” in its nineteenth-century meaning. As the liberal theorist Robert von Mohl argued in 1851, the social sphere was “both independent of the state and above the interests of individuals.”4 The intrusion of the social thus disrupted earlier theories and architectonics of the human cosmos. Most importantly, it disturbed the modern dichotomous representation of society as divided between the state and civil society (as well as Hegel’s tripartite division between state, civil society, and the family). It is important to understand how the social differed from the dominant notion of civil society, although the two concepts have been equated by Hannah Arendt and other writers and their boundaries effaced by the more recent understanding of civil society associated with the Eastern European opposition movements.5 For Hegel, civil society (bürgerliche Gesellschaft) was the “difference which intervenes between the family and the state.”6 Following Adam Smith, he defined civil society principally in terms of egoistic individuals, as an atomistic “system of needs.” Marx also described civil society in an early essay as “the sphere of egoism and of the bellum omnium contra omnes. . . . the essence of differentiation.” The principle of civil society was “practical need, egoism.”7 Civil society was thus fundamentally different from the social.8 In his 1844 “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts,” Marx criticized the collapsing of the social into civil society: Society, as it appears to the economist, is civil society, in which each individual is a totality of needs and only exists for another person, as the other exists for him, in so far as each becomes a means for the other. The economist (like politics in its rights of man) reduces everything to man, i.e. to the individual.9

Perhaps it is misleading to characterize the social as a concept, since it appeared in a wide variety of guises. At a different level, however, all these new ideas share two general features. First, the social identified a field characterized neither by the atomized individuality of “civil society” nor the concentrated, centralized authority of the state, nor the apparently natural-biological processes of the family. The social consisted of overarching, general phenomena that were greater than both individuals and families and that escaped the control of the state. Second, the social was understood as inherently crisis-ridden, problematic, and disruptive. Because the social was neither a branch of the state, nor governed by the invisible hand of the economy, it was the site of constant potential disorder and social movements.



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Logically, imaginatively, and historically, the social existed first as this site of permanent potential conflict, before it came to be organized and regulated by institutions and norms associated with the state or intermediate bodies. It is important to emphasize that the new understanding of the social also comprised much more than the intermediate associations that Tocqueville emphasized. It also differed from the neo-feudal, voluntary corporations that Hegel recommended as counterweights to the power of the state. This broad sense of the social was shared by all sectors of the political spectrum. The question now concerned the more specific meanings to be attached to the social, and the actions that were to be based on this interpretation. For middle-class reformers and proto-sociologists such as Lorenz von Stein, the instability of the social posed a social “question” and called out for stabilizing social-policy interventions. The birth of German social science during the Vormärz period was intimately tied up with these developments.10 Marx and other socialists recognized the same instability, but they put their hopes in the “social movement” rather than social policy. German conservatives and corporatists also recognized the existence of a specifically social realm, even if they were more likely to think about it using organic metaphors such as illness and preferred corporatist or repressive solutions.11 I likened the rise of the concept of the social to a change in deep systems of categorization and classification. But as Durkheim argued, the “categories of the human mind are rooted in the arrangements of the society of which they are a part.”12 Which “arrangements” underpinned the concept of the social? The key changes were related to the rise of industrial capitalism and the growth of a large unemployed or underemployed proletariat during the first half of the century in Germany.13 Social disorder was by no means unique to the nineteenth century, of course, but had appeared in response to the peasant wars of the sixteenth century and earlier epidemics and “plagues” of begging.14 Yet the theme of social disorder assumed a new quality during the first half of the nineteenth century. Contemporaries spoke simultaneously of economic crisis, mass poverty, disease, pestilence, decay, crime, immorality (Unsittlichkeit), urbanization, and unprecedented geographic mobility. Between the early 1830s and 1848 there was a flood of writings on pauperism, the social question, and a variety of associated ills in Germany.15 Publicists and intellectuals of various political tendencies were seized by the dread of what Jacob Burckhardt in 1846 called the “Social Judgment Day.”16 An anonymous entry in the 1848 Brockhaus Encyclopedia described paupers as a class “sinking deeper and deeper into stupor and brutality and contributing an ever increasing number of recruits to the poorhouse, workhouse, and penitentiary, to epidemics, alcoholism, and bestial vices of all sorts, while at the same time reproducing and increasing its numbers with violent speed.”17 Even more sympathetic observers of the poor, like Bettina von Arnim in her 1843 text Dies Buch gehört dem König (This Book is for

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the King), described the poor as a “furchtbare[s] Gegengewicht” (frightful counterweight) to the rest of the population, from whom they were “increasingly segregated.”18 The existence of a specific social region distinct from “civil society” was signaled by the use of the term Pauperismus, taken over from the English. The notion of pauperism signified a new form of mass poverty that was more than a simple aggregate of individual behaviors and personal failures. Poverty in this emergent discourse was no longer attributed to individual shortcomings, as Calvin or Benjamin Franklin had argued; nor was it understood as God’s will.19 Instead, impoverishment was increasingly analyzed as the result of social-structural forces that were beyond the control of the individual.20 Specifically, the argument that industrialization would relieve poverty was countered by an opposing diagnosis during the Vormärz that held that the condition of working people had in fact deteriorated as a result of industrial capitalism. This position was articulated by “social” liberals and conservatives alike during the 1840s.21 By 1847, Karl Biedermann was describing pauperism as an inevitable consequence of industrial progress itself, although he also rejected arguments that Germany should return to an agrarian corporatism. Biedermann underscored the “discrepancy between the lower classes’ legal freedom and equality with the upper classes, and their economic unfreedom and complete dependence on the latter” as a reason for their dissatisfaction and resentment.22 All versions of the social question were structured around two core elements: the irreducibility of social phenomena to either individuals or to the state and the disruptive, conflictual potential of the social. This is not to say there were no alternative, nonsocial ways of framing the problems of poverty and social disorder. Natural and biological metaphors provided an alternative set of categories for thinking the social. In one of the hundreds of tracts on pauperism written during the first half of the century, the SwissGerman writer Jeremias Gotthelf (Albert Bitzius) called upon his readers to imagine how the million-headed beast, eternally empty and eternally hungry, slowly extends itself, further and ever further; how everything decays beneath its monstrous body; how its immense yawning jaws slowly reach further and further, swallowing everything within reach; how they come closer and closer to one’s own existence; how all sacrifices thrown before these jaws fail to sate or quiet them; how the monster creeps closer and closer, thousands of new heads sprouting from its lean, atrocious body, hour by hour.23

A specifically racial version of this essentialist, naturalist framework gained adherents at the end of the century with the rise of eugenics, as did interpretations of the social question focused on women and gender.24 But the most important variant of the social question that took shape over the second half of the nineteenth century, the one that captured the largest amount



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of middle-class attention, was focused on the organized working class and the threat of social revolution. The next section will describe the internal transformations of the social question that led to this intensified register of social fear. THE RISE OF THE WORKER QUESTION AND FEAR OF ORGANIZED REVOLUTION The fear of social revolution was a theme of growing, if fluctuating, significance in the discourse of nineteenth-century German middle classes.25 The new dread of revolution crystallized slowly over the course of the century, reaching an initial peak in 1848 and a crescendo during the decades before the First World War. In this radicalization of the earlier understandings of pauperism and the social question, the rhetoric of danger was intensified to represent a fundamental, mortal threat to bourgeois society. Attention was narrowed to a focus on the working class rather than the more broadly defined poor. This fear was present both emotionally and ideologically, as a general “structure of feeling” (Raymond Williams) and as part of an explicit discursive formation. This new version of the social question emerged in a slow and uneven process. The French Revolution was responsible for the idea of revolution taking hold in the German imagination. As Hans-Ulrich Wehler writes, “The possibility that the rural and urban poor could become the bearers of successful revolts had first been driven home with the ‘Grande Peur’ of the Summer of 1789 and the street-fighting in Paris.”26 Of course, the echo of the French events was more literary than militant in Germany, where “for every city in which disturbances broke out after 1789 . . . there were hundreds and hundreds which stayed completely calm.”27 Yet the limited urban revolts and peasant uprisings in Germany made the idea of social revolution much more palpable.28 Middle-class opinion was initially quite enthusiastic about the French Revolution but soured somewhat after the Terror and the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars.29 Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg) called Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France a “revolutionary book against the revolution” and wrote that “most observers of the Revolution, especially the intelligent and distinguished ones, have recognized it as a mortal and contagious disease.”30 Schiller wrote in 1793 that the revolution had thrown “not just this unhappy people, but alongside it a considerable part of Europe and a whole century . . . back into barbarism and servitude.”31 Other writers, including Hegel, remained convinced of the world-historical importance of recent events in France, especially Napoleon’s constitutional reforms.32 For most of the next half-century, German elites were spared any serious confrontation with social revolution, but public discourse became increasingly alarmist. In 1830 Germany was largely immune to the revolutionary

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threat across its borders. The movements in Brunswick, Electoral Hesse, and Hanover were focused mainly on constitutional reform and peasant emancipation rather than working-class social demands, and most of Prussia remained calm.33 Yet even this vicarious experience of social revolution heightened the sense of fear. Freiherr vom Stein warned the Westphalian provincial Diet in 1831 of the danger “which arises for bourgeois society from the growing number and growing claims of the lower classes,” a population which “nourishes and nurses its greed and avarice.”34 In the 1840s, as Werner Conze notes, “social revolution” became “the nightmare of political writers and of the attentive bureaucrats of the autocratic state.”35 This emergent anxiety was linked to a social agent that was increasingly referred to using the imported term Proletariat, which took the place of the older concepts of Pöbel (rabble) or die Armen (the poor).36 The term Pöbel was derived from the French peuple and had existed since the middle ages in German as a term for the “people in lower social conditions . . . those always the first to be threatened in emergencies and hunger crises, and also therefore dangerous.”37 The word Proletariat, which entered German during the 1820s and 1830s, was initially very close to the older word Pöbel. The social theorist Heinrich Riehl contrasted the proletarian, whom he described as a “poor wretch,” with the “propertyless, socially uprooted industrial and commercial manual worker (Arbeiter).”38 More often, Proletariat held specifically revolutionary connotations, in contrast to the lessthreatening Arbeiter or arbeitende Klassen. The Westphalian industrialist Friedrich Harkort elaborated on this contrast: I call proletarian one who was neglected by his parents while young, who was not washed or combed, not educated to be good nor encouraged to attend church or school. He failed to learn his trade, marries without means, and brings into the world children who are always ready to pounce on the property of others, and who constitute the cancer in the communities. . . . I also call proletarian those who are raised by upright parents but are driven to ruin by the seductions of the big cities; the scoundrels and revelers for whom “Blue Monday” is holier than Sunday; and the remorseless prodigal sons who abhor law and order. . . . I do not count as a proletarian, however, the honest worker to whom God gave . . . a capital which cannot be stolen from him, save by illness and old age.39

This distinction was reinforced by the SPD’s own use of “proletariat” to describe its social base. Whatever the terms used, the key point was that industrial workers came to be associated with the most serious potential threat to the bourgeoisie.40 Writing in 1835, the political theorist Robert von Mohl connected the proletariat with perils ranging from progressive taxation to full-scale revolution.41 Lorenz von Stein saw the proletariat as being defined less by poverty than by its “integration into a strong and increasingly dangerous collective power that threatened to transform society and, through its possible associa-



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tion with the teachings of Communism and Socialism, to endanger the state.”42 Other writers described the proletariat as digging “modern culture’s grave” and “imperiling all of bourgeois order.”43 The revolution of 1848 accelerated this process. As Thomas Nipperdey writes, “Social revolution was not the reality of March, but it was one possibility.”44 Most importantly, the events of 1848 provided Germans with even more tangible images of revolution. Although issues of constitutional reform were as prevalent as they had been in the 1830 revolutions, specifically social themes such as property rights were now also pressed insistently to the fore. In 1848, Leopold von Ranke deplored the fact that “everything is possessed by the fury of the red republic.” Ranke warned against “a new power arising from the heart of European society . . . the population of the factories” threatening “to topple society or to rule it.”45 In his proto-sociological text Die bürgerliche Gesellschaft, published in 1851, Heinrich Riehl described the “Fourth Estate” as a “fearsome new host”: In an unconscious form this group is as old as the human race, but only in recent times has it attained self-consciousness and begun to consolidate its scattered battalions. . . . It is a class of the classless, and it will itself cease to be a social order the moment it has reduced its counterpart—the other orders—to rubble, thus becoming a totally homogeneous society in its own right. . . . The fourth estate represents socially organized discontent. . . . The social danger of such a negative fourth estate resides chiefly in [its] unpredictable, undeveloped character, which could only achieve a permanency of sorts by devouring society as a whole.46

In a “historical memorandum” on “the proletarians” published in 1848, Heinrich Wilhelm Bensen wrote that the “characteristic feature of the modern proletarian” in contrast to his earlier counterpart is that “he feels the despair and misery of his condition and strives to surmount it at any price.”47 Whereas the publications of the 1830s and 1840s had emphasized pauperism and the sociale Frage, numerous texts on the Arbeiterfrage (worker question) began appearing after 1848.48 The fear of the working class subsided somewhat in Germany (as elsewhere) during the “Age of Capital” between 1848 and the beginning of the 1870s but attained a new quality during the decades after 1870, and especially the final prewar years. Eric Hobsbawm notes that “in Europe there were fewer socialists and social revolutionaries in this period [1848–1870] than at any other.”49 The German Workers’ Brotherhood (Arbeiterverbrüderung), formed in August and September of 1848, had only 18,000 members by the beginning of 1850.50 The socialist movement grew and the “separation of bourgeois from proletarian democracy” accelerated in Germany with the founding of the Lassalian ADAV (General German Association of Workers) in 1863 and the Social Democratic Workers party (SDAP) in 1869.51 The bourgeois sense of danger increased steadily, as the two main factions of the socialist movement united in 1875 as the Social Democratic

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Workers party (renamed the Social Democratic party in 1890) and then expanded steadily in membership and electoral support through 1914. The German middle classes were especially appalled when the Social Democrats’ leader and Reichstag deputy August Bebel hailed the Paris Commune.52 The emergence of a massive organized socialist labor movement at the end of the century only served further to focalize middle-class attention on the factory proletariat. The contours of the new problematic of factory workers and social revolution, the “imaginative proximity of social revolution,”53 had emerged clearly by this time. A broad periodization of the two discursive formations is thus possible. My periodization fits roughly with that of Wolfgang Mommsen, who argues in a different context that German liberals were not strongly motivated by fear of the working class and revolution until the end of the nineteenth century.54 It is also important to keep in mind, however, that the older set of issues around disorder and poverty did not disappear but continued to evolve alongside the newer “worker question.” Nor did the two discursive clusters exist in hermetic isolation but overlapped and mutually reinforced each other. Social disorder and revolution were not unchanging, sharply delineated objects of middle-class discussion. Connections were drawn between the poor and the working class, and between social disorder and revolution. The risk of revolution did not simply supplant the more diffuse sense of social breakdown: rather, the two registers were often interwoven in the discourse of the nineteenth-century publicists, social reformers, and public officials who commented on the social question.55 Revolutions were even more appalling when they could be linked not just to political and economic upheaval but to filth, disease, and immorality as well. By the same token, conditions of disease and general disorder seemed even more terrible when they were associated with the possibility of revolution. This linkage is especially evident in the increasingly panicked discussions of the Großstadt.56 Richard Tilly ties “the social question” to “urbanization” because “the rapidly growing cities appeared to contemporaries since around 1870 as the main theaters of actual and anticipated social conflicts.”57 Urban industrial conditions could be presented as producing not only epidemics but socialists as well. The fact that socialists used cholera epidemics as themes in agitational campaigns reinforced such connections.58 The author of Thieves in Berlin prefaced his study of crime with the warning that German workers might begin using violence to back their political demands.59 The unease inspired by the SPD was local as well as national. In Hamburg, for example, middle-class elites had focused on disorder and indiscipline until after the 1880s, when violent revolution emerged as a new and acute threat.60 Themes from both discourses are also interwoven in the writings of contemporary social theorists. Lorenz von Stein straddled the paradigms of disorder and revolution during the middle of the century, using political developments in (revolutionary) France to forecast changes in Germany, which



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was still only “disorderly.” The same permeability of boundaries is evident in the writings of Karl Marx from the early 1840s. Marx’s 1842 article for the Rheinische Zeitung on the laws against wood pilfering operates with concepts of “the poor,” “the people,” and the “poor class.”61 Two years later, Marx’s operative categories are proletariat, worker, and working class, and their destiny is no longer wood gathering but social revolution.62 Despite these interpenetrations, however, it is still possible to distinguish between the two paradigms, with their focus on either “disorder” or “revolution.” The difference becomes important in the present context because the two paradigms were associated with very different strategies for regulating the social. But before we can move from the social question to social policy, it is necessary to introduce the idea of state-led reform. For when the social question arose in Germany, it was in the context of a Prussian state that had already frequently engaged in domestic reform in response to threats to its stability. Had this tradition not existed, it is unlikely that the Prussian state would have turned so readily to social policy rather than continuing to rely on repressive measures in response to the new dangers of the industrial era. REFORM AND SOCIAL POLICY The word Reform came into German only during the eighteenth century. Reform not only connoted improvement but also implied some “relation to the state and its institutions.”63 Many of the mercantilist policies of the “enlightened” absolutist states in central Europe before the nineteenth century fit this understanding of reform. The overarching goal of German cameralist theory was to fill the state coffers in order to finance military adventures and to pay for other absolutist goals, such as the ostentatious display of wealth. More specifically, cameralism involved the introduction of elaborate regulations and state inducements in order to promote economic activity. Many of the cameralist recommendations were integrated into the so-called Polizeiordnungen (police regulations), which proliferated during the seventeenth century and codified everything from sumptuary affairs to behavior in church.64 The notion of the “common good” (das gemeine Beste) as the leading goal of state activity may have obscured the state’s essential fiscal goals, but it came to play an autonomous role in cameralist writing.65 The fact that the “well-ordered police state” provided some of the “feeble” poor with relief and the “sturdy” poor with work seemed to support the notion that the state existed for higher goals that its own enrichment.66 The high point of “enlightened absolutist” reforming activism took place under Frederick II (1740–1786) and his successors up to the Prussian defeat in 1806. Feudal services on the royal demesnes were limited in the 1790s and eliminated between 1799 and 1805; Jews were exempted from the humiliat-

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ing taxes on travel in 1787–1788. Many other reforms were contained within the Prussian General Law Code (Allgemeines Landrecht) of 1794, although as Reinhard Koselleck has shown, these were combined in often contradictory ways with measures intended to shore up noble privilege and traditional hierarchies.68 The second half of the century was also the age of the specifically German variant of Enlightenment thought that suggested a program for reform without revolution.69 Whereas the meanings of “reform” and “revolution” had been very close, the revolutionary turmoil at the end of the century drove the two terms apart. Reform was now understood as a method for moving from feudalism to capitalism without suffering through the turmoils of the French Revolution. By 1816, a German writer contrasted reform, which he described as “gentle remodeling” (sanfte Umbildung), to revolution, or “rash upheaval” (rasche Umwälzung).70 During the 1806–1815 period, the notion of “reform” came to be associated mainly with the struggles of modernization, liberalism, and capitalism against conservatism, monarchism, and feudalism. The reform movement of the first two decades pitted the modernizing forces within the state bureaucracies against the conservative German princes, Prussian Junkers, and other social groups such as the urban guilds. Economic reforms eliminated feudal dues, guild privileges, restrictions on the mobility of labor and capital, and other formal inequalities and created new taxes.71 The other major strand of the early-nineteenth-century reform program was more specifically political. Bavaria, Baden, and Württemburg introduced constitutions and parliaments during the first two decades. Prussia had to wait until 1849 for a constitution because of the onset of the period of reaction after 1818, although the liberal Prussian municipal code of 1808 created islands of partial self-government.72 The concept of reform was thus well established in Germany and Prussia when the social question arose during the Vormärz, even if there were fewer reformers within the Prussian bureaucracy by this time. It was not at all evident, however, that the reforming orientation would be applied to the social problems. The dominant strands of liberalism did not envision specific positive measures for the poor and workers but rather had expected poverty to be reduced by the elimination of feudal restrictions and the resultant economic growth.73 Moreover, most liberals prioritized political over social reforms, and their programs for political reform generally excluded the extension of suffrage to workers. Liberals were afraid of losing their power and anxious about “mob rule.”74 Indeed, most of the liberal-controlled municipal governments continued to place severe restrictions on workers’ eligibility to vote up to 1918. One response to the social question throughout the nineteenth century was repression rather than reform. As Gianfranco Poggi notes with regard to nineteenth-century Europe in general, it was “by no means universally accepted that . . . state actions other than purely police ones [i.e., “police” in the more contemporary sense] ought to be brought to bear upon” such issues.75 Since the middle ages, authorities had relied on military coercion and



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legal bans to repress revolts, subversive organizations, and other forms of disorder. Other repressive practices directed against the lower classes included curbs on begging, arrests for vaguely defined “insults” to authority figures, imprisonment and registration of the unemployed and vagrants, limits on marriage and resettlement, and punishments for infanticide, prostitution, and crime in general.76 In Prussia, according to Alf Lüdtke, the occasional increase in relief measures during the first half of the nineteenth century did not entail any “relaxation of violent administrative interference.”77 What Lüdtke calls the “qualitative leap” after 1830 toward “frequent and urgent demands for a permanent military guarantee of an ‘orderly daily life’” corresponded to the increased attention to the proletariat.78 Repression continued as a favored state strategy well into the Kaiserreich. Nonetheless, arguments for positive responses to social unrest became increasingly common in the years leading up to 1848. As the legal reforms of the Napoleonic period took hold during the Vormärz, socioeconomic inequalities increased along with social unrest.79 To many government and middle-class elites, repression did not appear to be a viable long-term strategy, and deindustrialization was unacceptable.80 In the Philosophy of Right, Hegel had argued that “poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government, etc. . . . The important question of how poverty is to be abolished is one of the most disturbing problems which agitate modern society.”81 Early representatives of German “national economics” started interweaving the traditional cameralistic insistence on government regulation of the economy with the economics of Adam Smith, while some even criticized Smith openly.82 A small “social” strand of liberalism also emerged, although many of its representatives favored private charitable initiatives rather than state interventions.83 Within this historical and theoretical conjuncture, the idea of social policy, a specifically social type of reform, began to take shape. Poverty and other ills were now designated as structurally determined problems with possible solutions.84 The most significant social reform in the first half of the century was the Prussian legislation on Poor Relief and Settlement of December 31, 1842.85 These laws required all towns to care for impoverished locals and stipulated that provincial poor boards would take over the responsibility for relieving paupers with no place of permanent settlement. These laws acknowledged that poverty might be caused by factors other than weakness or sloth, and that economic growth might not be an adequate remedy for pauperism. Other social legislation from this period recognized the existence of an independent social sphere, and like the poor law, it was not addressed specifically to factory proletarians. A Prussian decree in 1838 superseded the traditional common-law treatment of railway accidents, making the companies liable for worker injuries that were not caused by individual negligence.86 The first legal limitation on child labor was introduced in the following year.87 According to the 1845 Prussian Industrial

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Code, local governments could compel journeymen to join sickness-insurance funds—but factory workers were not mentioned. After 1848, the “worker question” emerged out of the social question, and social policy began to focus on the industrial proletariat. An amendment to the Prussian Industrial Code on February 9, 1849, emphasized the possibility of compelling factory workers to join sickness funds.88 The national social-insurance systems introduced during the 1880s were commonly referred to as worker insurance (Arbeiterversicherung) and were directed primarily at industrial workers, as were local social programs of the 1880s and 1890s (see chapter 5). But the Prussian social policies of the Vormärz had set the pattern for the poor relief and social-insurance legislation later in the century. The social question had not been swallowed up by the worker question but could still be expanded to encompass new groups and problems. This became clear around the turn of the nineteenth century, when a range of new “social questions” started to be discussed and social policies began to target populations such as women, mothers, youth, and infants. Some of these discussions and policies stayed within the realm of the social rather than naturalizing social problems. The proposals for expanded maternity insurance made by the SPD and women’s organizations during the 1905–1911 period, for example, were based on a recognition of the environmental and social determinants of the difficulties of mothers, even though women’s interests were usually treated as irreducible to their social-class position.89 More generally, the growing legitimacy of state intervention in families and gender relations was predicated upon the conceptual separation of the social from civil society. As many feminist political theorists have pointed out, women were associated with the family rather than civil society in the classical liberal topography of family, civil society, and state, and the family was considered to be “natural,” not a social construct.90 As a result, women’s problems—including, but not restricted to, their grievances within the household—were regarded as exempt from outside regulation; the state typically only intervened to reinforce individual men’s domestic control over women.91 The belief in a public sphere distinct from civil society (the region of rational-economic-individual male subjects) contributed to the emergence of gender issues into the open. Other issues, however, threatened to move beyond the limits of the social instead of expanding its purview. An increasing number of government officials and reformers substituted “biological” discourse having to do with an alleged decline in the “quality” and quantity of the German population for properly social questions. In one respect, this represented a return to the older Prussian mercantilist population policies of “bio-power,” but the doctrines of eugenics and “racial hygiene” added the novel allure of modern science.92 Although eugenicists proposed using their theories to solve the social question, their approach denied the independent existence of a social realm, by redefining social problems as bio-medical, or natural ones. An-



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other difference from “social” discourse was that eugenics attributed the problem of the German population’s supposed “degeneration” not to structural or trans-individual causes but to individual, genetic shortcomings.93 Although the ideas for state policy based on eugenics originated during the Wilhelmine period, they were not realized until the Nazi period.94 Even where eugenicists did not attack the welfare state for contributing to the survival of “inferior” genetic stock, they redefined the social in ways that were completely foreign to its earlier meanings.95

SOCIAL POLICY DEFINED In this chapter I have developed definitions of the social and social policy that are specific to a cultural-historical context. I have been arguing that social regulation developed historically as a response to the rise of “the social” and the formulation of “social questions.” The social was defined not by a specific set of themes or objects but by a specific location vis-à-vis other conceptual entities (state and individual) and by its disruptive, conflictual nature. The cultural and historic variation in what gets defined as a social question makes it impossible to delimit a priori the set of activities that are encompassed by social policy.96 The social was not limited to the poor and working class. It was not merely an obfuscation when, at the end of the nineteenth century, the German government started to direct its beneficence toward nonproletarian economic classes such as the petty bourgeoisie and white-collar employees, redefining their problems as part of the social question.97 Likewise, nineteenth-century poor relief was part of “social policy,” even though it was not usually called Sozialpolitik, due to the weight of older vocabulary.98 Conceptually and practically, poor relief was a form of state intervention into the social. The women’s question was only constituted as a social rather than a private matter at the end of the nineteenth century, due mainly to the activities of the feminist movement, but it then came to be seen as an appropriate object of state intervention. Before that time, assumptions about appropriate gender relations were inscribed in social policies, but programs were rarely designed with the explicit intention of influencing women’s position. This definitional approach may become clearer through examples of policies that would not necessarily be included under the rubric of social policy. To the extent that educational policy was not designed with an eye to the social question in nineteenth-century Germany, it would be inappropriate to classify it as social policy. Exceptions would include the “industrial schools,” which spread rapidly in Germany at the turn of the eighteenth century, or the continuation schools for young workers at the end of the nineteenth century.99 Another example is German colonial policy. But if the “social imperialism” thesis were correct in arguing that German colonialism

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was inspired by the desire to redirect workers’ enthusiasms toward the regime and away from socialism, then this too might be an example of a partially social policy.100 Social policy in nineteenth-century Germany is therefore defined principally by its orientation toward some version of the social question.101 The second defining characteristic of social policy stems from its character as a specific type of reform. Reform, as discussed above, was understood as an orientation toward improvement, and not just as the reproduction of the status quo or return to a former condition. The strength of the idea and practice of reform in Germany allowed the early consolidation of the notion of social reform. Social policies were understood as relying primarily upon “positive” measures—the media of money and rights, discipline and classification—rather than merely coercion and repression.102 Finally, the state was a necessary part of the definition of social policy.103 This follows from the definition of social policy as a type of reform. Some may wonder, however, why social policy has typically been understood as primarily a state function. It is true, after all, that private philanthropy and church charity preceded public poor relief. Johann Hinrich Wichern’s Rauhes Haus, a reform school in Hamburg, practiced many of the “individualizing” and pedagogic techniques during the first half of the nineteenth century that later became common coin in public poor relief and social work.104 Other social programs were implemented by capitalists, acting freely and without state compulsion. Insurance against illness, old age, and other risks was pioneered by factory owners and workers’ mutual associations, not by the state. Alfred Krupp was renowned not only for his vehement opposition to unions and the SPD but also for the panoply of paternalistic social programs (housing, loans, health and old-age insurance, etc.) that his company in Essen provided for the work force, years before national legislation in these areas.105 Nor was the étatisation of welfare a unilinear and general process: certain programs remained in private hands, and the Social Democratic and Christian charities gained new fields of activity during the Weimar Republic.106 It has also been argued that some forms of social policy-making challenge and undermine the very boundaries of the state. Habermas argues that with the rise of the social-welfare state, the “state and society penetrate each other and bring forth a middle sphere of semipublic, semiprivate relationships ordered by social legislation”; “The state was infused into society (bureaucracy) and, in the opposite direction . . . society was infused into the state (special-interest associations and political parties).”107 The neo-corporatist organizations that have frequently been created as part of social administration have a particularly nebulous, parastatal status. The employers’ mutual associations that were created as a result of the German Accident Insurance Law of 1884, for example, were mandated by public law but were managed as private associations. Within its own industrial branch, a mutual association was able to exercise a dominant influence on policies such as safety regulations.



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How, then, could the state be a defining feature of social policy? First, the state typically seized the initiative from private actors in social policy. Consider the many private funds (Stiftungen) that were managed by municipal poor-relief administrations before 1914. These originally private charity funds were largely brought under political control by city governments and state regulations, especially in the last part of the century. By 1914, private charities in Bavaria, Lübeck, and Hamburg were required to report to the public-relief offices on their aid recipients.108 Just as municipalities had gradually taken over many of the functions of poor relief since the late middle ages, the state assumed increasing responsibility for regulating social insurance during the second half of the nineteenth century. In Germany, as elsewhere, the state had a set of distinct advantages over private organizations, including greater coercive power and material resources, and a more extensive reach, enabling it to draw larger numbers of people into its ambit.109 Even where private institutions were involved in making social policy and distributing beneficence, their very right to do so was granted by the state. Despite this statist component in the definition of social policy, this chapter might be accused of trafficking in just the sort of “society-centered” explanation of the welfare state that has come in for harsh criticism recently from state-centered theorists. Indeed, I have focused throughout on social anxieties in connection with social policy. Yet social anxieties are not “societal” factors per se. They are not simple reflections of economic changes or material disruptions but are discursive formations that typically exist across the state-society boundary. Moreover, social anxieties provide only a partial explanation of social policy. Yet one can also safely make the counterfactual argument that poor relief would not have expanded beyond a minimal and miserly level if the themes of social disorder and violent transformation had not been formulated so sharply during the nineteenth century. Social fear was certainly a necessary, although by no means a sufficient, condition determining the rise of the welfare state. And as will be shown in the sections on municipal politics, elite perceptions of collective disruptions and less violent forms of working-class presence influenced social policy in very complex ways. The actual creation of social policy also involved more narrowly statist factors, however. In order to understand the process of social regulation, it is crucial to have a sense of how state power or city governments worked in general, that is, in areas other than welfare. Only after we develop a general model of the structure and functioning of the central and local states will it be possible to reconstruct the interaction of social and statist influences on social programs. It is to this explanatory task that we now turn, focusing first on the central state.

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MY GOAL in this chapter is to develop a general interpretation of the Prussian-German state during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. To explain the German state’s social policies, one needs to understand not only the anxieties that provided the initial impulse to action, discussed in the preceding chapter, but also the kind of state that was being pressured into action. Only by developing a model of the state in Imperial Germany can one understand the specific role of representations of social danger in the rise of the German welfare state. Characteristics of the state mediated the effects of social fear—and of other factors such as political parties, economic conditions, and scientific theories. In the context of a different kind of state, these “independent variables” might have been associated with very different political responses. Viewed from a traditional Marxist angle, the state in Imperial Germany would appear to be a bourgeois state. The Imperial German state tended to throw its weight behind industrial capital rather than big agriculture or any other social class or group. The state’s orientation became especially evident in cases where it faced a clear choice between supporting the industrial bourgeoisie or some other elite interest, such as the landed aristocracy. Yet despite this recurring bias toward industrial capital, the German state could only be described as “bourgeois” within an oversimplified Marxist theory that would characterize states according to the class valence of their policies. Without specifying the causal mechanisms bringing policy into line with the subjective and objective interests of industrial capital, such an approach would fall into the same trap as the positivist epistemology that is satisfied to establish “constant conjunctions of events,” failing to meet the standards of “(critical) realism.”1 I will argue that the correspondence between industrial capitalist interests and state policy in Imperial Germany cannot be explained in terms of the theory that would most obviously anticipate this outcome, namely Marxism. It is impossible to find “mechanisms” producing state policies that are part of a recognizable, specifically Marxist theory. Most of the state’s upperlevel personnel was recruited not from any sector of the bourgeoisie, but rather from aristocrats whose ostensible interests lay more with agriculture than with industry. How can it be explained, then, that the PrussianGerman state was committed nonetheless to the industrial bourgeoisie, especially its “heavy” branches, and to modern industrial capitalism as a system?

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The only approach that can account for the “bourgeois” character of the Imperial German state is one that articulates aspects of both statist and Marxist approaches. Specifically, it is necessary to combine statist theory’s emphasis on autonomous state goals and cultural dynamics internal to the state with Marxism’s insistence on the causal impact of capitalist processes and class structures on other levels of the social formation. I will argue that three general clusters of factors—fiscal, military, and cultural—account for the German state’s particular orientation. The first factor was the state’s dependence on the private economy for financial resources—required for the state’s general operations as well as its specific military needs. The second was the military’s dependence on private research, production, and other resources from the private sector. The third factor is broadly “cultural,” concerning the education, socialization, and ideological interpellation2 of the state’s civil servants into an ethos supportive of capitalist industrialization. Whatever their original class interests or actual personal preferences, state policymakers were led to pay particular attention to capitalist interests and to focus more generally on promoting industrial capitalism. This did not mean that the nobility was betraying its essential class interests, however. The education of state bureaucrats probably helped to reinforce the ideology of industrialization, but it should not be assumed that nobles would otherwise have defended agrarian interests. The Junker class was effectively converting its capital from land to the capacity to rule, and the defense of agrarian interests was not necessarily related to success within the “bureaucratic field.” Specifically, the Prussian nobility tried to define its own class habitus as a necessary precondition for effective rule rather than an atavistic peculiarity antithetical to the accomplishment of modern state goals. This process of strategic conversion was nothing new in the late nineteenth century, of course, nor was it fully successful, but it became increasingly urgent as more and more land passed into bourgeois hands and the middle classes pressed for admission to government. In its general outlines, this explanation is closer to the “semiautonomous” state theories outlined by sociologists such as Claus Offe, Charles Tilly, and Fred Block than to Marxism, although the precise sources of state independence and constraint are different from the cases that they discuss.3 In the first part of this chapter I will discuss and reconstruct the most important theorizations of the German state in the historical and socialscience literature. Some of the most influential interpretations see the state as committed ultimately to agrarian Junker interests or to Junkers in coalition with heavy industry. Others emphasize the peculiar autonomy and activism of the German-Prussian state, a theme that is somewhat independent of the issue of the state’s class allegiances. The readings of the imperial state as capitalist fail to specify why a relatively autonomous state led by Junkers would promote industrial capitalism. The rest of the chapter develops an alternative account of the state in two steps. In the second section, I reanalyze a series of key economic policy deci-



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sions in Imperial Germany, cases in which industrial interests were both fairly clearly defined and opposed to other major elite interests. The most important cases are ones in which industrial interests were pitted against agriculture, but there are also constellations of industry versus banking and heavy industry versus banking and light industry. By reconstructing what was at stake for different groups in each instance, it is possible to demonstrate a fairly systematic state privileging of (heavy) industry over other elite economic interests. The third section then develops an explanation of the industrial-capitalist nature of the German state’s interventions. One premise, directed against both traditional-Marxist and neo-Marxist state theories, is that the state cannot be reduced to capitalism, even in the “last instance.” The German state was neither a reflection, extension, or functional complement of capitalism. Its leaders pursued autonomous goals that cannot be reduced directly to industrial capitalism, the most of obvious which had to do with foreign policy. The desire of parts of the Prussian-German bureaucracy to preserve the large land-owning class clearly falls into the same category, because this project frequently required actions that were antithetical to an industrial capitalist course. Rather than focusing on such moments of “freedom,” of independent state practices and projects, however, I will elaborate the structures of constraint. The emphasis in this chapter is thus on the importance of industrial capitalist interests and principles within public policy, and on the reasons for the relative weakness of the other major propertied social interests, particularly agrarian ones. I will not discuss the impact of working-class organizations and interests, however, even though social policy was in large measure a question of the extent to which these interests would be recognized by the state and the specific manner of this recognition. This chapter does not concern social policy directly, but is concerned to build a general model of the state’s functioning. And although workers and other nonpropertied groups were often the object of government interventions, they were simply too weak to figure in an account of the state’s “laws of motion.” This is a basic difference between Imperial Germany and the historical conditions in most countries that form the subject of research on the contemporary welfare state. Before 1918, working-class organizations were never in control of any part of the German state apparatus, with the exception of a few smaller towns. Social interventions were therefore a game of strategic maneuvering vis-à-vis weak social groups in which the state had all the advantages. The fear and disruption discussed in the preceding chapter were often the only recourse for nonpropertied social groups. The weapons with which the propertied classes pressured the state were of a qualitatively different sort. Compared to lower classes, elites were able to put much more severe constraints on the state’s autonomy and had a more precise effect on policy choice. The upper classes engaged in precision bombing, while the poor were reduced to throwing stones. To use a more structural language: Popu-

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lar disruptions placed very broad constraints on the range of policies available to the state, whereas elite resources both constrained policy in this general sense—state policies tended to be compatible with industrial capitalism—and selected policies from within this range.4 ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS OF THE PRUSSIAN-GERMAN STATE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Although this section will attempt to distinguish several analytical approaches to the Prussian-German state, it is important to acknowledge two complications with this approach at the start. First, most of the interpretations are not presented systematically in the original sources but require efforts of interpretation and reconstruction. Moreover, the approaches that ostensibly are the most theoretically coherent may in fact be the most polysemic. It follows, finally, that a given writer may show up under several headings, because these are intended to capture distinct lines of argument rather than actual schools or individuals. In particular, I find that the group of “critical” West German historians argue sometimes that the empire was ruled by a coalition of heavy industry and big agriculture and at other times that the Junkers were ultimately hegemonic, without providing a clear periodization to chart changing systems of rule. This means that when I speak of a “critical” West German perspective I am referring less to an empirical group than to a central form of argument. (a) The Imperial State as an Autonomous State Three distinct treatments of state autonomy can be discerned in historical analyses of the Prussian and German states. Two interpretive traditions describe the state as acting independently of social classes, groups, pressures, and constraints. They differ insofar as the first understands the German state as a dispassionate arbiter of the common good, whereas the second sees the autonomous state as biased quite definitively in one direction or the other. The third strand does not insist that German states were able to prevail over societal forces but focuses on the construction of autonomous identities, goals, and political cultures among the managers of the state. Although there is ample reason for dismissing the strong arguments about state autonomy in the actual creation and implementation of policy, the weaker claims about the “cultural” autonomy of officialdom will prove quite useful. The interpretation of the Imperial German state with the longest pedigree in German history and state theory, although less fashionable today, views the state not as aligned with any particular social group or class but as sharply divorced from society.5 In some versions, the state is a neutral arbiter hovering above the conflicting social interests and directed by Hegel’s “universal class” of civil servants.6 This view of the state is more often applied to



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Prussian absolutism and the period of bureaucratic absolutism than to the latter nineteenth century. In the Kaiserreich, Gustav Schmoller was the bestknown representative of this traditional view of the Prussian-German bureaucracy as “a neutral force above the competing particular interests of party and class, embodying the universal interest of society as a whole, and endowed with a special political wisdom.”7 Militating against the Hegelian image of state neutrality are numerous treatments of the political disciplining of the bureaucracy in various epochs. As Hans Rosenberg has pointed out, “gifted ‘sub-alterns’ ” and qualified non-nobles had a better chance than nobles of rising within the Prussian administration during the eighteenth century, Frederick William I preferring men of “defective” background “whom he could make and unmake.”8 He also implemented codes of conduct and rules of procedure in order to mold a “heterogeneous officialdom into a cohesive and servile instrument of dynastic policy.”9 Eckard Kehr insisted on the existence of a “Puttkamer purge” during the empire, in which the Prussian bureaucracy was disciplined for political reliability. Although this purge has recently been shown to be largely fictional, one need not fall back into the belief in an impartial state bureaucracy.10 The last section of this chapter will discuss the ways in which the socialization of Prussian-German bureaucrats led to very specific, partisan ideological leanings. Other writers represent the German state as capable of acting in independence from “society.” The source of the state’s sovereign agency may be located within the upper-level civil service, or shifted upward toward the chancellor or king/kaiser. The post-Bismarckian era has been described in terms of the “personal rule” of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the “court society,” whereas Bismarck’s regime has been labeled a “chancellor dictatorship.”11 The idea of “dictatorship” etches a stark image of an executive capable of acting decisively on its own will, an image that is ratified in countless biographies in which Bismarck is personified as omnipotent (see also the discussion of “Bonapartism” below).12 The history of the Prussian-German state’s tenacious and successful promotion of industrialization against the resistance of various entrenched interests is often told as a drama of state autonomy.13 Formally similar are interpretations in which the German state is used to shore up the Junkers against the inexorable tide of capitalist industrialization during the second half of the nineteenth century. To the extent that this agrarian bias is attributed to direct Junker control, this interpretation is identical to the Junkerstaat thesis, discussed under (b) below. It is more properly an “autonomous state” thesis if the state’s agrarianism is attributed to an independently based ideological stance, and not to “instrumental” factors such as officials’ Junker class background, agrarian milieu, or links to agrarian pressure groups. Even the argument that the values Junkers shared with German officials allowed them to exercise “passive influence” over the state is closer to the autonomous state than the Junker state view.14 These different variants of the “autonomous state” thesis can be faulted

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for eliding the self-understanding of the chancellor, kaiser, or bureaucracy with their actual conditions, which were characterized by much more restricted autonomy. The last section of this chapter will look at ways in which this imaginary or longed-for independence was confined and redirected. Yet the very strength of this official self-image is an interesting fact in itself, one that points to a different reading of the notion of state autonomy. State officials’ capacity to formulate their own goals, to perceive themselves as a unique institutional “personality,” and to construct a specialized language and enforce its use represent specific forms of autonomy. Although I will find little support for the “strong” interpretation of autonomy, in which the state is able successfully to implement its goals against the wishes of powerful social actors, these “weaker” forms of autonomy do capture some of the peculiarities of the German state. (b) The Imperial German State as Junkerstaat A more influential view of the Prussian-German state holds that it was dominated by the landowning Junker class. The lineage of this view of the imperial state stretches from Weber in the late nineteenth century through contemporary proponents of the Sonderweg thesis such as Ralf Dahrendorf, passing by way of Thorstein Veblen and Robert Michels in the early twentieth century and Hans Rosenberg, Alexander Gerschenkron, and Barrington Moore, Jr., during the postwar period.15 It is argued here that the Junker staffing of the Prussian and imperial states translated into public policies that favored agriculture systematically, even at the expense of industrial interests. This analysis was also prevalent in socialist, liberal, and conservative industrial circles during the Kaiserreich. The Social Democrats Franz Mehring and August Bebel called Prussia a “Junkerstaat.” Robert Michels wrote that it was “not the legitimate representatives of the industrial-capitalist economic order, the ‘bourgeoisie,’ but the legitimate representatives of an essentially antiquated economic system, feudalism, [who] set for the empire its policy abroad, and also and especially its internal direction and goal.”16 Even the heavy-industrial Centralverband deutscher Industrieller (CdI) complained about the undue influence of agrarians within the state. With respect to the advisory council on tariff legislation (Wirtschaftlicher Ausschuss) created in 1897, for example, the CdI’s general secretary Henry Axel Bueck complained that the government had “granted such extensive representation to the most extreme agrarian interests.”17 This line of argumentation is well represented in the more recent writings of historians and sociologists, many of whom use the “premodern” elite’s domination of the state as evidence for Germany’s alleged exceptionalism in comparison to its Western neighbors.18 In Society and Democracy in Germany (1967), Ralf Dahrendorf describes the “power elite” of Imperial Germany as an “ancient core of Prussian Junker and officials.”19 More recently, Francis Carsten has argued that “the power of the Junkers [was] unbroken” in the later nineteenth century and



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insisted that this is “a truism which no one seriously disputes.” The Prussian administration, as one author puts it, “pursued the alliance of all the conservative forces even at the cost of hampering the country’s industrial growth”; although they were allied with heavy industry, the agrarians “had it their own way” when the two interests clashed:21 To the extent that [the Junkers] were buying fertilizers and agricultural machines they had a vested interest that industry would develop somewhere: preferably not in Germany, however, since the factories would have allured [sic] labor into the cities and away from the Eastern estates. . . . The manufacturers were of course oriented in the opposite direction: as they envisaged the question, industrial growth should not be discouraged even if it was bound in the long run to undermine the economic and political strength of the landed entrepreneurs. The latters’ cherished hope, that Germany would be a static grainexporting agricultural nation under their own control, was antithetical to that of the manufacturing class.22

The recent “critical” school of West German historians tends to attribute more influence to heavy industry and will therefore be discussed separately below. In some of their writings, however, even these writers assign undisputed hegemony to the Junker class. Volker Berghahn observes that the Reich was “led by a pre-capitalist Junker class,” and Hans-Jürgen Puhle writes that East Elbian large landowners were dominant “politically, socially, and economically in the Reich.”23 In an extremely problematic move, this theory traces the state’s agrarian priorities to the predominantly Junker class background of upper-level officials. Yet there is no reason to assume a priori that ideological proclivities should be more strongly related to an individual’s distant class origins than to more recent experiences or contemporary conditions of existence.24 As I will show in detail below, the economic policies pursued by the “Junker” Bismarck helped to secure the preeminence of industrial capitalism in Germany. Conversely, Junkerist ideology was by no means a mere function of birthright, as illustrated most prominently by the career of Johannes von Miquel, Prussian finance minister between 1890 and 1901. Miquel was of middle-class origin and had traversed a period of radical and liberal political positions, before becoming the staunchest agrarian-Conservative ally within the Prussian government.25 It is also important to keep in mind that the Junkers had long been associated not just with agricultural production but also with service in the Prussian administration and army. Most authors assume that the Junkers’ motivation in serving the Prussian state was to preserve their position as a rural elite, and that they continued to use this strategy successfully into the twentieth century.26 This ignores the possibility that the power of nobles within the state was based primarily on the state itself, and only secondarily on land, which for many could function more as a symbolic than an economic good. Finally, this argument prohibits causality from flowing in the other direction, from the state to its Junker officials.

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It is likely that the experience of living and working within the state “milieu” had an independent causal impact on officials’ ideology. The only systematic study of higher officials’ careers in Wilhelmine Germany found that their policy positions were strongly influenced by variations in their career patterns.27 Although the Junkerstaat view is often considered quasi-Marxist in its emphasis on class control of the state, the argument that “an economically declining class is politically dominant” (Max Weber) is difficult to reconcile with the basic Marxist thesis that the state in a given epoch will most strongly represent the interests of the dominant class.28 Most historians agree that industrial capitalism was unequivocally dominant over agriculture in the German social formation—including the semifeudal forms east of the Elbe—by the 1890s at the latest.29 The Junkerstaat interpretation is paradoxical more generally from the standpoint of any sociological perspective that expects some degree of consonance between state and society. Whether or not the state turns out to have favored big agriculture against industry, the Junkerstaat thesis raises important questions about the forces driving state policy. (c) The Imperial German State as a Capitalist State Although acknowledging the noncapitalist background of its officials and the exclusion of businessmen from top political positions, a third view of the Imperial German state sees it as capitalist in content, as fulfilling “bourgeois” functions. None of these theories can explain exactly why the state acted in this way, however. MARX AND ENGELS ON THE GERMAN STATE

Marx and Engels’s theoretical framework led them to expect the bourgeoisie to control state policy at least indirectly wherever the economy was capitalist. Their scattered comments and writings on the German state contain discrepancies that sometimes suggest an uneasy fit between Germany and a “Marxist” model of politics. During the 1850s and first half of the 1860s, they depicted the Prussian class structure as still predominantly “feudal.” The Prussian state, correspondingly, was led by the “Cabbage Junkers,” at least until the “New Era” and the cabinet of 1858.30 At the end of the 1850s, however, Marx observed that “the days when the [German] Bourgeoisie wept in Babylonian captivity and drooped their diminished heads, were the very days when they became the effective power of the land.”31 Marx said little about the German state during the last two decades of his life, except to call it “nothing but a police-guarded military despotism, embellished with parliamentary forms, alloyed with a feudal admixture, already influenced by the bourgeoisie and bureaucratically carpentered.”32 This famous statement was remarkably inconclusive, or as Perry Anderson has observed, little more than an “agglutination of epithets.”33



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Engels wrote at much greater length than Marx on the German state after 1860. During the 1870s, he portrayed German unification as effecting a transition from a basically feudal, Junker-led state to a capitalist one. The Junkers, Engels argued, had been able to dominate Prussia before the wars of the 1860s through their predominance in the old eastern Prussian provinces. But their victories added the more modernized class structures of Hesse-Cassel, Hanover, Nassau, and eventually the southern German states to the new Germany, thereby undercutting their own power base.34 Already during the 1860s, “Bismarck willingly obliged the German bourgeoisie in the economic field,” and by the 1870s “the bourgeoisie was . . . the economically most powerful class among the population; the state had to obey its economic interests.”35 After 1870, Engels argued, Bismarck pinned his hopes for stability on the bourgeoisie, “leaving the larger part of the Junkers . . . to its inevitable doom,” abolishing the “enormous survivals from the times of decaying feudalism which continued to flourish in the legislation and administration,” and placing Germany “deliberately and irrevocably on the road of modern development.”36 Commenting in 1880 on government railroad policy, Engels became more specific: “the German Empire is just as completely subordinated to the Stock Exchange as was the French [Second] Empire in its day.”37 At the same time, Engels began to conceptualize the Bismarckian state as “Bonapartist.” Recalling Marx’s analysis of “the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” he described Bonapartism as the necessary state form in a country where the working class is at a high level of development in the cities but outweighed numerically in the countryside by the small peasants, and where it has been conquered in a great revolutionary struggle by the capitalist class, the petty bourgeoisie, and the army.38

Other features of Bonapartism included its reliance on extreme military nationalism and the direct bribing of both the capitalist and working classes, with the more general goal of quelling class conflict.39 In some formulations, the Bonapartism thesis did not contradict the idea of the empire as ultimately bourgeois; it merely meant that “the bourgeoisie buys gradual social emancipation at the price of the immediate renunciation of political power.”40 Bonapartism was “the true religion of the modern bourgeoisie,” in Engels’s oft-quoted phrase, for the reason that the bourgeoisie is “an army of officers without soldiers,” forced either to ally directly with the workers or to buy political power “piece by piece” from the royal powers above it.41 As an alternative or complement to this structural account of the necessity of Bonapartism, Engels sometimes argued that the German bourgeoisie was too weak to assume direct control of the state.42 Although he could defend this interpretation for the period before the 1860s with reference to the relative retardation of German industrial development in comparison with England or France, it was more difficult to retain after unification without resorting to “non-Marxist” arguments about national psychological characteristics.

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Engels occasionally suggested that the Imperial German state might not even be indirectly capitalist in nature, although he remained vague about what sort of a state it would then be. Occasionally Engels recycled the Junkerstaat image to describe the imperial era.43 Engels even characterized Bismarck as openly hostile to capital, as organizing “the demolition of German industry, under the pretext of protecting it.”44 And in one startling passage, Engels hinted at a state that was autonomous and strikingly neutral in class terms: “In Germany the state is still to a certain extent a power hovering independently over society, which for that very reason represents the collective interests of society and not those of a single class.”45 The fact that Marx and Engels did not succeed in providing a “Marxist” analysis foreshadows the difficulties of later generations of Marxists with the German state. Their comments are suggestive, however, in emphasizing the capitalist dimensions of the Imperial German state and in grappling with the enigma of a governing class apparently undermining its own social base. THE PRUSSIAN-GERMAN STATE IN NEO-MARXIST WRITING

Two of the leading neo-Marxist state theorists in recent decades, Nicos Poulantzas and Perry Anderson, have taken up the problem of the Imperial German state. Poulantzas’s starting point is the proposition that the state in capitalist society is “relatively autonomous” from the dominant class, rather than controlled directly by it.46 The state, he argues, is “the official résumé of society,” representing in condensed form the array of class forces and overlapping modes of production that make up a given social formation. The discrepancy between the dominant class in Imperial Germany and the background of the state’s officials would thus seem to pose no immediate problems for Poulantzas. What remains unclear is how and why the state serves the interests of the dominant class. Further complications arise with Poulantzas’s contention that the Imperial German state was not fully capitalist in structural terms. Treating the German state as an anomaly, Poulantzas seems to reproduce the exceptionalism thesis with an alternative vocabulary, as Geoff Eley has noted.47 He contends that the Bismarckian period was characterized by “feudal” state structures that were “dislocated relative to the economic level,” and that the German state remained partially feudal up to 1914.48 Given Poulantzas’s criteria for distinguishing between feudal and capitalist state forms, this characterization is presumably based on the exaggerated strength of the executive branch in the imperial state and on the fact that elections to all the parliamentary bodies except the Reichstag were based on a restricted suffrage. These features would prohibit the German state from accomplishing one of the effects said to characterize the “capitalist state”: maintaining “the political disorganization of the dominated classes, by presenting itself as the unity of the people-nation, composed of political-persons/private-individuals.”49 Without even challenging the inherent functionalism of these criteria, one could ask how state structures could possibly lag so far behind a social formation.50



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A further set of problems arises when Poulantzas continues that “under Bismarck, [the state] transformed itself from within, as it were, in the direction of a capitalist state.”51 By the end of the “Bismarckian régime,” at the latest, the bourgeoisie was hegemonic (i.e., dominant in political and ideological relations) whereas the nobility had been reduced to the role of “governing class,” or the class charged with running the state.52 He thus seems to suggest that some formal aspects of the German state were feudal whereas others were capitalist, although in content the state was fully aligned with the interests of capital. The German case thus underscores other weaknesses in Poulantzas’s argument. What are the mechanisms by which states transform themselves “from within” as class relations change? And if a formally feudal state can serve capitalist interests, doesn’t this undermine the importance of the structural analysis of state forms? Anderson interprets the Prussian state as definitive of a specific Eastern European variant of absolutism, and as “the classical case in Europe of an uneven and combined development.”53 Between the seventeenth and midnineteenth centuries, this “unevenness” juxtaposed the advanced state structures—“level with the Western States”—to the more traditional supporting social formations.54 One distinct characteristic of Prussian (and eastern) absolutism, according to Anderson, was the degree to which it represented a continually renegotiated pact between the Hohenzollern monarchs and the landed nobility. Social classes whose impress could be felt in the western variant of absolutism, such as the urban bourgeoisie, were absent from this compromise. The second distinguishing feature of eastern and especially Prussian absolutism was its particularly violent and warlike nature. This violence was inherent in the eastern absolutist state, whose function was “to defend the class position of the feudal nobility against both its rivals abroad and its peasants at home.”55 War was especially salient within Prussian absolutism, enhanced by the Prussian state’s origins as a response to military threats from older powers such as Sweden and by the distinct character of the eastern “second serfdom.” Western absolutism had been “designed to clamp the peasant masses back into their traditional social position” after the disappearance of serfdom.56 In the east, the task of “clamping” was more violent and difficult insofar as serfdom was actually intensified. In the nineteenth century, the axis of “unevenness” shifts. Anderson now contrasts the powerfully industrializing economy in the western territories with the backward eastern provinces and their agrarian rulers.57 The rising capitalist industry, according to Anderson, gradually led Bismarck to include Rhenish capital alongside the Junkers in the state structure. Although the state still bore certain institutional features defined as precapitalist (presumably a reference to the exaggerated coercive and military elements and the continuing political presence of the Junkers), in its main lines the state was now “unmistakably capitalist.”58 The German state, “despite its peculiarities, had now joined the ranks of its English and French rivals” and broken with absolutism.59 Whereas Poulantzas emphasizes the partial dislocation of the German

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state from the social formation, Anderson stresses the elements of correspondence. Both assume rather problematically that specific state structures have an intrinsic, fixed class character. A more useful assumption would be that the meaning of elements is determined contextually, at least in part. Even if the various features of the original absolutist states had a particular class valence when they arose, these valences could change in different circumstances. Rather than assuming that parliaments elected by restricted suffrage were dissonant and noncapitalist elements in the German state, for example, one would then try to determine their meaning in context.60 GEOFF ELEY AND DAVID BLACKBOURN

The writings of Geoff Eley and David Blackbourn represent the major effort within “Western” historiography to understand the Imperial German state as fundamentally bourgeois.61 Eley argues that the state in capitalist society needs to fulfill two different tasks: promoting capital accumulation and shoring up the cohesion of a social formation.62 Although there is no functional guarantee that a state will meet either of these needs, Eley suggests that the Imperial German state in fact served the interests of the bourgeoisie quite well, adding that “it is by no means clear that the Kaiserreich actually was a state dominated by the Junkers.”63 German unification represented a “classic instance of ‘revolution from above.’ ” Indeed, writes Eley, In certain ways—e.g., the sharpness of the rupture, the definitive character of the legal settlement, the commanding strength of capital in the new national economy—German unification in the 1860s was more closely linked to the realization of specifically bourgeois interests than either the English or the French revolutions had been, precisely because significant popular interventions never had the chance to occur.64

Economic legislation under the empire is represented by both Eley and Blackbourn as thoroughly bourgeois, contributing to unification of the national market and providing the underpinnings for capitalist industrialization on a massive scale. Key examples include technical education, industrial exhibits, transportation policy, the standardization of time, the “consolidation of the rule of law” (including the Penal Code and laws on bankruptcy and distraint), and “the Reichsbank, the beginnings of a national communication system, favourable conditions for the establishment of limited companies and uniform currency, weights and measures, and patent laws.”65 They also suggest that the realm of urban politics was particularly bourgeois.66 The task of reproducing the German social formation, however, involved a more complex logic, one of political alliances or “power blocs.” The construction of such power blocs typically demanded that the big bourgeoisie enter into compromises with other classes—especially the agrarians, and later, the Mittelstand (especially smaller farmers) and the various forces grouped in the radical nationalist associations. Eley agrees with many other writers that such a bloc was engineered during the Bismarck era through the



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famed Sammlung of the Junkers and heavy industry. Yet he also draws attention to the often-contradictory economic interests of industry and agriculture and underscores the resultant tenuousness of all attempted alliances. It follows that the concept of Bonapartism is “probably the best point of departure” for understanding the imperial state, at least for the 1870s–1890 period.67 The appropriateness of the Bonapartism concept is due not to any exact historical parallels between Bismarck and Napoleon III but to the “enhancement of the state’s autonomy under circumstances of extreme conflict amongst the dominant classes.”68 Eley concedes that the Junkers held certain political privileges disproportionate to their economic importance in the Kaiserreich.69 But the state’s economic interventions tended to promote capitalist industrialization and thus to undermine the landowning classes in the long run and hence their viability as a component of the power bloc. After 1890, and especially after 1902–1903, the state moved away from the earlier political coddling of the Junkers. Attempts to replicate the old cartel of big industry and agriculture met with increasing difficulties.70 Eley and Blackbourn have introduced a higher level of conceptual clarity and rigor into the study of the Prussian-German state.71 They waste no time complaining about the weakness of an idealized middle-class liberalism, turning instead to the problem of understanding what German liberalism actually did during the empire. They reject the certitudes of economic “bases” determining political and ideological “superstructures” and attend carefully to the failures as well as the successes of German governments in cementing a broad ruling-class alliance. They have mustered considerable evidence for the claim that the Prussian-German state was founded on a bourgeois basis, that Bismarckism promoted capitalism even without direct representation of the bourgeoisie, and that after 1890 the bourgeoisie was increasingly the state’s privileged political partner. Against “instrumentalist” and cognate theories, Eley insists that the bourgeoisie need not occupy the key positions in the state in order to “dominate” society as a whole; he similarly rejects “over-facile functionalism.”72 While dropping some tantalizing hints, they have not solved the central explanatory problem for state theory: Why did the state attend so systematically to the needs of modern industry? What accounts for the putative correspondence between state and bourgeoisie? (d) Critical West German Historiography: The State as Simultaneously Preserving the Junker Status Quo and Promoting Industrial Capitalism A marked influence has been exercised by the historical writings on the Kaiserreich of a group of (West) German historians. Following Eley and Blackbourn, I will refer to the body of work discussed here as the “critical (West) German view.”73 The critical school of German history is far from monolithic and actually encompasses more than a single interpretation of the state. Some writers agree that the imperial state was actually ruled by the

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Junkers in their own class interests. Others focus on the mixed impact of the state’s policies, often seeing them as favoring both capitalist industry and Junker agriculture. As Eley suggests, the writings of Jürgen Kocka and Hans-Ulrich Wehler “maintain a discrepancy between the state as a system of political domination (its constitutional ‘backwardness,’ the Junkers’ controlling power and institutional privileges, and the general importance of ‘pre-industrial traditions’) and its role in the economy (its ‘modern’ interventionist character).”74 Many of the writers associated at one time with the critical interpretation of imperial history have since modified their position—most importantly, Michael Stürmer, but also Kocka and Helmut Böhme. Others who have written important monographs in this vein include Volker Berghahn, HansJürgen Puhle, and Heinrich August Winkler. The most influential historian, and the only one who has attempted a synthetic interpretation of the entire political system of the German Empire from a “critical” perspective, is Wehler.75 Rather than try to summarize the entire “critical” literature, I will instead attempt to distill the reading of the Prussian-German state that underpins Wehler’s work.76 Fortunately, much of this work of theoretical condensation has already been accomplished by Geoff Eley. Wehler points again and again to the “unbroken tradition of government by pre-industrial power-élites,” the “absolutist,” aristocratic-Junker, “anachronistic,” and “feudal” character of the state; and he claims that at crucial moments, agriculture was assisted by the state at the expense of industry.77 He writes that “the apparatus of political rule . . . was closely linked in Germany to the interests of the powerful pre-industrial agrarian elites.”78 Yet Wehler also emphasizes that Bismarck “fulfilled the German bourgeoisie’s economic aspirations and protected it from the restive proletariat” at the time of unification, and he recognizes the state’s increasing interventionism in the interest of capitalism after 1879—and even more strongly after 1890—as a concomitant (though not a part) of “organized” capitalism.79 It is also worth noting that other “critical” historians make similar references to the state’s pro-bourgeois interventions.80 Despite these acknowledgments of industrial elements in national policy, Wehler retains the guiding notion of the state as nonbourgeois. He and other critical historians use a problematic variant of the “Bonapartism” concept.81 Although Wehler quotes Engels approvingly and says at one point that both “the traditional and the industrial élites strengthened their position of predominance once more,” he sees Bonapartism ultimately as favoring the “traditional élites.”82 Wehler’s gestures toward a general structural definition notwithstanding, Bonapartism is not deployed “sociologically” but as a historical concept, one that suggests a close parallel with the specific development of the French Second Empire. These historical parallels are tenuous, however, as several authors have pointed out.83 The régime of Napoleon III, with its modernizing and pro-industry Saint-Simonian advisers, systematically promoted business interests.84 Moreover, French Bonapartism relied



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on plebiscitary means, whereas the Reichstag, whatever its democratic imperfections, cannot be described in such terms.85 Finally, the fixation on Bismarck as an evil “genius” clashes with the structural core of the Marxist concept.86 Where Wehler retreats from the historical usage into the more sociological one, he fails to name the forces that prevent the state from becoming completely independent of the dominant social classes.87 There is no need to extend this discussion to other concepts in Wehler’s conceptual armory (“secondary integration,” “social imperialism,” etc.), especially in light of Eley’s decisive critique. The key point here is that although Wehler has contributed enormously to our empirical knowledge of the Prussian-German state, he does not provide a convincing theoretical model. While occasionally sketching a more nuanced treatment of the state, he repeatedly slips back into a Junkerstaat framework. As Lothar Gall has argued, Wehler ultimately views the interventionist state as both “patriarchal and social-conservative, and less as an instrument of new and offensive economic dynamics.”88 One of the most judicious attempts to bridge the Wehlerite/critical approach and the Eley/Blackbourn critique has been made by Wolfgang Mommsen. Mommsen describes the empire as “modernization without democratization,” based on a balance of bourgeois and aristocratic interests: each of the dominant social groups predominated in one part of the constitutional terrain. The aristocracy asserted its preeminence in Prussia, particularly in the Herrenhaus (House of Lords), and increasingly in the Abgeordnetenhaus (Lower House), and even more importantly its traditionally strong influence on the Prussian administration. . . . The bourgeois parties, on the other hand, dominated the Reichstag and controlled . . . the legislative. In this manner they were able to create acceptable conditions at least in the economic and, partially, in the legal realm. The governmental state bureaucracy, with Bismarck at the peak, played the role of equilibrium.89

Yet the question again arises: If the national civil service was so dependent on the Prussian bureaucracy, shouldn’t Reich policy have been “aristocratic” as well? The answer, of course, depends on the relative influence of the Reichstag as compared to the central administration. Mommsen’s is one of the more persuasive accounts of the political system of the Kaiserreich as split between bourgeois and prebourgeois powers. But was the system truly divided? Did the resolution of national conflicts between agrarian and industrial interests follow any specific pattern, or were the outcomes contingent upon other factors? This array of interpretations of the German state raises more problems than it solves. Such complexities have led some authors to abandon the project of constructing a model of the German state altogether. Others have simply declared their object sui generis, characterizing the state during the 1860s and 1870s as the “Bismarck system,” or arguing, as did one observer

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during the late eighteenth century, that “Deutschland wird auf deutsch regiert.”90 There is also substantial disagreement about what actually happened. The next section turns to this crucial precondition for a theoretical account of the state. THE GERMAN STATE IN ACTION The goal of this section is to establish that the Imperial German state systematically favored industrial capitalism. This involves reviewing several of the key historical incidents in which some historians have seen the state as favoring the interests of agrarians, state managers, or nonindustrial sectors of capital over the interests of industrialists or capitalism more generally. The Paradox of German Officialdom In order to grasp the apparently paradoxical quality of the German state, several facts concerning its officialdom should be recalled. The PrussianGerman bureaucracy even in the late nineteenth century has often been seen as an aristocratic monopoly. It is important not to exaggerate the noble backgrounds of the administrative elites. As John Röhl has emphasized, “The land-owning aristocracy showed little interest in a career in the central bureaucracy. . . . Of the 126 Vortragende Räte and Directors in the Reich Offices (excluding the Foreign Office) in the period 1867–90, only 14 were noble.”91 Yet the preponderance of Junkers rose sharply as one ascended the bureaucratic hierarchy.92 The background of the majority of upper-level officials in the Prussian and central states was noble. A disproportionately large number of the Prussian and Imperial German bureaucrats who were elaborating public policy after 1871 came from older noble families, or from long lines of civil servants that were often ennobled (Dienstadel). Almost two-thirds of the imperial cabinet ministers were from the noble estate—not to mention Bismarck, Germany’s most renowned Junker, and the other chancellors.93 This tendency was even more pronounced in the partially separate Prussian state, where both the bureaucracy and the Diet were disproportionately drawn from the nobility.94 Typically this bias was less dramatic in the South German states, although in Bavaria the upper bureaucracy retained a large noble component even after 1848.95 It also bears repeating that the German kaiser was no mere figurehead but the locus of ultimate political sovereignty in the Reich. William II saw fit to recall that he was the “greatest landowner” in the empire.96 The state might then be expected to have favored an agrarian, precapitalist course against industrial capitalism. Yet from the unification period onward, the bulk of state activities pointed in the opposite direction. During the founding period, legislation was passed that unified the national market and provided the underpinnings for capitalist industrialization on a massive



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scale: examples are the industrial code (June 21, 1869) of the North German Federation and the legislation on freedom of movement (November 1, 1867), the national Law of Settlement or Poor Law (June 6, 1870), and legislation unifying currency, post, transportation, eliminating restrictions on the creation of joint stock companies, and regulating patents.97 And as I will argue below, national and Prussian legislation continued to favor capitalist industry overwhelmingly. Of course, the state was sometimes forced to choose one sector of capitalist industry over another, a problem that arose most clearly in tariff questions. Legislation was also passed to rescue German agriculture, but the state hardly favored the Junkers. Although the state was never hesitant to expand its own authority, it typically pulled back when faced with clear bourgeois opposition or with evidence that German industrial power would be damaged as a result. German state elites did not merely meet the basic, minimal demands of the modern capitalist era but provided a framework within which Germany could attain the status of a world industrial power. The efforts of the German state to promote industrial expansion reached beyond narrowly economic policy. Above all, the imperial state was an innovator in nonrepressive policies for combating the socialist labor movement, which industry felt to be a vastly more threatening enemy than the agrarians.98 As Michael Stürmer writes, “One of the paradoxes of German social history is that a state leadership based on the elites of late absolutism not only set new standards in state social policy after 1878, but also took up the ideological and organizational techniques of the era of mass politics earlier and more effectively than the liberal notable politicians (Honoratiorenpolitiker).”99 Chapter 5 will discuss these policies. The central question in this chapter is different: Why did the state favor industry over agriculture, capitalists over (economic) Junkers, and capitalism as a mode of production over the neofeudal form of agrarian social and property relations typified by the East Elbian estate? Industrial-Bourgeois versus Preindustrial-Agrarian Bias in German State Policy The German state had repeated opportunities to display a clear preference for the interests and values of “preindustrial elites” over the logic and interests of industrial capital. Wehler has listed some of the “decisive trials of strength” in which the aristocracy was “able to have its interests met: the protectionist tariffs, tax questions, the armament of the army, the three-class franchise, the coalition law for rural laborers.”100 Of course, many of the cases used as evidence of an agrarian bias in policy can be better understood as instances in which the promotion of Junker interests was in one way or another also in the interest of the leading sectors of industry. The “plutocratic” three-class franchise in Prussia was supported by the most powerful industrial interest organizations and by certain strands of liberalism. Most

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of the “liberal bourgeoisie” also opposed any broadening of the electoral base in the municipalities.101 It is also important to recall the polemics of heavy industry against the growing power of the Reichstag, the universal franchise, the liberalization of the Prussian franchise, and democracy in general.102 The fact that the three-class franchise was commonly denounced by socialists as “plutocratic” should remind us that its underlying principle was thoroughly capitalist: the power of a man’s vote was a function of his income, not his status. The three-class franchise was blind to rank and nobility.103 The assignment of the three-class franchise to Germany’s preindustrial character can also be traced to the more general problem of conceptual slippages. As Eley and Blackbourn point out, the elision of “bourgeois,” “capitalist,” and “industrial,” with “liberal,” “progressive,” or “modern” makes it much easier to classify the political system of the Kaiserreich as nonbourgeois. Similarly, the terms feudal, preindustrial, aristocratic, and agrarian are often equated with conservative, authoritarian, and traditional, making it difficult to recognize the industrial capitalist nature of many authoritarian policies. Wehler tacks continuously back and forth between social classes as communities of shared economic interests, political parties that supposedly correspond to classes, and ideological-cultural systems such as “liberalism” and “conservatism” that are linked in an essentialist manner to classes. Even Marxists have long rejected the reductionism inherent in imputing forms of consciousness to social classes.104 Moreover, while economic social classes undoubtedly have certain irreducible material interests, this tells us almost nothing about which of these interests will be emphasized or the concrete ways in which these interests may be expressed. Arguments about the empire’s anti-industrial character based on such conceptual elisions can be countered without recourse to full reinterpretations of evidence or new historical materials. When Wehler evokes repressive labor law as evidence of the state’s antibourgeois character, he is operating with such equivalences. The confusing inclusion of heavy industry among the “preindustrial” elites is justified with reference to German industrialists’ use of allegedly “prebourgeois” coercive and paternalistic techniques for dealing with labor.105 Yet as Eley has noted, such coercive industrial strategies may correspond even more closely than conciliatory approaches to bourgeois interests in profit maximization. A simple comparison with the management techniques in the capitalist U.S. from Pullman to any contemporary North Carolina mill town should put to rest the argument about the “precapitalist” character of Imperial Germany’s labor policies. Wehler’s other examples, however, were indeed cases in which a decision in favor of agriculture would have been clearly damaging to parts of industry. Two other frontal policy clashes between industry and agriculture concerned the Prussian state purchase of the Hibernia coal mine and the construction of the Mittellandkanal. The conflicts over a state petroleum



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monopoly illustrate a slightly more complex constellation of interests. All these cases will be explored in the rest of this chapter. Chapter 5 will examine a further area of agrarian-industrial conflict, national legislation over poor relief and internal freedom of movement.106 Criteria for Assessing the Correspondence between State Policy and the Industrial Bourgeoisie The impossibility of measuring Bürgerlichkeit in terms of liberalism means that other criteria need to be developed for assessing the correspondence between German policies and industrial capitalist (vs. agrarian) interests before specific policies can be discussed. The “class correspondence” of a policy is fairly easy to establish when specific industrialists raise specific demands. I do not accept the notion of “false consciousness.” If capitalists say they like a certain policy, it is a “bourgeois” policy. The outcome of a policy debate can then be simply matched against explicit demands. But what if industrial capitalists raise divergent demands, or none at all? My argument is that German officials were encouraged to design state policies that promoted industrial capitalism even in the absence of recommendations from specific industrialists or their interest groups; the question is how to judge this. Policies can also be characterized as industrial-bourgeois to the extent that they exhibit some or all of the following interrelated characteristics: 1. Direct economic support. Policies that are immediately profitable to industrial capitalists, as in military contracts with private weapons manufacturers, the implementation of regressive income taxes, or the elimination of minimum-wage laws. 2. Promotion of unity among the members of the economic bourgeoisie. This, of course, is one of the basic “functions” of the “capitalist state,” according to Poulantzas. Rather than assuming that the state furthers such capitalist class unity, however, such interventions should be seen as variable.107 3. Discouragement of the unity of dominated and exploited groups. Conversely, state interventions and programs can be evaluated as more favorable to capitalism insofar as they undermine or inhibit the unity and political organization of the working class (or of other social groups that pose a threat to capitalist interests). This again resembles Poulantzas’s second state “function”—the disorganization of the working class—but here too it is seen as a variable rather than a constant feature of the state. Critics of traditional Marxism have recognized that working-class formation is not strictly derivable from an inner logic of capitalism; nor, by the same token, are there any built-in tendencies toward working-class disorganization. Bourdieu’s notion of “classification struggles” is useful in this regard: some state policies can be seen as “reclassifying” subordinate individuals and groups, i.e., as reinforcing distinctions among elements that might otherwise converge as a social group.108

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4. Encouragement of market structures and bourgeois forms of subjectivity. This is the most general and overarching criterion for evaluating policy as more or less “bourgeois.” The state may be able to strengthen or weaken what Weber called the “capitalist spirit”—even if it would take different forms from those described by Weber. Policies that encourage actors’ orientation toward the money economy, rational accounting, and market mechanisms are more inherently bourgeois than policies without these effects. “Bourgeois” policies reinforce capitalist economic rationality, urging individuals to see themselves and others as competitive and possessive individuals, and to assume responsibility for their own welfare.109

Let us now examine several major instances of contested state intervention. The Sammlung and Industrial Interests in the Last Instance The “critical” historians view the protective tariffs and armaments policies of the empire as indicative of Germany’s neo-feudalism, not only because they clash with an ideal-typical liberalism, but also due to the specific social coalitions supporting and opposing them. In the case of the empire, the supporting coalition in question was the famous Sammlung (“rallying together”) of big agriculture and heavy industry, or “iron and rye.”110 The social forces in opposition, which were not necessarily united, typically included Social Democrats, left liberals, the export and finished-goods industries, and to some extent the banks. This raises an important issue. Is there something anomalous about a government that favors specific sectors of industry and an economically declining agrarian class, rather than promoting capitalism in general? I would argue that the existence of the Sammlung does not suggest that the state was oddly independent of social forces, even if specific sectors of the capitalist class were “underprivileged.” Why was agriculture included in the ruling coalition? It is worth noting first that although Imperial Germany was the second industrial power in the world, it also had a huge agricultural sector.111 It is not surprising, then, that German state policy was more favorable toward agricultural interests than British policy, for example, given the discrepant sizes of the two countries’ farming sectors.112 Still, states are not mere reflections of class structures. Nor does Germany’s large agricultural sector explain why the state sometimes seemed to pay undue attention to the needs of the big landowners. This peculiarity can only be understood as part of a specifically political logic, related to the government’s goal of promoting economic growth and social stability (the basis of this state goal will be explored in the last section). This goal required the construction of a hegemonic bloc, or Sammlung. National and Prussian policy-making committees and parliamentary politics were the primary arenas in which Bismarck and later chancellors



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worked to consolidate a ruling bloc. The fact that the Reichstag was weaker than comparable institutions in France or Britain did not make it an insignificant site for such hegemonic efforts. The critical factor constraining the government’s options was the growing importance of the SPD, especially its group in the Reichstag. There was strong consensus in governing circles before 1914 that the SPD could not be integrated into a governing coalition.113 And if one wanted to isolate the SPD, the balance of political forces in the Reichstag and in society at large made it impossible to exclude Junker interests. The big landowners were strongly organized in the Conservative party (Deutschkonservative Partei) and after 1893 in the Farmers’ League (Bund der Landwirte).114 Given the distribution of seats in the Reichstag, any governing coalition that excluded the Conservatives would be forced to include both the liberal parties and the Center. This was dangerous because there were growing elements in these parties, especially the left liberals, calling for a more conciliatory stance toward labor.115 The government needed the option of dropping one of these parties from the governing coalition when it moved too far from the conservative line (as when the Center party was excluded from the “Bülow bloc” coalition for the 1907 elections).116 This was a key reason for the inclusion of the Conservatives in almost all governing coalitions during the Kaiserreich—a pattern broken only briefly by Chancellor Caprivi during the early 1890s. By including the Conservatives, the government was forced to attend to their interests if the coalition was to survive. In contrast, capitalist interests not included in the coalition might be transgressed more easily. Heavy industry was the other leading partner in the ruling blocs that the government continually attempted to build. How did its interests figure in the Sammlung? The tariff and armament policies referred to by Wehler were suited to—and indeed, vociferously demanded by—the heavy-industrial members of the bloc. It is often forgotten that heavy industry was the original and primary supporter of protection in the decades preceding Bismarck’s initial tariff in 1879. The East Elbian Junkers who supported tariffs—and many did not—only came around to this position as a result of the agricultural crisis of the 1870s. “The historical significance of the tariff,” as Richard Tilly has observed, is “as an index of the industrialists’ rising political power.”117 But what happened in cases where heavy industry and big agriculture had irreconcilably opposing interests? Advocates of the Sammlung thesis often imply that conflicts of interest between agrarians and industrial capitalists were always amenable to resolution, either through trade-offs or through the common interest in “keeping the proletariat from gaining control of state power.”118 The locus classicus of this compromise motif is the literature on the Navy Laws and tariff reforms: industry is said to have granted the 1902 tariffs in exchange for the Junkers’ acceptance of building up the navy. Yet as Eley has shown, the agrarians were intensely opposed to the navy. Johannes von Miquel, the architect of the new Sammlung, tried to keep the Navy Bill out of the govern-

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ment-coordinated discussions among agrarian, industrial, and commercial interests in the 1897 Economic Advisory Committee on trade treaties (Wirtschaftlicher Ausschuss).119 The fact that the Navy bills were eventually passed despite agrarian opposition points to another important feature of the Sammlung bloc, however: When the differences between the industrialists and the agrarians could not be bridged, the government tilted toward industry. The Modern Industrial Army This pattern can be clearly observed in the question of the army. The central changes in the Prussian army after 1859 undermined the personal and ideological predominance of the traditional aristocratic leadership. The traditionalists strove to keep the army small and the officer corps an exclusive noble elite.120 Yet the strategies actually followed from the 1860s onward led inexorably toward a Verbürgerlichung of the Prussian army, as Michael Geyer has shown.121 The first reform, dominant from the beginning of the 1860s through 1890, emphasized the expansion of the army’s personnel through general conscription. The modernity of this approach is underscored by the fact that it was soon emulated by other countries.122 More abstractly, the new Prussian army was “a manifestation of . . . the industrial world,” appropriating raw materials (especially men) from society, sealing them off in military institutions, and disciplining them in a manner reminiscent of the capitalist enterprise. The military had “reconstituted itself . . . on the basis of an embourgeoisfied not a corporative-estate society.”123 The second reform involved a focus on technological change and the industrialization of weaponry. Significantly, armaments were increasingly developed and produced in the private sector—although often in cooperation with the army. This trend was already visible during the wars of German unification, “the first fully ‘technological wars’ of the nineteenth century.”124 As Kehr noted, the army “had been technically modernized by [Helmuth von] Moltke through the incorporation of railroad transportation into the mobilization process and the acquisition of heavy artillery for the field army.”125 The industrial strategy received another fillip under Imperial Chancellor Caprivi in 1890. Historians have often argued that the Prussian army was unwilling to accept new technologies, but Prussia was the first European power to employ rails and telegraphs in war and to arm itself with rifled breechloaders. The German army adopted a variety of novel weapons that were developed and manufactured almost exclusively in the private sector, many as a result of state encouragement, including Krupp’s cast-steel cannon, the breech-loading needle gun, the machine gun, dirigibles, and the airplane.126 By 1916 the “industrial” approach to fighting war had triumphed definitively.127 Winning wars now was seen as a function of a state’s ability to mobilize the resources of civil society—population and the arms industry in particular—in the shortest possible time.128



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In the passage quoted above, Wehler points to armaments as a case in which the aristocracy was “able to have its interests met.” Yet it is difficult to see how the massive arms buildup during the Kaiserreich, especially in the years before the war, can be associated with a conservative agrarian program. The shift to a mass, industrialized army undermined the elite army model on which noble preeminence was based. Technical experts and weapons manufacturers began to supplant aristocratic officers. Units of the army that had been lower in status precisely because of their middle-class recruitment and technical orientation, such as the field artillery, came into their own. The army’s increasingly bourgeois character is perhaps best illustrated by its increasing entwinement with private weapons manufacturers. The incestuous relationship between Krupp and the state is only the most striking example of the “relationship of mutual dependence” between state and the arms industry that emerged during the empire.129 The arms race became a crucial pump-priming mechanism for private industry. From the early years of the Reich, heavy industry tried to persuade the government “of the necessity for a prospering armaments industry by reference to the wars of 1864– 66 and 1870.”130 Finally, the uses to which the military was put and the ultimate ends of the arms buildup before 1914 can hardly be reduced to defense of some agrarian status quo. The industrialized German army was first put to work in Africa in defense of the colonies. Although the agrarians wanted German colonialism to focus on permanent settlement rather than business, they were frustrated everywhere except in German Southwest Africa (Namibia).131 In Cameroon, Togo, and German East Africa, the army was used to support cash-crop export industries and plans for the commercialization and modernization of local social formations. In the Chinese province of Shantung, the German navy attempted to develop a modern commercial base for trading German goods and developing mines. Commercial interests were preeminent, even if the colonies turned out to be a losing venture for the state, on average. Colonial policy was also driven by the search for international status commensurate with Germany’s economic power, and by strategic military interests. With the exception of Namibia, the Germans were probably no more brutal, exploitative, or “feudal” in their colonies than France, Britain, or other states with impeccable bourgeois credentials. Wehler and other critical historians view the decision to go to war itself as a result of the “predisposition of [Germany’s] ruling élites to continue their defensive struggle by aggressive means.”132 This ignores the massive public support for Germany’s aggressive imperialist policy, encompassing most of industry, the liberal, Conservative, and Center parties, and even parts of the SPD.133 Indeed, an aggressive Weltpolitik was one of the few issues agreed upon by nearly all segments of the German bourgeoisie, with the exception of the commercial capitalists who were peripheral to the ruling coalition.134

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Financial Reform: A More Complex Scenario There is one field in which state interventions seem to have violated both explicit bourgeois interests and the abstract logic of capitalism: financial reforms. One East German historian argues that the Prussian finance reforms of the early 1890s were put “in the service of political reaction,” even though they were based on “the modern views in bourgeois financial science of the era.”135 Yet things were not so simple. At the heart of the Prussian reforms was a new income-tax law that was based on “self-assessment,” and that freed wage earners with smaller incomes (below 900 marks annually). This development was typical of modern capitalist states. The second, more ambiguous part of the Prussian reform was the 1893 Municipal Tax Law, which returned the authority to levy taxes on land, buildings, and trade (the Gewerbesteuer) to local governments.136 Most historians assume that this law benefited the Junkers, who typically controlled local tax assessment in the countryside. The 1893 legislation contributed more than just new fiscal resources to the urban bourgeois Honoratioren, however. The liberals’ continuing hegemony over municipal politics was largely a function of the restrictiveness of the local electoral franchise, which reduced the presence of the SPD and other parties.137 The Prussian finance reform did not benefit the Junkers at the expense of industry, but satisfied both. The imperial financial reform of 1908–1909 is a more challenging case of supposed Junker supremacy. As Wehler writes, “In place of the originally proposed estate and death duties, taxes on financial transactions and consumer articles were introduced. . . . The real beneficiaries were the landowners. . . . this imperial finance reform revealed itself as blatantly inimical to the interests of the consumer and industry alike.”138 According to the main historian of this legislation, the finance reform proved that the landowning nobles were “still the leading stratum in social and political terms.”139 Agrarian opposition to the 1908–1909 bill was directed primarily against the creation of a new estate duty that would tax surviving children and spouses for legacies above a certain value. The final version of the finance reform act excluded this inheritance tax and included various taxes on other forms of property and financial transactions. On closer scrutiny, however, the actual legislative processes and outcomes lend little support to the notion of an anti-industrial or “neo-feudal” state. Instead, all the major propertied groups, including the large landowners, banks, and industrialists, were essentially being asked to make a bigger contribution to national revenues—more than 50 percent of which were destined for the army and navy. The first problem with the “critical” reading is that it downplays the fact that a national legacy duty had already been created in 1906 as part of a major financial reform.140 It is true that children and widows were not taxed under this earlier law. Nonetheless, the agrarians understood the 1906 bill as inimical to their interests, and the large majority of Reichstag deputies in the Conservative party and Farmers’ League voted



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against it, abstained, or were absent for the vote. Two years later, the agrarians were again in opposition to the government’s plans to extend the estate tax. If the failure of the estate tax in 1909 is to be taken as evidence of an anticapitalist bias in the state, the bourgeoisie must have supported the tax. The slippage between the concepts “liberal” and “bourgeois” is again tacitly operative in the literature on imperial finances. The left liberals strongly supported the estate tax, but the National Liberals actually opposed it in the 1908–1909 Reichstag tax commission.141 The CdI was quite clear in its preference for indirect taxes over direct ones, especially at the national level (although estate taxes were sometimes misleadingly referred to as “indirect”). Although the president of CdI (Henry Axel Bueck) supported the estate tax in the 1908 bill, there is evidence that some members opposed it.142 If even industrialists were unenthusiastic about the estate tax, it is not surprising that the government hesitated in the end. Another problem with the “critical” interpretation of the reform is that it underestimates both the state’s willingness to challenge the Junkers and the importance of the Reichstag. The government rejected the Conservatives’ idea of an increment-value tax on securities, which they feared would “seriously damage the activities of the Stock Exchange.”143 All important members of the imperial and Prussian administrations backed the new estate duty in 1908–1909, and they supported the idea again during the next round of finance reform, in 1913.144 Among the supporters in 1909 was the kaiser himself, who wired Bülow that he was ready to pass the tax bill by decree after the Reichstag voted it down.145 Yet such a move by the kaiser would have required a coup d’état. The very implausibility of a coup during this era underscores the significant degree of parliamentarization of the empire by this time and overall importance of the Reichstag. Wehler’s interpretation overlooks the important role of the Reichstag in financial and other legislation. The immediate reason for the bill’s defeat in 1909 was that it was opposed by the Conservative and Center parties. Moreover, this was a tactical alliance and not an indicator of conservative-agrarian hegemony. The Center party was the crucial “variable” in this instance, and unlike the Conservatives, it was by no means united around the defense of large agrarian interests. The main reason for the Center party’s opposition to the reform lay in its exclusion from the “Bülow bloc,” which had been the basis of government since 1907. Regaining its lost influence required that the Center unite with the Conservatives in order to eliminate Bülow.146 The Center’s exclusion from power was the single most important reason for the failure of the inheritance tax. In more general terms, the significance of parties and alliances in this series of events seems more typical of modern parliamentary politics than agrarian monarchies. In terms of its actual contents, finally, the version of the bill that was passed cannot be characterized as consistently agrarian and anticapitalist. Instead, all the propertied, Junkers and industrialists alike, were called upon

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to rescue the state from its fiscal crisis. The Grundstückumsatzstempel (real estate turnover stamp) affected property owners in general. The Effektenstempel, a tax on the issuance of bonds or stock certificates, hurt agriculture by making credit on real estate more expensive.147 With respect to the Talonsteuer, a tax on income from dividends and interest from stocks and bonds, the government actually responded to bank protests by changing the text of the law passed by parliament.148 Industry’s major concern had been the tax on electricity and gas, which was part of the original government bill in 1908; as a member of the CdI complained, “Here the means of production are being taxed for the first time.”149 The electricity and gas tax disappeared from the final legislation. Although the estate duty failed in 1909, a tax on capital gains which included inherited property (the Vermögenszuwachssteuer) was passed just four years later.150 Antitrust Laws, Government Monopolies, and the Interests of Big Industry One of the most egregious examples of state preferment of big industry was its failure to control cartels—“agreements as to price-fixing, formal marketsharing, or co-ordinated sale of industry output through a syndicate.”151 Cartels existed in the coal, potash, steel, petroleum, and other industries. In a precedent-setting case in 1897, the Imperial Supreme Court ruled that cartels were legal and even beneficial to the German economy. Although the Reichstag voted three times before 1914 to set up a Reichskartellamt that would monitor and regulate cartels, the government failed to act. Industrialists almost uniformly rejected such legislative efforts even when their own branch would not be affected, fearing further government regulation. The agrarians’ views on anticartel policy were less consistent, although the Conservative party strongly supported the Reichskartellamt bill in 1907– 1908.152 In spite of this partial agrarian advocacy and the strong endorsement of cartel laws by most other sectors of German political life, the government was willing to side with the “monopolies.” The failure between 1911 and 1914 to create an imperial monopoly on the importing, refining, and distribution of kerosene represents the most peculiar case of government inaction in this area, because the specific “cartel” that the legislation was meant to defy was Standard Oil and not even a German company.153 The Deutsche Bank, whose efforts to market its Rumanian oil in Germany were being thwarted by Standard Oil, strongly supported the state monopoly. Other proponents of the bill included the Prussian military, who were beginning to worry about wartime provisioning, some National Liberals and left liberals, the Conservatives (at least initially), and after certain concessions, the SPD.154 The bill was opposed, however, by the most important associations of heavy industry, many chambers of commerce, the Center party, and sections of the state bureaucracy. Speakers for the most powerful industrial organizations denounced the state monopoly



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as the first step toward “state socialism,” the “nationalization of further branches of industry,” and “socialist economic organization.”155 The bill’s failure had more to do with the general fear of socialism than with the economic interests of industry, which itself depended heavily on kerosene lighting and would have benefited from lower prices. Most significant in the present context, however, is that industrial demands prevailed once again.156 The Prussian State: An Agrarian Enclave? Until now the focus has been on the national state. The Prussian state is typically seen as even more beholden to precapitalist agrarian interests. It therefore makes sense to examine two cases of agrarian-industrial conflict over Prussian economic policy: the Hibernia affair and the Mittellandkanal debate. The importance of these cases is twofold. Substantively, they show that the state sided with industry in decisive contests against the big landowners (and against other factions of capital, including the banking sector). Methodologically, they indicate how important it is to distinguish political rhetoric from actual policies, the earlier stages of a policy process from its final outcome, and the text of legislation from its concrete implementation. In 1904 the Prussian state challenged heavy industry by attempting to nationalize the Hibernia coal company, third largest in the country, through the purchase of a controlling interest in its shares. One historian has diagnosed the “Hibernia affair” as “a symbolic struggle over the political destinies of Prussia and Germany. Would ‘the state’ control the economy, or would the economy overwhelm the state?”157 Even if the immediate economic stakes were of only middling importance, both government and industry took the long-term political effects extremely seriously. The state’s goal was to arrest the growth of the integrated steel-mine trusts; industry and the banks feared that this was only the first step toward further nationalizations and government regulation of industry.158 The state’s purchase of Hibernia was backed by the Conservative and Center parties, the antimonopolistic employers’ association (Bund der Industriellen), and the Farmers’ League, which even called for a state takeover of the entire coal industry.159 Yet business prevailed, just as it had stopped the government’s attempt to nationalize all unclaimed potash and salt deposits in 1894.160 The Hibernia mine was not nationalized.161 The Mittellandkanal was a planned waterway linking the western and eastern parts of Prussia.162 Agrarians in the east vigorously opposed the canal, fearing that it would facilitate foreign agricultural imports into their markets and further exacerbate the shortage of rural labor; conversely, western farmers were wary of increased competition from eastern grain. Industry in the Rheinland-Westphalia region favored the canal, and the government was able to conciliate wary industrialists in other areas by adding new canals as the bill was redrafted. In contrast to the Hibernia case, industry this

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time had powerful allies—the emperor and the government. The first canal bill was defeated in the Prussian House of Representatives in 1899. The kaiser disciplined a group of Conservative civil servants who had voted against the bill, temporarily suspending them from their jobs. The government brought a second bill to the Landtag in 1901 and finally passed a slightly revised plan in 1904. In light of this victory against vehement Junker opposition within a relatively short time span, it can hardly be argued that “the Mittelland canal debate indicated how the administration was ultimately willing to side with the Junkers against heavy industry.”163 A MODEL OF THE IMPERIAL STATE In this final section I will develop a general explanation of the German state’s tendency to support the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie and to promote industrial capitalism as a socioeconomic system. Three factors account for this overall set of commitments: (1) the state’s dependence on the private economy for financial resources (required for the state’s general operations as well as its specific military needs); (2) the state’s dependence on private development and production for its military needs; and (3) the socialization of the state’s civil servants and their strategic conversion to an ethos supportive of capitalist industrialization. My argument is that these three factors—fiscal dependency, military dependency, and bureaucratic socialization—led state officials to attend to industrial capitalist “voices” and to internalize an industrial capitalist “logic” when making policy. Of course, the Prussian-German state pursued goals that cannot be reduced to industrial capitalism even in the “last instance,” most obviously in the area of foreign policy. In the rest of this chapter, however, I will elaborate mainly upon the moments of constraint rather than the spaces of freedom. The State’s Dependence on Financial Resources from the Private Economy The state is dependent on resources that it does not generate, i.e., resources from “civil society” or the “private” sector. The most important of these resources are financial: credit from banks and revenues from taxes, duties, and fees, obtained from economic transactions, individuals, corporations, and other large organizations.164 As Charles Tilly has shown, any state’s dependence on such socioeconomic actors accounts for the necessarily sociological constraints on its activities. Each time a state tries to mobilize resources, it confronts an always-already organized field of economic, social, and political actors. This is not to deny that states also shape society, but even creatures of the state may gain the ability to reproduce themselves autonomously and, over time, to challenge their creator. Specifically, even



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if the Prussian state was partially responsible for the rise of an industrial capitalist class, it still had to persuade the “resultant” capitalists to keep investing and paying taxes. Historically the Prussian state tried persistently to liberate itself from dependence on taxes. Traditionally, the royal demesne lands were the main source of state revenues. Under the Generalpacht (general leasehold) created by Frederick I, “whole districts (Amt) of domains were leased for a certain sum of rent-payment to a so-called Amtmann (Superintendent of Domains) who was, like a private entrepreneur, in charge of his district, subleasing parts of it to the peasantry.”165 Revenues from the state’s own assets rose to 50 percent of the total by 1740, after Frederick William I managed to recover lost domain properties and to buy new lands.166 The advantage of such holdings was articulated by Freiherr vom Stein, who saw them as the “basis of the material independence of the kings against the domination and power of the strong estate corporations.”167 The fiscal crisis of the early nineteenth century and the growth of liberalism and laissez-faire doctrines thereafter led to the sale of some of the state’s properties.168 Nonetheless, over a third of state revenues still came from state assets until the middle of the nineteenth century.169 In addition to the domains, the state ran the lottery and owned ironworks and ships, the Glewitz and Königshütte foundries, salt and postal monopolies, and all but one of the Saar coal mines. The Prussian Seehandlung (Oversees Trading Corporation), founded in 1772, engaged in shipping and foreign trade and operated engineering works, chemical and paper factories, foundries, and mills for flour, oil, lumber, alum, and textiles.170 During the constitutional conflict in the early 1860s, the Prussian government tried again “to secure the maximum possible revenue from the State mining and industrial enterprises so as to lessen its dependence on taxes voted by the legislature.”171 In 1879 the Prussian state began to purchase private railways. These proved to be extremely profitable, eventually bringing in more revenues than the state income tax.172 Despite these efforts, Prussia depended increasingly on revenues raised through taxes. By 1901, the net revenue from the state’s own properties was only 17.8 percent of total revenues; and by 1913 it had declined to 9.7 percent of the total.173 The second largest single source of revenue following the railroads was now the general income tax.174 Introduced in 1851, the income tax was a reformed version of an earlier regressive “class tax,” but now it was mildly progressive for incomes above 1,000 talers annually. The state also culled revenues from a property tax (Ergänzungssteuer). As a result, the state was structurally dependent on capitalist economic prosperity and was obligated to the bourgeoisie as a “state-bearing” social class. Indirect taxes required a prospering capitalist economy if they were to bring in money. A politically induced slump could lower imports, railroad traffic, consumption, and business in general, emptying the state’s coffers. Direct taxes introduced a social-exchange dimension into the state’s dealings with the bourgeoisie, who perceived themselves as hardest hit by the income

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tax. The state acknowledged its debt to the bourgeoisie by accompanying the 1851 tax law with the three-class electoral franchise. Similar dynamics applied at the national level. Compared to the Prussian state, the empire had few productive assets of its own and depended mainly on indirect taxes, duties, and fees before 1914. Prior to the finance reforms discussed above there were no national direct taxes, and revenues from the new sources remained meager before 1914.175 The biggest source of centralgovernment revenues during the 1872–1914 period was the tariffs. The imperial government also made money on its railroads, but these brought in much less than the Prussian rails—only 143 million marks in 1911, for example, as compared to 521 million marks for the Prussian railroads during the same year.176 The empire’s paucity of assets and direct taxes meant that it was completely dependent on vigorous private economic activity to generate income. This militated against government engagement in activities that would slow investment or offend capitalist interests. Put differently, the state shared with private industry a strong interest in a healthy economy. There were also more direct sanctions on the state, especially during wartime. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Prussian state could no longer rely on the state treasury and regular income to conduct wars but typically had to raise loans as well. Public borrowing and a system of permanent funded debt began with the state’s efforts to recover from the Napoleonic occupation and wars.177 The Prussian government financed only the Danish war (1864) without raising a major loan or calling on the services of banking capital. In 1866 the state was forced to sell an important railroad to pay for the war with Austria, and in 1870, it had to raise a loan in order to fight France.178 State officials could not escape this dependence on private capital, whatever their personal devotion to the Junkers. As Fritz Stern has shown, the inexorable realpolitik of financial necessity forced even Bismarck to treat Bleichröder with something approaching civility. The Prussian-German State’s Military Raison d’ctre Military strength had permitted Bismarck to complete the work of unification and to raise Germany’s status to that of a new great power in Europe. This is what led a chancellor like Caprivi to argue, when introducing a military bill to the Reichstag, that “our whole position of power, our position in the world, depends upon our military capacities. Every political question can be reduced in the final analysis to a military factor.”179 In the present context it is irrelevant whether or not foreign policy was in fact primary in the minds of German leaders, nor is it necessary to understand why they valued war so highly. The key point is that this emphasis on military goals forced the state into an increasingly close relationship with private industry and capital, just as its general fiscal needs led it to favor the bourgeoisie.180



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Private industry and banks were both crucial for the military apparatus. As noted earlier, the state’s dependence on the private sector appeared in sharpest relief in times of war when large amounts of credit were needed quickly. The military’s reliance on state revenues made it indirectly dependent on general economic prosperity and capitalist goodwill, for the reasons described in the preceding section.181 Technical developments and industrial production in the private sector also became more and more important. Most of the key innovations in armaments during the nineteenth century had emerged in the private sector, and research and development played an increasingly critical role as the arms race heated up during the decades before 1914.182 The army continued to run its own laboratories and tried to influence private research through prizes, subsidies, and cooperative research. As a monopsonist in many areas, the military was able to shape the course of technical development by publicizing its desired technical specifications. Yet private industry repeatedly demonstrated its indispensability. The breech-loading needle gun, widely credited with Prussian victory against Austria in 1866, was the first of the significant private-sector technical innovations during the nineteenth century.183 Krupp revolutionized cannon technology from the 1850s onward.184 Even the Prussian railroads, which proved militarily indispensable, were initially built by private capital. A number of other developments such as smokeless gunpowder and ever more powerful explosives repeatedly underscored the importance of profitdriven inventiveness.185 In Prussia, private industry already began replacing the army’s own armament workshops during the 1860s, and during the empire the army relied increasingly on private weapons manufacturers.186 The shift to mass production permitted the state to take advantage of new technologies. As William McNeill writes, “An entire army could be reequipped about as quickly as soldiers could be familiarized with the new weapon.” After 1870, “arms makers and their official customers in every country of Europe . . . needed [each] other: arsenals were simply not equipped to produce steel guns, and the costs of fitting them out to do so were politically unacceptable.”187 The Prussian army continued to test and manufacture weapons in its own arsenals, but its resources were limited. Private companies supplied 72 percent of the weaponry for the artillery units in the late Wilhelmine era, and by 1914 they received 60 percent of total matériel spending.188 The construction of the navy’s battleships and heavy cruisers would have been impossible without the private ship-building yards and a vast array of firms producing various parts.189 Military airplanes, although just coming into their own in the years before 1914, were produced entirely by private enterprises.190 State officials attempted to increase the productive and innovative capacity of the private military sector. Historians have typically argued that the Schlieffen plan discouraged the German army from preparing for a drawnout war, yet in areas like cannon and airplane procurement, an important consideration was to “maintain a suitable reserve capacity in case some new

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war should suddenly require rapid escalation of . . . production.”191 The recognition that a large private arms sector was crucial even if it could not be used to full capacity for domestic peacetime production actually led the state to permit the sale of German military technology abroad.192 The state also sometimes tried to discourage monopolization in the arms sector, arguing that a larger number of private factories would lead to improvements in technical design, stimulate the economy, and guarantee lower prices.193 In the development of airplanes and military dirigibles, for example, the army encouraged competition by dealing with several companies. Where Krupp was involved, however, this policy was ignored.194 The Socialization of Bureaucrats This component of the explanation moves away from external constraints on state policy to focus on the “production” of German officials in the educational system and within the state’s “interior.” I will argue that the received image of a state elite psychologically intent upon preserving the hegemony of an agrarian Junker class even at the expense of hindering industrial capitalism is seriously flawed. Instead, upper-level state officials were “embourgeoisfied” in their training and daily life and correspondingly carried out a predominantly bourgeois program in their professional activities. The problem is to account for the prevalence of a modernizing and capitalist orientation among a population drawn from “traditional” strata. The central factors responsible for this ideological interpellation of state managers are the Prussian tradition of state-led industrialization, a specific educational experience imbued with the values of the cultural and economic bourgeoisie (Bildungs- and Wirtschaftsbürgertum), and the circulation within the state of discourses favorable to industrial progress. The receptiveness of sons of the nobility to this set of ideas, on the other hand, can only be understood in terms of what they and several generations of nobles before them had received in return: a near monopoly on the highest positions in the Prussian and later the German state bureaucracy. In addition to this payoff, many nobles’ options were limited by the agricultural crisis that started in the early 1870s and by the ongoing alienation of Junker-owned land to the middle class. To understand the socialization of nobles bound for state office, it is first necessary to address the widespread notion of a “feudalization” of individual members of the German bourgeoisie. This process is typically thought to have begun early in life, at grammar school and the university. Yet unlike England, Prussia had no tradition of boarding schools, except for the military Ritterakademien, which “never played a major role in preparation for civil administration.”195 Hence there was no intense resocialization of young boys into aristocratic mores. The absence of an early feudalizing resocialization is probably more important than what happened later at the university, where “values and behavior patterns are more likely to be reinforced and



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systematized into an explicit Weltanschauung than to be totally transformed.”196 In general, the German student was much freer from university paternalism than his British or American counterpart. The main evidence typically offered for German students’ “feudalization” is their participation in Burschenschaften (fraternities) and the more elitist Corps which provided the majority of administrative officials. The hallmark of these corporations was drinking and dueling.197 Studies of student life during the later nineteenth century tend to confirm stereotypes about the “feudalization” of bourgeois boys. However, as Ute Frevert has pointed out, student dueling by the end of the century differed from the traditional aristocratic form, having less to do with insults to estate honor and more with an individualistic “cult of aggressive and quarrelsome masculinity.”198 Such behavior was no more specifically “feudal” than it was “capitalist”: “Middleclass men did not merely ape alien modes of behaviour. . . . Instead they derived their own meanings from these models, meanings which directly corresponded to the bourgeois cult of individuality.”199 The bourgeois ethos of the era of enlightened reform was inscribed in the very name of Humbolt University in Berlin, where most of the empire’s future bureaucrats studied. Dueling and fraternity life may therefore have represented not the continuation of an atavistic tradition but a very contemporary, reactive identity, a form of “resistance through ritual,” which inverted the bourgeois values of the university milieu and of Berlin’s urban environment without actually rejecting them.200 The notion of student feudalization is further undermined by a consideration of the academic disciplines and theoretical traditions to which future administrative civil servants were exposed during their studies.201 A system of separate educational preparation for administrative personnel began as early as 1723. Upper-level bureaucrats were required to have an academic degree in Prussia after 1770, and the university degree became progressively more important.202 The core of their studies from 1743 until the nineteenth century was cameralistic science.203 As discussed in chapter 3, cameralism developed during the eighteenth century into the science of governing with respect to the maintenance and improvement of the economy. Although the ultimate goal of this “new” cameralism was to strengthen the state and its coffers, this was seen as depending on the economic welfare of society.204 Both the new cameralism and the German field of “national economy” that supplanted it in the nineteenth century put a positive value on industry and development, and unlike laissez-faire approaches, both assumed that the state should be deeply involved in promoting economic modernization.205 In addition to its developmental role, cameralism emphasized the importance of social order as a specific state goal, valued for its own sake and not strictly as a means of promoting development.206 This orientation also led the state to embrace industry. Whether or not the state was effective in promoting industrialization is less important in the present context than the nature of bureaucratic intentions.

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After 1817 legal studies and practice in the law courts and urban and rural administration began to replace cameralistics and internships in agriculture or industry in the training of administrative officials, although “cameralistic schooling continued to influence the criteria of admission.”207 The general belief persisted, however, that state officials had the “explicit duty to function predominately as a dynamic and formative element.”208 Moreover, in many respects the legal focus actually intensified the capitalist orientation of training. The task of the state was to eliminate obstacles to the expansion of capitalism. Only after 1870 were there moves to redress the balance by requiring more political and economic studies, but legal work remained predominant.209 The actual career of most state bureaucrats reinforced a bourgeois and modernizing orientation. Young men bound for state service were forced to participate in a system that was governed, at least in principle, by meritocratic rules. Regular exams for administrative personnel began as early as 1732.210 Administrative careers required an internship period as Referendar, and there were further examinations after service began.211 Even if sons of the nobility were still overrepresented in the bureaucracy, selection from the pool of candidates was based on mastery of bourgeois skills. Nobles continued their resocialization into a bourgeois outlook once they entered the administration and were immersed in a “state culture” committed to industrial modernization. The only systematic study of Prussian and Reich ministers found evidence for a general “modernizing” effect of apprenticeship in the civil service. Only in a few specific branches of the Prussian state was there a “feudalizing” political effect, i.e., an enhancement of anti-industrial attitudes.212 A representative example is that of Adolf Wermuth, who made a career in the Ministry of the Interior between 1883 and 1909 and then became imperial minister (state secretary) of the treasury until 1912. In his autobiography Wermuth describes the bureaucrat’s political identity in terms of a neutral “Staatsräson” (reason of state), a “counterweight” to vested interests. In practice, however, Wermuth’s overall “modernity” led him to side with industry when its interests were diametrically opposed to the Junkers’.213 Each of the interpretations of the German state discussed at the beginning of this chapter is partially correct. The German state was autonomous in the sense that it did not reflect social interests and was not formally “derived” from capital. Imperial Germany inherited a tradition of government activism and state-led modernization, which gave its state an unusual degree of self-confidence and public recognition (if not “legitimacy”). In one sense, then, the Kaiserreich supports the views of state-centered theorists, who have insisted that state officials pursue general goals and construct specific policies independent of “demands” from extrastate social actors.214 This is a welcome corrective to the reductive and overly society-centered approaches of most political science, sociology, history, and Marxism during



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recent years. Yet it is also essential to theorize the ways in which official practice is influenced at all stages by discourses and material constraints originating outside of the state. Even when state managers seem to be developing their plans in ivory-tower isolation, they work within a set of assumptions, available discourses, and familiar routines. The concept of “political learning,” with its Whiggish overtones of intellectual progress, cannot grasp the full range of these practical pressures on official thought. The German state was not a Junker state. The state’s aristocratic officials were socialized in institutions, world views, and disciplines that were increasingly associated with modern middle-class values. Within the bureaucracy there were further pressures to promote industrial capitalism. Yet if aristocratic officials were not the bearers of agrarian values, the class of large agrarians was included as a junior partner in the hegemonic bloc. The critical West German historians have focused on the state’s role in constructing this bloc. A careful analysis of the stakes and outcomes in key policy disputes shows, however, that industrial interests were usually given priority. The bourgeoisie, and heavy industry in particular, was the dominant component of the hegemonic bloc. If the state seemed to behave like a “capitalist state,” however, it did so mainly for reasons unlike those suggested by Marxist theory. The state’s dependence on economic prosperity, financial resources, and military products from the private sector created a convergence of interests among state, industry, and capital in general. Even if their original emotional leanings favored the nobility and the traditional Agrarstaat, state officials in the Kaiserreich were led to embrace industrial capitalist development. By describing the emergent forms of social fear in chapter 3 and proposing a general model of the Imperial German state in this chapter, I have staked out the broad determinants of social policy. These will help us understand the Prussian-German state’s engagement in the regulation of the social.



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The Prussian-German Welfare State: Social Policy at the Central Level

STATE STRATEGIES FOR REGULATING THE SOCIAL DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY The Prussian-German state’s predisposition to respond to the sorts of social anxieties discussed in chapter 3 resulted from its interventionist predispositions and the inherited cameralist concern with social order. Repressive strategies continued to be advocated and used in the empire, most notably in the case of the Anti-Socialist Law (1878–1890).1 But after 1848 there was a growing consensus among the propertied classes that some sort of positive social reform was required in order to reduce social disorder and fear. Somehow, the socialist movement and social revolution had to be made less attractive to the poor. The need to do something about the social question involved government elites in a delicate balancing act, however; for as described in the preceding chapter, the state was also committed to promoting industrial capitalism and eliciting capitalist loyalty. National social insurance might give workers a stake in the status quo, as Bismarck believed in the early 1880s. Many German employers accepted not only this political argument but also a narrower belief in the economic advantages of creating and maintaining “a more productive and more efficient working force.”2 At the same time, social policies might contribute at least incrementally to the power of individual and organized workers on the shop floor and in labor markets. Employers and government officials tried to gauge the overall political impact of each social-policy proposal, but the factors that had to be considered in taking a policy stance changed continuously. In the first half of the century, for example, the major concern was with rioting, begging, and stealing by the atomized poor; under the Kaiserreich, the danger that workers might join the SPD or advocate a redistribution of property seemed even more pressing. Policy decisions were further complicated after 1890 by the growth of reformist tendencies within the labor movement and the rise of new scientific disciplines that seemed to offer new definitions of the social question. Social policy-making might still have been a relatively straightforward matter, despite these ambiguities, if it had involved no more than decisions about spending levels. A purely quantitative analytic approach obscures most of the interesting dimensions of formal variation in social policy, how-



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ever. Some of these arrangements were discussed explicitly, others were simply taken for granted. Should beneficiaries be provided with cash, services, or goods in kind? How should the program be financed and contributions made? Should existing institutions be used or new ones created? Who would administer the program? What sorts of legal claims should potential clients have? Which social categories should be included in the program? Would participation be compulsory? What assumptions about gender, family, and work would be built into the program?3 Different social categories, assumptions, and goals relating to social policy were tied together loosely in distinct paradigms or overall frameworks. As noted in chapter 2, there were four relatively distinct paradigms of social reform in nineteenth-century Germany. Two of these models appeared at both the central and local levels of the state: bourgeois poor relief and the “Bismarckian” paradigm of “worker” policy. The two other models— proto-corporatist social policy and modern “social work”—first emerged at the municipal level around the end of the nineteenth century. Because this chapter is focused on the central state, it only discusses social policies associated with the first two paradigms. Specifically, it will try to clarify the emergence of modern poor-relief legislation and national-level social interventions, especially social insurance. Local governments were in fact equally important actors in both poor relief and worker policy. It nevertheless makes sense to begin with the Prussian and German states, which were responsible for setting most of the basic parameters and guidelines for local social policies.4 The paradigms of social reform provided cultural frames that suggested how social problems were to be conceptualized and solved. Poor relief was associated with anxieties about chaotic and violent disorder. Changing elite perceptions of the risks emanating from the poor thus correspond roughly with changes in poor relief such as new state legislation, local regulations, forms of relief, or spending levels. The basic contours of assistance policy can be understood in terms of the paradigm of poor relief that emerged in nineteenth-century Germany. This paradigm combined two different codes, roughly similar to what Foucault called, respectively, the governmental techniques of “discipline” and “security”—“political power wielded over legal subjects and pastoral power wielded over live individuals.”5 On the one hand, there were individualizing categories, principles, and goals, which were expressed materially in “disciplinary” practices. On the other hand, the paradigm embraced macrosociological theories about structural forces acting behind individuals’ backs and categories referring to collective actors and the “social.” The practical expression of these macrosociological assumptions involved broad-gauged interventions directed at statistical regularities and categories rather than “live individuals”—Foucault’s category of “security.” State officials’ general orientation toward bourgeois principles and their ongoing efforts to promote capitalism filled in the content of poor relief in a positive sense. Finally, the demands and policy positions of

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the major industrial organizations were an important determinant of poorrelief policies. Bismarckian worker policy was a response to the new social threat—the Social Democratic party and the socialist trade unions. Although the Bismarckian paradigm also contained the codes and techniques of both discipline and security, the latter was more important than in poor relief. The core of this paradigm involved recognizing the centrality of class categories, especially the working class, while simultaneously undermining the existence of independent class-based organizations. The direct suggestions and claims of industrial capitalists were pivotal in shaping the first “Bismarckian” policies. These paradigms describe the overall parameters of policy, but they do not explain the impetus behind social interventions, the conditions for their successful construction and implementation, nor the forces limiting the expansion of social policy. Four factors pushed the state into action or shaped its social interventions in these respects. (1) The level of social fear influenced the timing and intensity of state interventions, whereas the changing form of social fear was responsible for shifts between paradigms. (2) The Prussian/ German state’s tradition of regulating the economy predisposed it to intervene in the social, while its relative autonomy allowed it to pursue policies even against the opposition of important businessmen and interest groups. (3) The limits on the state’s independence, specifically its orientation toward strengthening industrial capitalism (see chapter 4), influenced the form of social policy. (4) Industrial associations and individual capitalists directly shaped social programs and were largely responsible for the failure of certain social projects and for the gaps in the German welfare state. Poor relief and the Bismarckian social policies can be differentiated structurally and causally in terms of these factors. The first part of this chapter will explore the modern poor-relief paradigm and its realization at the national level. The second section will turn to the policies that are typically considered the core of the German welfare state. Each section first presents the history of the policy debates and implementation, before moving into a more theoretical discussion. The First Strategy: Modern Poor Relief Until recently poor relief had been virtually ignored in studies of the nineteenth-century German welfare state6 and of welfare states in general, due to the traditional sharp distinction between assistance and social policy. Such inattention is quite puzzling. Modern poor relief and social insurance had similar roots, as Gustav Schmoller observed.7 Both originated in part as responses to the social question. Their filiation was underscored at moments of social-political activism like the end of the 1870s, when internal government discussions of a social-political “carrot” to complement the “stick” of



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the Anti-Socialist Law began by considering reforms of the national poorrelief framing legislation. In late 1878 the head of the Imperial Office of the Interior, Karl von Hofmann, argued in favor of modifying the statutes governing Prussia’s implementation of the national poor law: Legislation and administration cannot restrict themselves to confronting the Social Democratic movement with the repressive measures that are achieved by the [Anti-Socialist Law] . . . it is much more a question of proceeding in a positive manner, in order to extract the working people more and more from the influence of Social Democratic efforts through well-considered reforms in the area of social- and economic policy.8

Official discussion soon moved on to social insurance, as the dossiers show—a movement based on the ongoing redefinition of the social question.9 But even the architects of the new social legislation downplayed the magnitude of the change, describing social insurance as “only a further development of . . . the ideas undergirding state poor relief.”10 One of the main incentives for the introduction of social insurance was to reduce cities’ expenditures on poor relief.11 The analytical segregation of assistance from insurance becomes even more mystifying when one considers that more money was probably spent on the former. In 1885, the year of the first reliable national survey, expenditures on poor relief were almost twice as high as social-insurance benefits.12 In 1912, after the Bismarckian system had been operating for almost three decades, poor relief spending still apparently outstripped social-insurance costs (although statistics are patchy for this period). One writer roughly estimated the costs of what he called “indirect unemployment relief” through public assistance as at least one billion marks annually—more than total spending in the three major social-insurance schemes (health, workmen’s compensation, and pensions) during the same year.13 Even disregarding the financial aspect, there is no obvious sense in which relief can be seen as having a lesser impact on society than social insurance during the pre-1914 period. Although more people were directly enrolled in social-insurance funds than were assisted by poor relief, the latter provided greater opportunities for public authorities to intervene in poor people’s lives. The overall number of voluntary and professional guardians and social workers deploying “social knowledge” vis-à-vis the lower classes was greater in poor relief than in social insurance. Poor relief may also have played a more important role than social insurance in underwriting the creation and reproduction of a mobile, national-scale labor force (see below). Although poor relief was often differentiated from social insurance by its noncontributory character and the absence of any legal claim to relief, neither of these provides clear distinguishing criteria. Those receiving assistance did not pay premiums into any sort of poor-relief fund, but many cities required clients to repay the costs of their relief. And although it was impos-

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sible to appeal claims for relief in the courts (except in the state of Mecklenburg), administrative complaints could be made, and relief was increasingly regarded as a right.14 The Initial German Legislation on Poor Relief The focus here is the 1870 Poor Law of the North German Federation and the earlier Prussian legislation on which it was based. These two laws stemmed from nearly identical motives and differed primarily in the geographic range of their application. It may seem odd to discuss poor relief under the heading of the state rather than cities, because the daily functioning of relief was governed by specific local regulations and traditions as well as dynamics at the immediate point of contact with the client. Yet relief practices were also shaped by the overall framing legislation, the “poor laws” of the empire and the federated states. The key principle of the Prussian and German poor laws was that public authorities were obligated to assist people who were unable to provide for themselves or their dependents, for either individual or economic reasons. In the late middle ages, many cities in Central Europe had begun to assume the responsibility from the churches for assisting the poor. At this time cities were the most significant locus of sovereignty in matters of “public” policy.15 The cameralist commitment to “profitable employment of the lower classes” led Central European rulers to concern themselves with regulating the poor; correspondingly, local ordinances on begging were passed beginning in the sixteenth century, and a number of workhouses were built in Prussia and Austria during the late seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries.16 Other strands of cameralism framed the state’s duty to care for the poor in terms of commitment to the “general good.”17 As early as the Imperial Police Law of 1497, cities and towns in the Holy Roman Empire were obligated to care for their poor. Similar ordinances were emitted in Austria in 1522 and Brandenburg in 1696.18 A Prussian edict of Frederick the Great in 1746 ordered that the “genuine poor should be supported and provided for, the voluntary beggars punished and forced to work.”19 The Prussian General Legal Code of 1794 committed the state to relieve poverty and find work for the unemployed, but it did not resolve the central organizational, legal, and financial questions. The General Code stipulated that able-bodied persons could not be prohibited from settling in a town and declared that “cities and villages must care for the nourishment of their impoverished members and inhabitants.” Cities were authorized to levy special luxury taxes to pay their assistance bills. Status as a resident (Wohnsitz) was earned by living in a town for three years.20 Yet the code did not create any administrative bodies that could assume responsibility for paupers lacking a place of residence. As a result, “disputes frequently arose between provinces and towns over the question of who was obligated to support a pauper,” and towns were encouraged simply to evict paupers.21 The General Code was



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still more interested in repressing begging and promoting the “general good” than in solving the “social question.” The next step toward the modern form of relief came with the promulgation of three Prussian laws in the years 1842 and 1843.22 Local officials were now required to provide relief to needy residents and to grant residence status to nearly everyone who was initially able to support himself or herself.23 Local officials also had to assist people who had lived in a town for three years without gaining an official Wohnsitz; this was the first explicit move toward recognition of the notion of “relief residency” (Unterstützungswohnsitz). Provincial agencies were responsible for helping paupers who had no permanent place of residence. The able-bodied or “sturdy” poor were no longer ineligible for relief unless they were shown to be “workshy,” in which case they could be sent to a workhouse.24 The 1842–1843 legislation was introduced in the larger context of the Prussian state’s efforts to create a national industrial economy and the “subjects” appropriate to this modern landscape. Related contemporary policies included the 1834 Customs Union, the 1845 Industrial Code, and the state’s activities in technical education, transportation, and developing energy sources.25 The emerging poor-relief system contributed to the creation of a capitalist labor force—a project that had started with the Bauernbefreiung at the beginning of the century—by encouraging workers to be both geographically mobile in seeking employment and stable once work had been found. The Poor Law helped workers to undertake migration to sites of labor demand by lowering the material risks of abandoning familiar settings and networks of support. At the same time, the law stabilized local labor forces by discouraging local officials from sending impoverished workers back to their hometowns during economic downturns. Moreover, the 1842 Poor Law was the beginning of an undeclared form of unemployment relief—although the state was careful to insist that the poor had no legal claim to assistance.26 As one nineteenth-century specialist declared, “relief of the poor is a duty of the community not to the needy but to the state.”27 In any case, it was now more or less guaranteed that all needy Prussian citizens— including the “able-bodied” ones—would be granted at least minimal assistance. The form and level of aid was left to the discretion of local authorities, leading to rather substantial variations between cities and cases (these variations are explored in chapter 6). The legislation of 1842–1843 supports the argument, developed in the last chapter, that the state was driven to encourage industrial capitalism in its own interest without being beholden to the capitalist class. One paradox is that the more-industrial western provinces and cities actually opposed the 1842 Poor Law, more concerned about a possible explosion of welfare spending than their own industrialists’ rising labor needs. The state bureaucracy seemed more cognizant of capitalism’s “objective interests,” and the agrarians supported the law. The architects of the 1842 legislation consciously viewed themselves as representing the “general welfare or interest”

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in contrast to the local governments, which they saw as controlled by egoistic businessmen concerned only with short-term gains.28 The 1842 law also illustrates the specific influence of the social question during the Vormärz. One historian traces the 1842–1843 relief legislation specifically to the heightened sense of social fear.29 A prominent theme in the deliberations over the 1842 law was “the state’s interest in the maintenance of public order and the prevention of public danger.”30 The revised Poor Law of 1855 aligned assistance even more decisively with the logic of capitalist industrialization. The Wohnsitz concept now disappeared entirely and was supplanted by the Unterstützungswohnsitz, which determined who was to pay for a pauper’s care. A city’s “duty to provide relief no longer arose immediately with the acquisition of local residency, but only after the newcomer had resided in the town for a year.”31 This system clearly favored the urban industrial bourgeoisie: “With internal migration flowing in one direction [i.e., east to west/rural to urban] this meant in practice a redistribution of the relief burden to the benefit of the cities and the detriment of the rural villages.”32 Now the liberals supported the new Poor Law and the agrarians opposed it, neatly reversing the political fronts seen during the 1842 reform.33 The contradiction between urban, western liberals and eastern, agrarian conservatives persisted and deepened until the end of the empire. The agrarians agitated continually for a reduction of the waiting period for a new Unterstützungswohnsitz or for its complete elimination, meaning that paupers’ relief costs would have been borne by the localities in which they found themselves at the moment of need. The “Industrial” 1870 Poor Law and Agrarian Opposition Poor-relief legislation developed in an even more “capitalist” direction during the era of German unification, when the Prussian system of poor relief and freedom of settlement was extended to the rest of the country. The central argument in the report of the Reichstag commission on the Poor Law was that “the state . . . is a great economic region for the activities of all of its members and for the free exchange of their powers, that the fatherland appears in its totality as an economic home [Heimat], and that it is up to the free decision of the individual how and where he wishes to pursue his economic activity and to take up residence to this purpose.”34 The Law on Freedom of Movement (Gesetz über die Freizügigkeit), passed on November 1, 1867, stipulated that “every citizen has the right to stop or settle anywhere within the national territory where he has lodging or is able to obtain a place to stay.”35 Local authorities were prohibited from evicting a newly arrived person “unless it can be proven that he does not possess the necessary powers to support himself and his dependents,” and they were warned that “fears of future impoverishment do not authorize local officials to reject such a person.”36



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A unified Relief Residence Law (Gesetz über den Unterstützungswohnsitz) was promulgated by the North German Federation on June 6, 1870, and was taken over by the new empire on April 16, 1871.37 By 1873 this national poor law was operative in all the federated states except AlsaceLorraine and Bavaria.38 The waiting period for obtaining a new Unterstützungswohnsitz for an adult (twenty-four years and over) was lengthened to two years. The agrarian regions that were losing population to the western and urban parts of the empire would thus subsidize labor migration to an even greater extent than under the previous Prussian system. The two main administrative units were the local poor board (Ortsarmenverband), which was usually financed by and coterminous with a single municipality, and the regional poor board (Landarmenverband). Local poor boards were to pay the relief bills of their resident paupers, whereas the costs for assisting a nonresident could be demanded and reimbursed from the regional poor board where the outsider had relief residence. The regional poor boards paid for the relief of paupers whose Unterstützungswohnsitz could not be determined. Disputes between poor boards were to be resolved by a Federal Bureau for Matters of Residence (Bundesamt für das Heimatwesen).39 According to the 1870 Poor Law, local boards were legally bound to provide an “adequate level” of relief to anyone who became needy while present in the community, regardless of the place of permanent residence. The sturdy poor were to be assisted if they were not suspected of voluntary work avoidance, preferably by finding or providing employment. Decisions of the Bundesamt für das Heimatwesen recognized repeatedly that healthy and able-bodied persons also had a right to poor relief in certain cases.40 The implementing statutes in most of the federal states specified that a pauper was to be granted shelter, the basic necessities for living (Lebensunterhalt), medical care in case of illness, and an appropriate burial in case of death.41 The national poor-relief system was thus firmly embedded within the assumptions of a modern, industrial, capitalist system. The network of poor boards represented a mapping of the nation according to a thoroughly economic rationality that disregarded traditional boundaries. The Poor Law and the freedom-of-movement legislation favored industry over agriculture, western capitalism over eastern neo-feudalism. Propertyless populations were set in motion within a huge geographic space—just as flows of capital and commodities were being unleashed by the actions of the state and private capitalists.42 Moreover, the neo-aristocratic ruling classes of the agrarian east saw themselves as subsidizing the depletion of their rural population and the production of an army of labor for industry, through their local taxes, for the Junkers understood themselves to be the major local taxpayers in the eastern agrarian regions. According to an internal government study, rural communities paid several million marks during the first two decades of the new Poor Law to underwrite this “active proletarianization.”43 Almost 19,000 marks were paid in 1884 and nearly 26,500 marks in 1890 by local and regional poor boards in the two eastern agrarian provinces of East Prus-

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sia and Gumbinnen for people who had emigrated and drawn relief in the west. A total of 165,557 marks was paid out in reimbursements to western poor-relief boards over the period 1884–1890 by these provinces.44 If these figures are taken as representative for other agrarian regions, several million marks may have been transferred from agrarian to urban-industrial poor boards during the first two decades of the new relief system. Throughout the Second Empire the big landowners railed against the relief laws and called for their reform, against the resistance of industrialists and urban officials.45 The agrarians argued that Junker estates and rural communities often retained responsibility for the relief bills of former residents whom they had not seen for years, until those people lost their original Unterstützungswohnsitz. A commission of the quasi-official agrarian organization, the German Agricultural Council (Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat), reported in 1876 that rural laborers go the cities and the industrial areas when they are 17 or 18—the girls at an even younger age. . . . it is a great burden for the countryside that the home town must bear the risk of everything that happens to this frivolous lot until it reaches the age of 24, and still for two more years in the place where its labor power is exploited.46

The East Prussian Agrarian Central Association (Landwirtschaftlicher Centralverein) complained in a petition to the Reichstag of the continuous emigration of young male and female workers from the countryside to the big cities, and from the agricultural East to the industrialized West. . . . While the countryside bears the entire cost of these workers’ physical and spiritual education, and suffers an unremitting loss of potential labor (Arbeitskapital) through their steady exodus, they are a gift to the large cities and industrial regions, in the form of trained labor power. . . . They often begin their migration to these areas when they are only 16 or 17, yet the home Poor Law board . . . retains responsibility for their fates until they reach the age of 26.47

The financial drain was compounded by the fact that the rural districts were “producing more people than they were consuming,” as the Conservative parliamentarian Theodor Graf zu Stolberg-Wernigerode put it in a parliamentary debate. He estimated the average costs to a locality of an individual’s primary education at 3,000 marks; this investment represented a further unwilling subsidy to the centers of industrial employment.48 The agrarians also complained that the 1867 and 1870 laws intensified the notorious Leutenot, or rural labor shortage, by stimulating the emigration of rural labor. The eastern agrarian provinces suffered the highest population losses through overseas migration and were deprived of inexpensive Polish labor replacements through harsh immigration restrictions during the 1880s.49 The traditional goal of the landlord class, “to arrest the mobility of the villager and to bind him to the estates,”50 was ideologically articulated with more sweeping warnings against the destructive cultural consequences



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of Landflucht (rural flight), “emigration fever,” urbanization, industrialization, and the heightened level and pace of movement in general. At a meeting of the Junker-dominated Association of Tax and Economic Reformers (Vereinigung der Steuer- und Wirtschaftsreformer) in 1877, almost half of the members called for a shift away from home relief and toward institutional poor care. The latter, of course, was much less conducive to internal geographic mobility.51 This hostility to uprootedness and movement was so intense and generalized that the Conservative party called for a tax on personal travel. According to one observer’s summary of the conservative position, travel had been facilitated and reduced in price far beyond any real need and [was] undermining the population’s rootedness in the soil (Bodenständigkeit). [Travel] supports the move to the big city, westward out-migration, the depopulation of the countryside and the smaller towns. The growth of the big cities is excessive, and as centers of industry with their predominantly working-class population they constitute a serious danger for the whole development of the state.52

In 1880 a future Prussian minister of agriculture and right-wing German Conservative party leader (Baron Ernst von Hammerstein-Loxten) decried the Poor Law’s contribution to “homelessness” (Heimatlosigkeit), a menace that bore “great moral dangers” and was inimical to the “German soul.”53 Soon after the founding of the Reich the eastern agrarians began pressuring the state to change the Poor Law and restrict workers’ freedom of movement.54 A central goal of the Association of Tax and Economic Reformers at its first meeting in 1876 was to obtain reductions in rural laborers’ freedom of movement, along with changes in the Poor Law.55 The Farmers’ League also called for revisions of the Freedom of Movement Law at its first meeting in 1893.56 During the 1891–1892 Reichstag legislature, the Conservatives offered a bill that would have limited the freedom of movement of those under twenty-one years of age.57 In spite of these pressures, it proved extremely difficult for the agrarians to roll back freedom of movement, which had strong support from nearly all other quarters. Once they had accepted freedom of movement, the Junkers were also compelled to reject the traditional notion of the Heimatwohnsitz (or “hometown residency”)—despite the centrality of notions of “Heimat” in conservative ideology.58 The rural towns’ populations would be depleted under the relief residence system, but at least the rural elites would not have to pay indefinitely for the out-migrants’ public-assistance bills. The agrarians now focused on making it easier for the migrant to obtain a new residence status or to lose an old one, beginning with a petition to the Reichstag from the East Prussian Landwirtschaftlicher Centralverein in 1880. From this point on there was a steady stream of petitions and bills from the Conservative party, rural county representatives (Kreisvertretungen), the Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, and later the Farmers’ League.59 Agrarian groups continued to press for a variety of changes that they hoped would

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lower their fiscal burden. They tried to transfer most of the responsibility for assistance costs to the town in which the pauper had been working. The rationale was that industry, which had profited from the pauper’s labor, should also bear the burden of his or her care—through municipal taxes.61 The government rejected attempts to reintroduce the issue of poor-law reform later in the 1880s by arguing that the social-insurance legislation would remove much of the burden of the Poor Law.62 During the later 1870s, Bismarck’s goals with respect to poor-law reform appeared to converge with the agrarians’. In 1877 Bismarck argued that the best arrangement would be one in which the full costs of relief would simply be carried by the town in which the pauper became needy. He also suggested making the town in which the pauper worked, rather than the place of residence, liable for the costs of relief due to illness and stressed the need for stricter regulations linking benefits to willingness to work. Given the limited support for these goals, however, Bismarck focused on shortening the period necessary for gaining a new Unterstützungswohnsitz to one year.63 These ideas were rejected, however, by the Prussian minister of the interior, who opposed placing new burdens on the cities, and they were defeated in the Federal Council.64 In 1881 Bismarck suggested that the regional poor boards assume the costs of assisting all but the able-bodied poor, whose aid would continue to be covered by the local boards.65 The tendency toward centralization inherent in this plan recalls Bismarck’s equally unsuccessful efforts during the same period to design a national social-insurance system financed and administered largely by the central state. Bismarck was unable to gain the necessary support for any of these recommendations while he was chancellor. THE CONTINUING INDUSTRIAL BIAS IN ASSISTANCE POLICY Although the Junkers were unable to alter the basic contours of the system of free migration and universal poor support, they were somewhat successful after 1890 in reducing their own financial burden. A change in 1894 lowered the age at which relief residence could be gained or lost from twenty-four to eighteen.66 The age change probably had little effect, however, because most of the migrants were either older than twenty-four or younger than eighteen.67 The hometowns were also partially exempted from paying for the assistance of their former residents who became sick before gaining a new Unterstützungswohnsitz. The town in which the migrant had been working was now required to cover the costs of relief during the first thirteen weeks of the illness. In addition, paragraph 361 of the Criminal Code was altered to make it possible to jail or fine negligent parents who failed to care for their dependents.68 Junker agitation against the Poor Law did not abate but actually intensified after the 1894 revision. A second modest reform in 1908 lowered the



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age and the number of years for gaining or losing the Unterstützungswohnsitz to sixteen years and one year, respectively.69 But until 1924, the overall contours of the system remained in place, including the seemingly inequitable system whereby the community that rural migrants left was billed for part of the costs of their relocation. The government hesitated to alienate industry with more radical changes in the Relief Residence Law, especially in light of the battles over the 1902 tariff. At a 1900 meeting of the Prussian Staatsministerium, Minister of the Interior Count Arthur von PosadowskyWehner (then chiefly responsible for social policy) argued that changing the Unterstützungswohnsitz Law was not a timely idea, because “industry would see it as directed against its interests.” There was already a danger of an industrial backlash due to the new higher tariffs. According to Posadowsky-Wehner, it would be especially unfortunate to introduce the bill at that moment because the discussion in the Prussian House of Representatives had made the “tactical mistake” of tying poor-law reforms to limits on freedom of movement—a concept that industry opposed even more adamantly. Even the “agrarian” Finance Minister Miquel agreed that it would be better to delay introduction of such a bill, given that industry was becoming “difficult” (misslich) due to the “clumsy operations of the Farmers’ League.”70 Operative here were the external pressures on upper-level officials, their internalized commitments to industrialization, and the need to retain a viable governing bloc. Other social policies structured along ideological lines similar to poor relief were introduced by intermediate levels of government or publicly subsidized private organizations. A network of “itinerant unemployed stations” (Naturalverpflegungsstationen and Wanderarbeitsstätten) was set up throughout Germany during the 1880s. These stations were run by churches and private organizations, which were often publicly subsidized, and by municipal, regional, and state governments.71 They were relief stations typically separated by distances that could be covered in a day’s walk. Unemployed laborers could obtain food and shelter in exchange for several hours of work and then continue along the road. The stations were often combined with a labor exchange or job office. The stations’ main goal was to facilitate migration toward areas of labor demand, a goal that they accomplished together with the various municipal social programs discussed in the next two chapters (labor exchanges, emergency public works, public housing, etc.).72 This system was also preferred by the government because it allowed for better surveillance of the “wanderers” and the separation of the truly unemployed from vagabonds, beggars, and the “morally decadent.”73 Although the number of these stations declined from 1,957 in 1890 and 1,150 in 1895, to 1,285 in 1896, by 1901 Prussian Interior Minister Baron Hans von Hammerstein-Loxten was calling upon the provincial prefects (Oberpräsidenten) to set up stations in provinces that lacked them. In 1902 the Prussian government decided to increase state subsidies to the Provinzialverbände by 10 million marks for the construction of more stations. In 1907

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Prussia passed a law empowering provincial governments to require cities and rural counties to create such stations.74 Even though the Poor Law was made somewhat less prejudicial to the agrarians in financial terms, the loss of rural labor was accelerated by the overall tendency of public social intervention. The state’s actions in matters of poor relief thus support the general description of the Prussian-German state as strongly committed to industrial modernization on the basis of private property, even at the expense of Junker interests. The Prussian-German poor laws were “bourgeois” with respect to the explicit class interests that they accommodated and disfavored, and even more so with respect to their general promotion of an industrial capitalist form of society. Yet this was not a state closely controlled by social groups. German relief legislation was able to propose such a “rational” vision of political economy precisely because it was distant from direct interest-group pressures.

THE MODERN POOR RELIEF PARADIGM: INDIVIDUAL DISCIPLINE AND SOCIAL “SECURITY” Let us return to the notion of an underlying paradigm of social reform, flexible but stable in its main lines. A paradigm for social regulation consists of both general principles and specific, practical techniques for governance.75 Modern poor relief was a peculiar mixture of two different conceptual/practical pairs. On the one hand, poor relief consisted of individualizing principles and disciplinary practices (Foucault’s “pastoral power wielded over live individuals”); on the other hand, the new paradigm was based on social and universalizing theories and macroscopic interventions (the “method of security” in Foucault’s terms). Nineteenth-century German poor relief can only be understood by examining these two moments separately and in their complex interrelationship. Viewed from the first angle, the Prussian-German state’s poor-relief legislation was based on an image of a society composed of individuals who were economically rational, or could be treated and made to behave as such. The message of the poor laws was that the unemployed should seek work, the infirm should receive relief, and cheaters and criminals should be punished. In contrast to both the public-health programs of the eighteenth century and the social-insurance systems of the 1880s, the Poor Law’s “addressee” seemed to be implicitly defined simply as the individual person. This was not a citizenship concept, because there was no legal right to relief. Nor was relief restricted to German citizens. According to the 1870 Poor Law, foreigners had to be granted relief by the jurisdiction in which they became indigent, and financial responsibility for prolonged assistance was governed by numerous international agreements.76 In practice, the central state’s poor-relief legislation was only concerned



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with individuals in a very general way, because most of the concrete work of creating properly disciplined individuals was left to the local officials. As one of the last cameralistic treatises argued in 1835, poor relief combined general state supervision and regulation (“die Aufsicht behalten”) with independent local engagement. Only the micro-level efforts afforded detailed, accurate knowledge of the specific conditions of individuals.77 State legislation provided only a very general blueprint for the operation of poor relief, a set of broad definitions, compulsions, and opportunities, without directly regulating the practices of the poor or trying to micro-manage the behavior of local relief agents. Certain categories of explicit violators of the system—the “work-shy,” vagabonds, irresponsible fathers—were addressed by the text of the law. Yet the state was not forced to deal with these groups directly, to discipline them, to coerce and train recalcitrant bodies and minds. To understand the individualizing, disciplinary dimension, it is necessary to turn to the local level of power. The practices of “assisting” the poor were shaped by municipal regulations and traditions, local structures of power, and the specific interactions between notables, friendly visitors, and the aid recipients. It is at this level that we find “pastoral power” directed at specific individuals, efforts to reshape peoples’ practices and subjectivities directly, to produce a “capitalist citizenry,” a habitus of self-discipline among the poor.78 Of course, such local strategies cannot be strictly separated from central legislation. State officials and legislators were aware that their liberal-legal interventions would be “filled in” by the activities of local agents. The discussion of these local relief practices will be delayed until later chapters. Despite its emphasis on individuals, the very existence of the Poor Law acknowledged that the economy could never be a self-regulating, automatic mechanism. By making relief available to victims of economic dislocation and crisis, poor relief ratified the existence of extraindividual causes of poverty. But this official recognition of the “social” went beyond the provision of relief. The state did not simply open the floodgates, guarantee assistance, and permit the poor to migrate at will, assuming that their aggregate movements and ultimate destinations would be guided by a wise invisible hand. Instead, these movements were channeled positively. First the state triggered massive internal migrations—in 1889 Gustav Schmoller described Germany as “a vagabondage of the whole laboring population of an order which even the nomadic peoples have not known.”79 The state then heeded the public alarm about “nomadism” and disorderliness and took measures to “cage” itinerant labor, to transform nomads into migrants.80 Examples of such positive interventions include the itinerant unemployed stations and the elastic legal provisions that permitted towns to prohibit the settlement of poor migrants. These dimensions of poor relief recall the governmental method of “security” that Foucault identified as central to the modern welfare state. According to Colin Gordon,

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Foucault characterizes the method of security through three general traits. It deals in series of possible and probable events; it evaluates through calculations of comparative cost; it prescribes not by absolute binary demarcation between the permitted and the forbidden, but by the specification of an optimal mean within a tolerable bandwidth of variation. Whereas sovereignty has as its object the extended space of a territory, and discipline focuses on the body of the individual (albeit treated as a member of a determinate collectivity), security addressed itself distinctively to the “ensemble of the population.”81

Security is oriented toward legal subjects and statistical regularities, not to specific “live individuals.” German poor relief also recalls Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s description of the modern nation state’s dualistic relationship to flows of people, commodities, and capital. Although the state is tolerant of—indeed, even promotes—movements from point to point, it represses unregulated nomadism moving through “smooth,” “unstriated” space: “Settling, sedentarizing labor-power, regulating the movement of the flow of labor, assigning it channels and conduits . . . this has always been one of the principal affairs of the State, which undertook to conquer both a band vagabondage and a body nomadism.”82 State and local poor relief involved government in regulating and measuring collectives, flows, statistical regularities and probabilities, and aggregate movements of people. The Poor Laws were concerned less with fine differentiations among discrete social categories than with distributions of continuous variables, less with pigeonholing than with stimulating flows, movements, and energies. The Poor Law exemplified a liberalism of a positive rather than a “nightwatchman” variety, a liberal realpolitik that tried to set in motion certain flows and practices without engaging in much coercion or prescription. The activist state was the means to produce the rational economic individual of classical liberalism. CLASS, GENDER, AND RELIEF The core categories guiding the state’s interventions in the region of poor relief were the individual (the object of discipline) and the various social flows, which constituted the focus of “security.” Categories of social class were curiously absent, in contrast to the Bismarckian social-insurance schemes, which were openly structured around an emphasis on industrial workers. Or at least, categories of social class were not thematized explicitly in the texts and practices of poor relief. This does not mean that social class was unrelated to relief, but the relationship was an oblique and objective one. One of poor relief’s objective results was to contribute to the creation and reproduction of an industrial working class. And in some very fundamental way, the very existence of relief expressed certain unarticulated, commonsense assumptions about class, such as the premise that upper



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classes were justified in impressing their ethos and standards of behavior upon the poor. Nonetheless, the complex map of contemporary class categories appeared only peripherally within poor relief. Similarly, poor relief rarely took gender and the family as an explicit object of regulation before the 1890s. Gender relations were generally understood as presocial and “natural” until the middle-class and socialist women’s movements emerged at the end of the century, along with widespread alarm about a “crisis” of falling birth rates. Open struggles then ensued over the appropriate forms of femininity, motherhood, the family, and the social policies best suited to promote these gendered relations. The new “social work” paradigm, discussed in chapter 7, incorporated parts of this more explicit concern with gender, particularly in the programs for mothers. The poor laws and assistance practices before the 1890s were hardly neutral with respect to gender, however, but made various assumptions about the family. A man’s wife and children were assigned his Unterstützungswohnsitz, which they lost only in the case of divorce.83 The state attempted to buttress the institution of the nuclear family through the general stipulation that relief would only be offered when a pauper’s family members were themselves too poor to make a contribution. The Criminal Code’s provision for punishing “deadbeat” parents was based on the same assumption.84 The most salient forms of gender categorization and discrimination in poor relief appeared not in national law, however, but in municipal regulations and the specific local practices of distributing aid. In many cities, women received lower rates of assistance than men; at the same time there was apparently less effort to force “sturdy” women to work. Local policies requiring people to pay for their relatives’ public assistance constructed families ex nihilo as harmonious support groups.85 Such gendered dimensions of local relief will be discussed in the next chapter. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE “BISMARCKIAN” MODEL OF WORKER POLICY AND SOCIAL INSURANCE The rise of compulsory state social insurance in Germany should be viewed within the broader context of the new discourses and strategies of social regulation that arose in response to the heightened quality of social fear after 1848. Representations of the organized labor movement and the Social Democratic party occupied pride of place within this anxiety formation. In response to this threat a new model of social policy developed, one based on a sort of dialectical Aufhebung of the working class. This involved recognizing the social existence of the proletariat while eroding its autonomous organizational existence. In contrast to the social policy of the Vormärz, social programs during the second half of the nineteenth century were directed specifically at the working class. The centerpiece of this “worker” paradigm was national social insurance, but other national policies had the same es-

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sential features. (The municipalities also introduced a variety of cognate social programs, to be discussed in chapter 6.) There are several key differences between the worker paradigm and modern poor relief. First, worker policy was based on a specific logic of socialgroup construction. Rather than directing itself at all individuals, social insurance singled out specific social groups and classes for attention—initially and most importantly, the industrial working class. The insurance laws mainly benefited the “core” proletariat of manual workers who were employed, skilled, and male; whereas workers in domestic, agricultural, or white-collar occupations were typically ineligible for social insurance, as were people with tenuous relations to labor markets. Poor relief, by contrast, was not restricted to specific socioeconomic categories. Nonworking women and children constituted a large proportion of public-relief cases— perhaps the largest—although able-bodied industrial workers were also major recipients of aid. Furthermore, early social insurance was characterized by what became a defining feature of the German welfare state: administrative reclassification through the accentuation of differences among social groups. A boundary was drawn in social space between manual and white-collar workers by creating separate funds with different rules and benefits for the two groups. Manual workers were also divided internally through wage-stratified benefits and differentiated in an “exclusionary” way from the poor below.86 As Heide Gerstenberger has written, “Social insurance did not destroy ‘solidarity among the working class’ ”; rather, what it did was “organize the desire to be different.”87 Second, in contrast to poor relief, the “Bismarckian” policies were designed specifically to undermine autonomous working-class organizations, from mutualist funds to the SPD and the labor unions. This was accomplished by creating direct flows of resources between state agencies and individual workers (even if part of the resources came from workers’ contributions). The administration of social programs was controlled by public officials, employers, or worker delegates who did not represent independent worker organizations. The starkest example of this process of wresting control from autonomous worker organizations involved national sickness insurance, which undercut the venerable mutual funds (see below). Third, the Bismarckian strategy relied less heavily on disciplinary practices than poor relief. Yet discipline still played a role, both at the general level of legislative texts and at the immediate point of contact with the worker. Most broadly, the Bismarckian welfare state was the cornerstone of a new effort to inculcate forms of subjectivity centered on prudence and self-control. Earlier generations of social reformers had attempted to instill a foresightful (“Protestant”) ethic in the working class through popular savings banks, but these were voluntary. The older institutions of school, church, and military had proved ineffective in halting the growth of the socialist movement—which stood for the ultimate form of “indiscipline” in the eyes of the ruling classes. With compulsory social insurance, a much more



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powerful method of practical pedagogy had been discovered. Eligibility for social insurance required that workers remain stably employed and make steady payments. This was a powerful incentive against irregularities large and small, from union activism and other forms of insubordination that risked firing and blacklisting, to “blue Mondays.” The language of “insurance” suggested that workers—like their employers—were investing in their own future, a metaphorical bridge to the capitalist order.88 Workers who were paying into common insurance funds could be convinced that reciprocal policing against cheating—simulated illness, disability, or unemployment—was in their self-interest.89 The disciplinary lessons of social insurance (like poor relief) were also directed at the worker’s body, for example in the emphasis on preventative health maintenance.90 THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF WORKER POLICY AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL This section will present the major forms of Bismarckian “worker policy” that were implemented nationally before 1914, before proposing an explanation for this paradigm.91 As will be seen, the core interventions were focused on industrial workers and attempted to bypass autonomous workingclass organizations: besides the three main social-insurance systems, these included public job creation and the labor courts. At the fringes of the worker paradigm are policies that singled out specific subgroups of the working class, such as female and child laborers. The category of “protective legislation” (Arbeiterschutz), which covered a wide range of state controls on hours, wages, and work conditions, was in principle directed at all industrial workers. In practice, the German state was quite hesitant to infringe upon employers’ prerogatives inside the factory walls. As a result, the most significant examples of protective legislation affected women, children, and subsections of the working class. These policies were also on the “fringe” of the Bismarckian paradigm insofar as they were only partially concerned with undermining the independent workers’ movement.92 Sickness Insurance German states had moved steadily toward compulsory sickness insurance over the course of the nineteenth century. According to a Bavarian law of 1816, cities could force workers to join a health insurance fund; similar laws were passed in Hanover in 1847, Hessen in 1816, Mecklenburg in 1869, and Oldenburg in 1863.93 In Prussia, local and regional authorities had been granted increasing powers to compel different categories of workers to join sickness-insurance funds, beginning with the 1794 General Law Code (Allgemeines Landrecht). The 1845 Prussian Industrial Code specified that cities could compel apprentices and journeymen to join. A central aim of this early legislation had been to unburden local poor-relief boards.

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After the 1848 revolution, the working class was suddenly the focus of attention. An amendment to the Prussian Industrial Code in 1849 added factory workers to the groups that could be forced to join a fund; cities could also make employers contribute to their workers’ coverage. A new Prussian law in 1854 forced cities to implement compulsory local sickness-insurance statutes. Immediately prior to this reform there were 226 such municipal regulations in Prussia; in 1860, there were 4,237 local funds; and by 1870 there were 550,000.94 As many as two-thirds of German workers now belonged to the sickness funds. Many employers had supported these regulations, hoping to overcome the municipalities’ wariness about attracting migrants who might soon join the relief rolls.95 The 1876 Law on Registered Assistance Funds empowered all German cities to make insurance obligatory, but only a small number made use of this authority.96 In light of these precedents, the 1883 law making sickness insurance mandatory for most nonagricultural workers was not a radical departure. The major change was that the government now vigorously pursued its goal of breaking the socialists’ influence within the sickness funds.97 The occupationally based free mutual funds (freie Hilfskassen) that had flourished since the early nineteenth century were controlled entirely by their members.98 The government accused the free funds of requiring their members to join trade unions and using their resources to support strikes. Membership in a free fund had exempted workers from joining a compulsory municipal fund under the 1869 Commercial Code. The 1876 law retained this provision but required that the free funds break all formal connections with trade unions and submit their statutes to the government for approval. Many of the free funds were dissolved as political associations under the 1878 AntiSocialist Law.99 Workers could also meet the requirements of the 1883 law by joining a freie Hilfskasse, as long as it provided the same benefits as the public funds. During the ban on their activities, which lasted until 1890, the Social Democrats used the free funds as an organizational stronghold. Around 20 percent of insured workers belonged to the Hilfskassen during the 1880s. But in 1892, the free funds’ viability was fatally damaged by a revision eliminating an earlier provision that had allowed them to pay additional cash benefits to their members in lieu of medical care. Most of the autonomous funds could not afford to set up their own medical centers, and they quickly declined.100 Socialist workers now moved into the local sickness funds (Ortskrankenkassen).101 The wage-earning members of the local funds were entitled to elect two-thirds of the board of directors, proportionate to their financial contribution; their employers paid the remaining third. This allowed the Social Democrats to dominate a number of the funds and, in 1903, to gain control over the national association of Ortskrankenkassen. One East German historian described the local funds as “nearly a fourth pillar” of the labor movement—alongside the unions, consumer co-ops, and the Social Democratic party.102 Yet the extent of SPD control over the funds was exaggerated by both sympathizers and enemies: a survey of local funds in cities



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with at least 10,000 inhabitants found that only about half of the funds had any socialist representatives at all.103 Nonetheless, a regulation was passed in 1903 authorizing government supervisors to unseat elected board members in cases of “gross negligence of duty,” even against the will of the membership. The 1911 Imperial Insurance Code (Reichsversicherungsordnung) stipulated that all appointments of new chairmen or senior employees to the funds had to be approved by the majority of the employer participants.104 The code also eliminated the plebiscitary general membership assemblies in the smaller funds. The efforts by the government and big industry to eliminate the workers’ two-thirds majority were not included in the final version of the code, however.105 Health insurance had both mobilizing and demobilizing effects on the German labor movement. The state ratified the very existence of the industrial working class by excluding other groups from the system. The sickness funds provided an organizational base for the labor movement and administrative experience for its future leaders. Even if it is impossible to attribute the falling mortality rates during the empire to any single factor, anecdotal evidence suggests that the insurance system made a difference for workers’ health.106 At the most general level, sickness insurance may have contributed to a solidaristic sense of mutual responsibility; and by focusing on the possibility of preventing illness, insurance may have made workers less tolerant of health-threatening work situations. At the same time, sickness insurance reinforced a sense of distinction among the stably employed, better-paid, male core of the working class. In theory, the SPD favored a system with centralized authority and financing and opposed the law’s exclusion of home workers, agricultural laborers, domestic servants, and others from sickness-insurance coverage. Yet until the 1890s, the socialists championed the free funds, which tended to have a fairly exclusive membership. The local funds that the Social Democrats embraced during the 1890s were less elitist. The eagerness to participate in administering these funds was understandable, given their not insignificant benefits, and the fact that they were more democratic than most other public institutions in Wilhelmine Germany. But agricultural, unpaid, and domestic workers were still not covered by the law, and women members were not allowed to vote for sickness-fund representatives until 1891.107 The sickness funds strengthened the SPD’s reorientation away from revolution in the direction of more easily attainable goals. Increasingly, the Social Democrats were helping to run the undemocratic German state rather than attacking it. Industrial Accident Insurance Like the sickness-insurance legislation, the accident-insurance law of 1884 was also oriented primarily toward industrial workers. The new system was designed with the interests of employers in mind and did not mark an unequivocal advance over the previous state of affairs for workers. The law’s most significant goals were to distribute the cost of compensating

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injured workers more broadly and to eliminate an important source of class antagonism. The Prussian General Law Code of 1794 had contained limited stipulations concerning employers’ liability for work accidents, and in 1838 the managers of railroads in Prussia became accountable for injuries and damage that could not be shown to be the result of negligence by the injured party. In 1871 a general Law on Employers’ Liability (Haftpflichtgesetz) was passed in the wake of an upsurge in major industrial accidents.108 Employers could now be held responsible for the medical treatment, income loss, and burial costs of accident victims, but the victims or their survivors had to bear the court costs and to demonstrate negligence on the employers’ side. The law led to a rash of trials that employers saw as resulting in expensive settlements and greater class hatred. By the late 1870s, proposals were being made for an expanded liability law that would require employers to establish worker negligence.109 Finally, the idea of no-fault social insurance emerged as the solution. The industrialist and Prussian House of Representatives deputy Louis Baare, who drafted the first influential workmen’s compensation bill, observed that the 1871 Liability Law had “provoked an intensification of the workers’ oppositional attitude toward the employer and toward bourgeois society as a whole, rather than calming their feelings and reconciling them to their situation.”110 The Social Democratic press voted against the accident-insurance bill, which they derided as a “tiny squeaking mouse.”111 This underestimated the law’s political and economic significance: to exculpate employers from responsibility for accidents while allowing them to dominate industrial-safety policy and protecting them from catastrophic liability damages. Accident insurance also reinforced the distinctiveness and therefore the isolation of the industrial working class.112 Although accident insurance was not restricted to men, the focus on industrial work (and after 1886, work with agricultural machines) obscured from view the dangers of home work and domestic occupations in which women predominated. The widows of victims of industrial accidents were entitled to only 20 percent of their deceased husbands’ income. The government’s plan was to reduce the salience of questions about individual culpability for industrial accidents, shifting the burden of guilt to industrial “progress” itself.113 As Ewald argues with respect to the parallel French accident insurance law of 1898: At its base, a remarkable “invention,” the notion of occupational risk: if, in effect, work accidents are indeed related to economic development, to the introduction of machinisme, it is not the boss who must be accused, but science, techniques, progress. To accuse the boss would be to refuse progress. Marvelous displacement.114

In the final version of the law, employers were organized into a series of industry-wide trade associations for joint liability (Berufsgenossenschaften), which they financed alone without contributions from workers or the state.



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In addition to their immediate functions within the accident law, the trade associations constituted a remarkable branch-by-branch organization of the capitalist class by the state. The law also created an Imperial Insurance Office (Reichs-Versicherungsamt), which had a few marginal worker representatives.115 In contrast to the 1871 Liability Law, German accident insurance would pay no more than two-thirds of the victim’s lost wages, depending upon the degree of disability. Like the “missionary” friendly visitors of poor relief, representatives of the trade associations made unannounced visits to recipients of accident-compensation pensions.116 The associations were even said to deny benefits based on the supposed carelessness of the accident victim, against the law’s intent.117 Employers were also put in charge of policing their own factories for safety precautions. Each Berufsgenossenschaft was assumed to have an economic incentive to minimize accidents within its branch. This argument overlooked the possibility that employers might rationally decide to forgo certain safety improvements whose cost would exceed the bills from workmen’s compensation cases. Factory inspectors were understaffed (see below), and workers were not represented in the trade associations, because they made no contributions. Workers did have delegates in special paritary arbitration boards (Schiedsgerichte), which were supposed to be consulted on safety regulations and to decide on appeals cases for compensation benefits.118 Old-Age and Disability Pensions The Invalidity and Old Age Insurance Act (Gesetz, betr. die Invaliditäts- und Altersversicherung) of 1889 created the third major national social-insurance system. Except for special provisions for miners, there had been no prior national social programs for the aged and disabled, who had relied on local poor relief or private arrangements such as mutual societies, company funds, and charitable institutions.119 The 1883 sickness-insurance law only permitted benefits during the first thirteen weeks of illness, creating a gap that the 1889 law was meant to fill. Like other examples of the Bismarckian paradigm, the 1889 system was focused on the sphere of industrial work and on dividing wage earners from one another. In comparison to the oldage insurance systems in other countries, the German law concentrated “on the pathological consequences of the labor process” and the “demands of the work world.”120 Payments under the 1889 law were intended as compensation for lowered work capacity, whatever the cause (“invalidity” was defined as the loss of two-thirds of normal work capacity). By 1912, expenditures for invalidity pensions were ten times greater than spending on oldage pensions.121 Elements of division, disempowerment, and discipline were inscribed into German invalidity insurance. Certainly, the circle of social groups encompassed by the law was broad in comparison to sickness and accident insurance. All wage earners and employees earning less than 2,000 marks annu-

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ally were covered, including domestics, junior white-collar employees, and, later, small-business owners and home weavers.122 Yet unpaid family workers and those earning more than 2,000 marks were still excluded. Even more divisive was the alignment of benefits and contributions with wage levels, which meant that pensioners who had been relatively well paid could receive more than twice as much as the worst-paid sector.123 Although the pension law did not actually undermine preexisting worker organizations, it was even less politically empowering than the other socialinsurance systems. Workers had only token representation in the regional insurance offices (Landesversicherungsämter) that were set up to administer old-age/disablement insurance. The new arbitration courts were even weaker than those in accident insurance—they could not reverse decisions but only review cases.124 Finally, the invalidity/old-age insurance system, like sickness insurance, tried to encourage a disciplined, planful habitus among workers. Wage earners were required to paste special stamps into receipt booklets as evidence of their periodic contributions to the invalidityinsurance fund, leading to the law’s derisive nickname, the Klebegesetz (roughly, the “sticking” or “sticky” law). The regional insurance offices coordinated campaigns against tuberculosis which contained a “disciplinary surplus” aimed at transforming bodies and behavior (sneezing, spitting, kissing, washing, drinking, interpersonal distance, and strong expressions of emotion).125 Women’s position within the invalidity pension system combined an ostensibly sex-blind treatment of the labor market with gender-distinguishing assumptions about the family. Women and men were treated identically if they worked full-time. The government even dropped its “initial idea of limiting women’s contributions and pensions to two-thirds of men’s.”126 At the same time, the law failed to recognize that most women dropped out of the labor force periodically and did unpaid work within the family.127 If women workers married they were reimbursed for the contributions that they had made to the pension fund, but they no longer received a pension of their own. This only changed with the 1911 Imperial Insurance Code. By supporting the tariff legislation in 1902, the Center party had been able to obtain a promise that part of the revenues would be channeled into a fund for dependent survivor benefits. Pensions became available after January 1, 1912 for some widows and orphans of workers who had been covered by invalidity insurance. Able-bodied widows received no pension, however, because “it was expected of working-class widows that they were used to working and did so also to the best of their abilities.”128 In contrast, the widows of white-collar workers were not expected to work but were entitled to a pension at 40 percent of the rate that their husbands would have received.129 Finally, the 1880 pension system did not even mark an unequivocal economic advance over poor relief for workers, as both socialist and middleclass commentators recognized.130 In essence, the law simply shifted part of the burden of assisting the aged and disabled away from poor relief, and



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thus away from the middle classes whose local taxes financed poor relief, to the workers themselves. Moreover, old-age pensions could only be claimed at the age of seventy, and even then they provided too little to live on. Oldage pensioners were assumed either to continue working part-time or to receive a supplement from poor assistance.131 Job Creation through State Public Works State governments created public-works employment and occasionally subsidized cities’ emergency works. Governments sometimes tried to react to changing unemployment rates by delaying public works that had already been planned or by speeding up their implementation, rather than by creating new public-works projects whenever the job market became slack.132 This approach could redistribute some jobs to recessionary periods, but it allowed only limited flexibility. Moreover, public works provided work in a limited number of sectors. Like other exemplars of the Bismarckian paradigm, they were directed mainly at male, manual workers. The jobs usually involved heavy physical labor. The municipal emergency works, which some states subsidized, typically gave preference to settled, adult, male household heads.133 Of all the German states, Prussia in particular pursued a strategy of emergency public works. Prussian administrators repeatedly resorted to road construction during the first half of the nineteenth century.134 In the Province of Westphalia, premiums and subsidies were provided in 1894 “to give the cities the opportunity to use the winter months for road building and to employ workers usefully.”135 During the winter of 1901–1902, the Prussian minister for public works hoped to use 447 million marks from credits acquired earlier by the railroad administration to create work for the unemployed.136 The governments in Württemberg and other states also felt themselves forced to take “diverse measures to fight unemployment, including . . . large state construction projects.”137 At the same time, various national ministries ordered new public-works projects, or prolonged those already existing, during periods of unemployment.138 During the downturn of 1908–1909, the Prussian army placed special orders in the machine and textile industries, layoffs were halted in all branches of the national and Prussian administrations, and large projects were undertaken by the railroad, postal, and public-works ministries.139 Labor Courts and Work Councils After Bismarck’s demission, the social paradigm associated with his name expanded into areas in which the government had been less active. One was industrial-relations policy, which was concerned with regulating conflicts between workers and employers in case-by-case settlements. The most significant examples include the labor or industrial courts (Gewerbegerichte), work councils (Arbeitsausschüsse), and the government’s unrealized plans

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for chambers of work (Arbeitskammer). A second form of intervention, worker protection (Arbeiterschutz), was in a sense intended to prevent such conflicts from occurring in the first place, through the legal regulation of wages, hours, work conditions, and technical aspects of the work process; these policies are discussed separately in the next section. Although they were inspired by the Bismarckian paradigm, both of these new forms of social intervention threatened to violate its central tenets, either by shifting attention to social groups other than industrial workers or by strengthening socialist labor organizations rather than undermining them. The sicknessinsurance funds had already demonstrated that getting workers involved in social programs could be politically counterproductive; industrial-relations policies seemed even less predictable, threatening to politicize the very heart of worker-capitalist relations. To the extent that workers were permitted to participate as socialists or labor-union activists, the worker councils and labor courts had already left the realm of Bismarckian policy and moved closer to the proto-corporatist paradigm. Because the labor courts were initially intended to bypass the organized worker movement, however, they will be treated here rather than in chapter 7. The German labor courts originated with the Napoleonic conseils de prud’hommes established in the Rheinland at the beginning of the nineteenth century.140 Employers financed these early courts and held a majority of seats in them; workers were allowed to vote only if they earned a certain minimum income. Municipal governments also occasionally acted as mediators in industrial conflict. The 1845 Prussian Commercial Code authorized cities to create labor courts, and this right was extended to the North German Federation with the 1869 Commercial Code, which also stipulated that workers were to have equal numbers of representatives in the courts. The most important questions were settled in 1890, aside from a 1901 law requiring cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants to set up labor courts. Members of the courts were to be elected by the direct and secret ballots of male workers and employers. A “neutral” chairman was to be appointed by city officials and approved by the state authorities. The labor courts arbitrated conflicts between individual workers and their employers. The most common complaint in such cases involved a wage dispute; dismissals were the second most frequent theme. Both sides could also call in the courts as nonbinding mediators in local strikes and other collective conflicts. In a move to appease employer organizations, the law allowed decisions involving awards of more than 100 marks to be appealed in higher courts. The labor courts could also submit proposals and reports to government agencies. The majority of cases heard by the Gewerbegerichte concerned workers’ grievances against their employers (see table 5.1), but employers also went to court against their employees, and workers even brought action against one another.141 As with the sickness funds, the courts contributed to workers’ collective capacities while simultaneously performing an integrative function. The



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labor courts gave workers new rights and a bit of influence over a critical dimension of class relations. Socialists were elected everywhere. The Social Democrats’ positive stance toward the courts contrasted with a generally hostile attitude among employers.142 At the same time, the courts pushed workers to defend their interests within the state rather than using more independent forms of self-representation, and to accept the idea of neutral law. As one liberal reformer argued, the “essential meaning of the labor courts for our public life” was that “for the first time, a class of people who were excluded until now from participating in the details of state and city affairs are called upon to cooperate.”143 But the courts were also divisive. Industrial workers were isolated through the exclusion of rural and domestic workers, commercial clerks, and other groups. Special courts were even set up for artisans (Innungsgerichte) and commercial employees (Kaufmannsgerichte).144 Women could neither be elected to the courts nor vote in the elections.145 Finally, despite claims that the labor courts decided systematically in favor of workers, the spotty statistics indicate that employers were actually more likely to win their cases.146 Work councils had similarly contradictory effects on the socialist labor movement. Councils were supposed to represent worker interests at the level of the factory and to participate in various matters such as shaping policies on work time, work pauses, wage payment, termination of the work contract, and penalties. The 1891 revision of the Industrial Code required that factories with twenty or more workers issue a written work code (Arbeitsordnung) concerning such matters and specified that management was to consult with the work council, if one existed.147 Work councils were only obligatory in the large Prussian and Bavarian mines (after 1905 and 1900, respectively).148 Recognizing the advantages of having an organized work force with which they could readily communicate, some employers introduced councils voluntarily; this was especially common in industries and factories where the socialists were weak.149 The SPD generally rejected the councils, and there was resistance in some of the factories that tried to introduce them.150 The government’s plans in the decade before 1914 to introduce chambers of work were based on a rough analogy to the semiofficial chambers of commerce. Their overarching purpose was to organize industrial class relations; more specific functions discussed included resolving conflicts, collecting industrial statistics, writing official reports, and setting minimum wages. Unlike the chambers of commerce, however, the Arbeitskammer would have equal numbers of employer and worker representatives and a neutral chairman. The SPD rejected this concept in favor of pure corporate bodies representing only workers, worker chambers or Arbeiterkammer. The decisive factor leading to the defeat of the government’s bills, however, despite the Reichstag’s support, was the intense opposition of large employers, especially those grouped together in the Centralverband Deutscher Industrieller (CdI).151

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TABLE 5.1 Labor Court Cases in Selected German Cities City

Year

Workers vs. Bosses

Bosses vs. Workers

Workers vs. Workers

Berlin

1896 1909 1910 1911 1912 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1907 1908 1909 1903 1909 1910 1911 1912 1896 1906 1909 1910 1911 1912 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1910 1911 1912 1913 1896 1906 1909 1912 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1896 1900

12,805 12,874 13,268 13,214 13,420 2,244 2,702 2,897 2,931 3,152 617 667 621 264 221 205 192 162 477 724 598 656 818 932 228 202 185 140 118 406 598 560 555 1,897 2,649 2,551 2,917 1,007 1,074 1,028 937 976 476 699

433 899 1,044 905 1,024 38 55 69 74 42 40 27 21 24 7 6 7 6 14 31 16 16 23 26 12 10 5 7 13 8 19 13 8 61 81 74 55 31 31 27 34 25 34 44

3 97 79 83 42 0 0 3 8 – 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 2 2 4 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 1 5 31 9 3 1 1 3 0 0

Düsseldorf

Halle

Heidelberg

Kassel

Lübeck

Ludwigshafen

Munich

Neukölln (Rixdorf)

Nürnberg



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TABLE 5.1 (cont.)

City

Year

Nürnberg (cont.)

1904 1908 1912 1896

Whole German Empire

Workers vs. Bosses

Bosses vs. Workers

Workers vs. Workers

517 568 510 63,462 (92.0%)

69 31 35 5,176 (7.5%)

0 0 0 160 (0.2%)

Sources: Nürnberg (Statistisches Jahrbuch, 1909) p. 205; Verwaltungsbericht der Stadt Rixdorf (1908–1909), p. 151; Stadtrat Heidelberg, Chronik der Stadt (1903); Lübeck Statistisches Taschenbuch (1909), p. 26; Verwaltungsbericht der Stadt Ludwigshafen (1913–1914), p. 83; München, Statistische Monatshefte (December 1906), p. 10; Verwaltungsbericht der Stadt Kassel (1906), p. 35; Ignaz Jastrow, “Die Erfahrungen,” pp. 348, 350; Statistische Jahresübersichten für Halle a. S., vol. 10, Beiträge zur Statistik der Stadt Halle a.S. (Halle: Statistisches Amt, 1910), p. 64; Bericht über d. Stand u. d. Verwaltung d. Gemeindeangelegenheiten d. Stadt Düsseldorf (1910), p. 29; (1911), p. 29; (1912), p. 33; (1913), p. 35. All other figures from SJdS 19 (1913), pp. 146–157 and 21 (1916), pp. 398–408.

Protective Legislation The German state was peculiarly inactive in the area of protective policy, in comparison to other industrialized countries in the late nineteenth century.152 Employers and government officials (especially Bismarck) tended to see “protective” policies as violating the antisocialist thrust of the Bismarckian social paradigm and as particularly damaging to the international competitiveness of German industry. Policies such as limiting the work day or banning work on Sunday threatened to strengthen the labor movement and raise the cost of German products. The creation of an effective factory inspectorate tended to provide another area of legitimate activity for socialist organizations, rather than making them peripheral. Before 1914, the central administration refused the proto-corporatist approach of integrating independent labor organizations directly into social policy (this strategy emerged only at the municipal level; see chapter 7). One historian’s assessment of the limits of the government’s social policy during the 1890s holds for the whole prewar period: “Where Social Democracy became, or threatened to become, the beneficiary or inevitable addressee, [social policy] came to a standstill.”153 The main thrust of the state’s protective policy also differed from the Bismarckian paradigm insofar as it was directed at the “margins,” i.e., at women and children, rather than the core of the working class. Motives that had little to do with combating socialism converged in support of protecting women and children. The initial impetus for the Prussian state’s interest in limiting child labor was related to a perceived shortage of healthy military recruits in the industrial districts during the 1820s.154 Other goals emerged

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during the following decades: assuring the physical reproduction of the labor force, instilling a sense of morality and propriety in the working class, and reinforcing “orderly family life” in the working class in the interest of “reconciling even the lowest classes of the working people with their economic lot.”155 Catholics, conservatives, and middle-class social reformers were concerned with defending the family against the onslaught of industrialism and repressing sexuality. Center party deputies described the woman’s natural role as “wife, husband’s companion, and mother . . . as child-bearer, above all as educator of the future generation,” and called for getting “the housewife and mother out of the factory” and returning her to the “place of honor in the domestic hearth and home.”156 A proponent of protection argued that “the family’s great economic significance is that within its circle even minimal means are sufficient to permit its members true enjoyment of life, if only the woman fulfills her [natural] occupation.”157 Some called for banning women’s and children’s work altogether.158 Because of its economic importance, however, women’s work was not banned but merely limited. Bismarck was opposed to such legal interventions, arguing that the husband and father should determine whether his children and wife would work.159 Bismarck also defended the employer’s authority to determine what happened inside the factory. Even after Bismarck, the state’s willingness to infringe on industrialists’ authority was quite limited. Most industrialists also opposed such legislation.160 What protective legislation was actually enacted? A Prussian regulation placed limits on child labor in 1839. The amended German Commercial Code of 1878 forbade work by children under twelve and limited the hours of children under sixteen. Women could not be employed in certain occupations such as mines and were forbidden from working during the first three weeks after giving birth.161 The revisions of 1878 and 1891 required factory inspectors to enforce “health and morals” in the factory, especially by separating men and women on the shop floor and by preventing women from engaging in “corrupting” work such as manufacturing condoms.162 The 1891 revision imposed a variety of new protective regulations: children under thirteen were not permitted to work at all, those under sixteen a maximum of ten hours daily; women could work only eleven hours daily; night work was forbidden for women and youths; four weeks of vacation were granted for maternity cases; and Sunday work was forbidden, with a few exceptions, even for adult men.163 A change in the Commercial Code in 1908 lowered women’s workday hours to ten (eight hours on Saturday and holidays) and lengthened the rest period before and after childbirth to eight weeks.164 Conspicuously missing was any form of significant limitation on male workers’ hours, aside from the law forbidding work on Sundays. (The first legal limitation on men’s hours was passed in 1896, but it only covered bakeries and confectioneries, where the workday was restricted to thirteen and one-half hours.) Employers also resisted the legal restrictions on women’s and children’s work and skirted the laws notoriously.165



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Protective regulations would have been useless without some sort of agency for inspection and enforcement. Public factory inspectors had existed in Bavaria since the end of the eighteenth century, and in 1845 the Prussian government called on localities to enforce the regulations on child labor. Yet the local police were charged with inspection, and as one specialist observed: Isn’t the Landrat frequently elected by the locals in industrial areas, and doesn’t his daily circle of acquaintances consist of industrialists? And this is especially true of the subaltern burgomaster! Where are they supposed to draw the courage to challenge men who vote on their salary in the town council and whose wealth they look up to in astonishment?166

The first state factory inspectors were created in Prussia in 1853.167 These inspectorates were severely understaffed, however, and they lacked the legal power to enforce their decisions.168 In 1878 factory inspection became obligatory in metal works, shipyards, and construction firms, and in all factories with steam engines throughout Germany, although the specific relationship to the local police could be determined by the individual states until 1918. The revised Industrial Code of 1891 expanded the purview of inspection beyond factories to include most firms and granted inspectors more legal power to enforce safety regulations.169 There were still only 46 inspectors in the entire country in 1880 and 53 in 1890; by 1898 the number had risen to 179.170 In Prussia, the number rose from 29 in 1890 to 189 by 1897, and to 328 by 1912.171 Nonetheless, the factory inspectorate was too weak to enforce seriously even the regulations that were on the books. In 1905 the Bavarian factory inspectorate established 2,396 violations of school-attendance laws and youth-employment regulations, but only 117 employers were convicted, and they received minimal fines.172 Inspectors were more likely to visit a firm and to insist on safety improvements when workers pressured them.173 At the same time, workers were punished and even fired for notifying inspectors of abuses.174 After the free unions began to form special “complaint commissions” to channel workers’ grievances to the inspectors, the Prussian commerce minister prohibited the inspectors from engaging in such consultations.175 Workers also suspected that many inspectors tilted toward the employers. Such suspicions were undoubtedly fueled by inspectors such as the one who wrote in 1901 that “the inspector is to be first and foremost a friendly adviser of the employer.”176 Such gaps in the state’s protective legislation provided grist to the mills of Social Democratic critique. The socialists argued consistently in favor of protective legislation, but their stance on “gendered” policies was less unified: commitment to equality of the sexes competed with a desire to increase men’s wages by limiting women’s work.177 The SPD insisted that limits on work hours should apply to men as well as women and rejected the “morality paragraphs” of the Industrial Code that called for the spatial separation of men and women at work.178

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Like the other social interventions by the Imperial German state, protective legislation contained contradictory impulses, pressures toward both strengthening the organized working class and undermining its solidarity. Protective legislation divided the working class internally by creating a myriad of special regulations governing work in different occupations and industries. The policies on working women divided male and female workers and encouraged essentialist views of gender difference. At the same time, these regulations had a salutary effect on the safety and health of the groups affected and introduced notions such as the shorter workday that were realized in more far-reaching form later in the twentieth century. TOWARD AN EXPLANATION: BUSINESS AND WORKING-CLASS INTERESTS, THE SEMIAUTONOMOUS STATE, AND BISMARCKIAN SOCIAL POLICY To understand why the Poor Law was felt to be inadequate, and why a new model of social reform (the Bismarckian paradigm) emerged at the level of national politics, it is necessary to take three factors into account, two of them new, one of continuing importance. The first new factor was the SPD, specifically its rising power, the related anxiety among the comfortable classes, and the ubiquitous sense that something had to be done about it. The second factor was the readiness of important sectors of industry, specifically heavy industry, to cooperate with the government in constructing the world’s first compulsory, national-scale welfare state. And of continuing significance was the state’s autonomy and its interventionist tradition, in combination with the very real constraints outlined in chapter 4. The German state had the wherewithal to organize disparate societal interests into a common project and the authority to override the “selfish” demands of individual capitalists or even whole branches of capital. At the same time, the state could not violate the logic of industrial capitalism or the interests of capital “in general.” Each of these represents different causal mechanisms that are central to distinct theories of the (welfare) state.179 The influence of the SPD points to social-democratic theory; the role of direct capitalist influence recalls both Marxism and other elitist approaches; and the combination of state autonomy and constraint is associated with the theories of Charles Tilly and others. Examining the interaction of these three sets of factors within a concrete historical case should also shed light on the theories and their shortcomings. The Working-Class Effect and Social-Democratic Theory For social-democratic theory, the organized working class is the main author of the welfare state. Without important revisions, this approach cannot make sense of Imperial German social policy. One criticism of this approach is its emphasis on the working class at the expense of other social groups in



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shaping welfare policy; to this we might add the neglect of the independent role of government agencies.180 It could be countered, however, that the most sophisticated social-democratic theorists are not monocausalist but rather are interested in specifying the effects of a specific cluster of causal variables.181 Yet if social-democratic theory correctly perceives the role of organized labor in triggering important changes in social policy, it is blinkered by a somewhat naïve belief in social progress. It can only conceive of labor having “positive” effects and ignores the state’s use of proactive measures to curtail rising worker pressure. As Jonas Pontusson notes: Against the image of social democracy as a harmonious form of class collaboration, Korpi, Stephens, and Himmelstrand correctly emphasize that . . . socialdemocratic rule always contained elements of conflict. . . . Yet their own perspective represents a reverse-image of functionalist variants of Marxism, in that it ignores the structural constraints on the exercise of working-class power within capitalism and denies the possibility of “cooptative integration.”182

A second drawback of social-democratic theory is its almost exclusive interest in democratic parliamentary systems. The nature of labor effects within less democratic regimes remains severely undertheorized. The recent work of Gøsta Esping-Andersen covers the early German and Austrian welfare states alongside regimes that were more democratic when national social-insurance legislation was introduced.183 Paying no attention to the specific modalities of working-class influence on policy, he explains these welfare states in terms of a “historical corporatist-statist legacy.” Indeed, there seems to be an elision of welfare regime types with causal mechanisms, which excludes by definition a social-democratic imprint on policy from regimes that are not themselves “social democratic” regimes. Social-democratic theory also tends to focus on quantitative measures of labor strength and neglects other forms of working-class presence. The claim that “working-class mobilization had no influence on [pre–World War II] social-wage levels,” for example, seems to be based on a widespread assumption that the only important modalities of working-class political power are the number of left cabinet seats, rates of left voting, and union membership.184 Yet middle-class and official representations of the working class and their calculations of labor’s future strength undoubtedly shape their social-policy interventions. Social policymakers will be less likely to take the labor movement into account if is perceived as waning in power. In cases where labor parties and unions actually oppose specific policies, one is unlikely to find a positive correlation between their strength and the expansion of social welfare.185 It is important to specify the character of working-class effects on social policy in both qualitative and quantitative terms, and in less democratic polities like Imperial Germany. Bismarck’s famous statement that the socialinsurance legislation of the 1880s would not have come about without the socialist threat should not be dismissed out of hand. This did not mean that the socialists were directly responsible—a claim that would be impossible to

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make, because the SPD Reichstag group voted against each of the socialinsurance laws during the 1880s and most of the bills between 1890 and the war.186 But elite perceptions of the organized working class influenced both the timing and the form of social legislation. Fear of worker militancy was important in triggering the first wave of Prussian policies after 1848 and the move to national social insurance during the 1880s. The SPD also influenced social policy directly, especially after 1890, through its participation in Reichstag debates and committees. Although the state intransigently excluded the SPD from governing coalitions, the socialists participated “constructively” in the Reichstag and even began occasionally voting for government social-policy bills after 1899.187 The following chapters will trace the effects of middle-class apprehension both qualitatively and quantitatively within the municipal realm, where social movements were much more immediately felt. Capitalist Influence: Marxist and Elitist Approaches If the thesis of “enlightened business” support for social policy has been hotly contested in the context of research on the United States, there is little doubt about the active participation of capitalists in creating the original German welfare state. The Saarland iron baron and Reichstag deputy Karl Ferdinand von Stumm was one of the first advocates of compulsory national insurance for old age and disability. Government discussions leading up to the 1884 accident-insurance bill were based largely on memoranda written by the Bochum industrialist Louis Baare in consultation with other leading businessmen and business associations.188 The CdI and most chambers of commerce vigorously supported the sickness-, accident-, and old-age-pension insurance laws of the 1880s.189 Several authors stress narrowly economic motives behind heavy industry’s support for the early social-insurance schemes. Rüdiger Baron argues that big business promoted social legislation in order to create the more skilled, healthy, and disciplined labor force that it needed to compete internationally.190 Hans-Peter Ullmann agrees on the importance of industrial patronage of social insurance but argues that the initial support for the accident-insurance legislation emanated more specifically from the sector of large firms characterized by steady and continuous production processes, recruitment problems, higher accident rates, and an orientation toward domestic rather than international markets.191 In a careful study of the socialpolitical stances of chambers of commerce and industrial organizations, Monika Breger also shows that sectors oriented toward the domestic market tended to be more supportive of social insurance during the 1880s.192 It is clear, however, that industrialists were also impressed by the broader political ambitions attached to social reform. According to the “Motivations” section of Baare’s 1881 accident-insurance draft bill, the goal of social reform was to “reconcile the working classes with bourgeois society and to



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reestablish the disturbed peace in bourgeois society.” Market calculations were of course inherently political, because profits could best be made if there was labor peace. Patterns of industrial support for social policy changed after 1890. Heavy industry rejected most plans for the further development of social policy, with the exception of survivors’ insurance.194 Although it had still appeared possible during the 1870s and 1880s that social reform could reduce the appeal of socialist arguments, the steady increase in SPD votes suggested that the wager had failed. Business also pointed to the supposedly excessive burden on German industry in comparison to its competitors, arguing that they would suffer “a major loss in their ability to compete with foreign powers” should programs like unemployment insurance be introduced.195 Business support for new social legislation now came from organizations representing light and export industry, such as the Federation of Industrialists (Bund der Industriellen), the allied Association of German Employers’ Associations (Verein deutscher Arbeitgeber-Verbände), and later the Hanseatic Federation for Business, Commerce, and Industry (Hansa-Bund).196 The umbrella organization of the German chambers of commerce (Deutscher Handelstag), representing mainly commercial capital and smaller industries, also backed continuing activism in social policy.197 What exactly was the relationship, then, between business and state social policy? Important sectors of industry participated directly in the first socialinsurance bills and were not monolithically opposed to the government’s social plans after 1890. But it is important to differentiate direct business participation in policy formation, which became exceptional after the mid1880s, from other forms of influence. As chapter 4 argued, the state bureaucracy generated projects independently and was often willing to override sectional capitalist interests if it was convinced that it was acting in the general interests of industrial capitalism. At the same time, the state could not afford to alienate the entire class of industrial capitalists, given official understandings of the importance of heavy industry in the German economy and in the state’s base of social support. It was feared that the government and the economy could be thrown into chaos if the interests of industry, especially heavy industry, were violated too frequently. Heavy industry opposed the protective social policies at the beginning of the 1890s, and this was their only major loss. The “New Course” and the Caprivi government fell quickly, however, and until the 1890s very few of the social policies that big industry opposed were implemented at the national level.198 Between the mid-1890s and 1914, the three initial social-insurance programs, which big industry had supported, continued to develop. By contrast, most new social legislation was either defeated (e.g., the plans for chambers of work, obligatory work councils, fixed wages or limited hours for men) or undermined by employers at the point of implementation. Like social-democratic theory, explanations that reduce the state to capitalist class interests need to be revised if they are to contribute to an under-

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standing of social policy. The full potential of both approaches can only be realized if they are integrated with a perspective on the semiautonomous state. State Autonomy and Social Constraints More important than any direct machinations by employers or workers were their indirect effects on social policy. The German state was comparatively immune to social pressures during the period in which Bismarck was laying the ground for the welfare state, although it is an exaggeration to refer to the political system after 1878 as a “Chancellor’s Dictatorship.” Bismarck was still dependent on the bureaucracy, the emperor, and even the Reichstag; and the state was structurally constrained in the ways discussed in the preceding chapter. Nonetheless, Bismarck, his immediate advisers, and the state bureaucracy are a better starting point than social classes for understanding social insurance.199 Without the strong tradition of the interventionist Beamtenstaat, it is doubtful that Germany would have been the first country to implement compulsory national social insurance. The German state was capable of both organizing businessmen and industrial associations behind its projects, as in the 1880s, and challenging large sections of business, as in the early 1890s. This does not mean, however, that state social legislation was characterized by a bureaucratic aloofness from societal interests. The state was strongly oriented toward industrial capitalism, even when this required overruling Junker interests. Agrarian interest organizations were excluded from the critical initial process of constituting the social-insurance systems. Against the energetic protests of the German Agricultural Council, the original accident- and sickness-insurance laws excluded agricultural workers.200 A variety of different models of social insurance were possible within these generally pro-industrial parameters, however. Industrialists’ and officials’ perceptions of the kinds of social policy most conducive to industrial capitalism were shaped by specific ideologies and culture-bound assumptions. Without taking this cultural context into account, it is impossible to understand why German social interventions were so centered on the industrial working class. The Bismarckian model of social policy emphasized the industrial working class, even as it attempted to make independent labor organizations unattractive and marginal. The welfare state contributed to the construction of social classes and reified the boundaries between them, engaging in a form of practical class analysis distinguishing among workers, white-collar employees, the self-employed, and so on.201 Why did social insurance ratify the existence of the proletariat? Why weren’t social programs addressed to narrower or broader social categories, e.g., “risk categories” rather than classes? Didn’t officials anticipate that by underscoring the distinctness of the working class they might subvert the express goal of reform—to dissipate social fear and class struggle? Both the German Poor Law



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and social-insurance schemes in other countries illustrate that it was possible to design policies that paid less obeisance to class categories.202 Specific features of German history explain why social insurance took a form that may have been suboptimal from the standpoint of quelling class conflict. First, class categories had become part of “common sense” across a variety of political and social milieux in Germany during the nineteenth century. Although the language of class was particularly associated with socialist discourse, the prevalence of “lay sociologies” based on class was also related to the specific character of the transition from an estate-based, feudal social order to a modern industrial capitalist society in Germany. Liberal discourse organized around the notion of the individual citizen was notoriously weak in nineteenth-century Germany, and the development of a German national identity that could supplant class identification was hampered by the centrifugal force of the regional states. As a result, social codifications based on social class were the major alternative to status schemes. There was also a certain continuity between estate (Stand) and class frameworks that enhanced this transition: both systems divided the social world into discrete, self-enclosed units, the main difference being that the “membranes” surrounding social classes were more permeable than those around estates. Such classification schemes contrasted sharply with the universal, homogenizing imagery of liberal and nationalist discourse. The socialists were not alone in proposing and insisting on class-based social definitions. Other interest groups such as white-collar and artisan associations tended to adopt the language of class. Industrialists referred to themselves as bürgerlich and liberals referred to their opponents as “Junkers.” The most important reason for social policy’s concentration on workers was that the socialist labor movement had already convinced large numbers of people that they should think of themselves as workers with certain interests.203 Workers were massively interpellated as workers. (A full explanation for the comparative salience of class identities in prewar Germany would go far beyond the limits of this study.)204 State officials were themselves attached to thinking in class categories, and they also were realistic enough to tailor social policy to the already-existing field of social identities.205 The Bismarckian strategy accepted classes as the primary building blocks of social organization but attempted to redescribe them as noncontradictory units of an organic totality.206 The Bismarckian model thus reflected a specific situation in which social democracy was “culturally” strong but “politically” weak. Working-class organizations remained feeble at the level of national politics, even while social class remained central to folk categories and lay social theories. The state’s autonomy gave it great latitude in its war against the working class. The government was able to respond to socialist demands indirectly and on its own terms, and to maintain an unremittingly hostile stance toward the SPD. This remained a safe strategy until the final years before 1914, when a rising tide of SPD votes began to convince some members of

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the ruling elite that the state would have to become more flexible and start talking to the Social Democrats. In the meantime, the specific preconditions of the Bismarckian paradigm had already collapsed, creating a relative void in national social policy—although local governments began to introduce social policies that resembled the “Bismarckian” form in the 1890s, as discussed in the next chapter. New impulses in national social policy had to await the war and the republic.

CONCLUSION Having examined the history of the systems of poor relief and Bismarckian worker policy in some detail, we can now try to summarize the explanation. As table 2.1 suggested, the same theoretical model—a model of the “semiautonomous state”—can explain Prussian and German social policy during the entire period from the 1830s to 1914. Both poor relief and worker policy can be accounted for in terms of the same causal factors. These factors take different forms in each period, however: 1. In the cases of both poor relief and worker policy, the state was pushed into action by social fear, but the type of fear differed. Poor-relief policy was driven by a relatively unfocused dread of social disorder that was not tied to any particular social agent; worker policy stemmed from the specific fear of the organized socialist movement. 2. The German legacy of state intervention was an important ingredient in both cases, allowing the government to make the regulatory leap. The Prussian Poor Law was a novel experiment that threatened to legitimate relief even for the able-bodied unemployed and to accelerate the internal reshuffling of the population. The national social-insurance laws of the 1880s were unprecedented. It could also be assumed that social legislation would actually be enacted, given the alleged effectiveness and incorruptibility of the German bureaucracy.207 3. The state’s partial autonomy from societal forces also made it possible for policies to be introduced against the resistance of whole sectors of industry. But the nature of the limits on the state’s autonomy led it to design its social interventions in ways thought to be conducive to industrial growth. The government was structurally dissuaded from alienating heavy industry too frequently or violating its interests too seriously. Heavy industry was the key element of the social coalition that both supported the state and was a product of its attempts to organize a hegemonic supporting bloc. As a result, specific representatives of heavy industry occasionally had a direct hand in designing social policies, most significantly in the case of the accident-insurance law. 4. Finally, policies in both areas were shaped by partially crystallized systems of practical, symbolic, and theoretical elements. These paradigms simultaneously shaped social policies and resulted from them; and in a certain sense, the policy was the paradigm: a structure that exists only in its effects.



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This chapter has focused on the differences between the poor-relief and worker-policy paradigms. What the two paradigms shared was their tentative move toward what Foucault refers to as “totalization,” alongside individualization. Although the local implementation of poor relief took a highly individualizing form (a theme developed further in the next chapter), the overarching poor laws were pitched at the level of general trends and flows—at the level of the social. To an even greater extent, the Bismarckian social programs addressed classes and groups, risks and processes, even if notions of individual responsibility and individual discipline continued to play a role. Social policy was both individualizing and totalizing, but the worker paradigm moved decisively in the direction of totalization.

• P A R T

T H R E E •

The Local State and Its Social Policies



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Municipal Politics and the Local Regulation of the Social until the 1890s: Poor Relief and Worker Policy A TURN TO THE LOCAL Most macrosociological studies of the welfare state fail to trace the complete causal chain through which global interventions are effected.1 Yet it is impossible to understand the welfare state—or any other large-scale phenomenon, for that matter—without attending to the local level. Local and microlevel politics are not a mere extension of larger processes but contribute significantly to global outcomes. Even in contemporary political systems, which tend to be much more centralized than during the nineteenth century, it can be argued that “the local state has its own, specifically constituted, importance” and that “local state activities contribute to the interpretation of how society works.”2 Political hegemony may ultimately be secured at the local level; at the same time, challenges to domination are also more visible locally, providing a corrective to the overhasty acceptance of exaggerated notions of social control. The next two chapters will examine the intense involvement of nineteenth-century German local governments in the regulation of the social.3 As suggested in chapter 2, four relatively distinct paradigms of social reform emerged over the course of the century: modern poor relief, “Bismarckian” and proto-corporatist policy, and scientific social work. Only the first two paradigms were evident in central social policy. Local governments engaged in all four forms, albeit in different periods and to differing degrees. The main principles of modern poor relief were prefigured in German cities at the turn of the eighteenth century, but they did not spread throughout Germany until after the codification of the “Elberfeld system” of poor relief in 1853 (see below) and the unification of the Poor Law. Cities also implemented social programs that embodied the principles of the worker paradigm. This model was already visible during the 1850s, with the introduction of obligatory municipal sickness insurance for workers, but it only became prominent during the 1890s. The other two paradigms were realized even later, mainly after 1900, and in a smaller subset of German cities. This chapter explores the operation of the first two social strategies in urban Imperial Germany. Chapter 7 turns to the proto-corporatist and scientific socialwork models. These chapters have two goals. The first is to explain the general conditions behind the emergence of each paradigm in the urban political sphere.

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This will involve discussing the typical structure of local politics in each period. What were the dominant social classes and groups in charge of municipal government? What sorts of pressure did they face from “outside”? What were the structural constraints on the local state? After reconstructing the social structure of local politics, I will trace the relationship between this structure and the emergent strategy of social regulation. It is important to emphasize that each paradigm continued to exist even after its original “conditions of existence” had been supplanted by new structural conditions. Each social program continued to bear the signs of these original conditions like a birthmark. The second objective is to answer questions about intercity differences in social policy. German cities did not all participate in these paradigms to the same degree or in the same manner. Why did some cities decide to experiment with the new paradigms while others did not? Why did some cities contribute more resources to social policy than others? It is impossible to generalize about these processes using case studies: almost 100 German cities had a population of at least 50,000 by 1914. Instead, I will buttress the causal arguments in these two chapters with statistical analyses of intercity variations in social policy. These analyses rely on an original dataset constructed from a variety of archival and published primary sources. I will avoid the conventional, unhistorical approach to such analysis and interpret the meaning of the explanatory variables and statistical coefficients contextually. The statistical analysis shows, for example, that violent demonstrations were correlated with higher poor-relief expenditures but not with other forms of policy, as the nature of the modern poor-relief paradigm would lead one to expect. Similarly, the likelihood that a city would provide emergency public-works relief was related to the political and ideological representation of the local Social Democratic party, as the worker paradigm would predict. WERE GERMAN CITIES INDEPENDENT ENOUGH TO HAVE AN AUTONOMOUS SOCIAL POLICY? In order for German cities to be an interesting object of analysis in their own right, they must have been at least partially autonomous from central government(s). Despite the liberal-democratic pathos and mythology surrounding the Prussian municipal code of 1808, the nineteenth century cannot be characterized by a process of progressive emancipation of German cities from the state.4 The Prussian liberal Hugo Preuss argued that the 1808 code had returned to cities many of the rights of self-government that they had lost under absolutism, reintroducing a form of representative government that was “cleansed of hereditary estate privileges.”5 Municipal codes introduced in other German states during the nineteenth century were similar, and many were based directly on the 1808 Prussian code.6 Yet there were



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clear limits on municipal self-government, and in some respects, the 1808 municipal code represented an incorporation of the city into the state, the end of “a proud and independent city politics.”7 Cities were increasingly defined as the “lowest branch of the state,” and the notion of local selfgovernment was used, in Prussia and elsewhere, to persuade locals not to interfere in affairs of central government.8 Even the southern and western towns that had retained some autonomy from absolutist states had their mayors made into state appointees during the Napoleonic occupation and were placed under strict state supervision.9 In the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the Rheinland the French system of appointed mayors was in place until 1856.10 Discussion of extralocal political affairs was explicitly prohibited at Prussian and Badenese city council meetings. The Württemberg government prohibited public attendance at town meetings in 1846.11 Prussian mayors still had to be approved by state authorities, at least in principle.12 Over the course of the century a number of cities, especially the larger ones, forfeited control over their own local police forces.13 And cities were legally required to provide a number of services (including health and sanitation, elementary schools, and industrial courts), to keep a civil registry and records on social insurance, and to collect state taxes.14 Despite these moments of subordination, nineteenth-century German cities were autonomous enough from central governments to make them legitimate objects of analysis, especially after 1870.15 Jürgen Kocka even suggests that municipal government may have been more democratic in Germany than in France or England during the nineteenth century.16 Legislation passed by the various states during the last third of the empire granted “almost unlimited responsibility for the control of ‘public affairs’ to the local electorate.”17 While it was legally possible for the government to dissolve city councils and assign mayors to them, in Prussia the “state authorities typically made very sparing use of their rights to superintend local administration and to confirm certain communal office-holders.”18 The most famous case of the state dismissing both mayor and city council took place in Strassburg in 1873, but this was hardly typical.19 The conflict in 1890 around Kaiser Wilhelm II’s attempt to annul the election of the left liberal Max von Forckenbeck as mayor of Berlin exposed the limits on the government’s power of approval. Chancellor Caprivi and various Prussian ministers pointed out to the kaiser that failure to ratify the election would provoke opposition from other parties and could possibly ignite a series of conflicts spreading from one Prussian city to another. The partial democratization typical of the Kaiserreich trapped imperial rulers into dependence upon at least minimal tolerance from the organized parties in major city governments—just as the executive was partially dependent upon reasonable support from the Reichstag in national politics.20 States were mainly eager to exercise their legal control over municipalities to prevent Social Democratic administrative appointments, particularly in matters of education.21 Localities were a crucial link in the overall social-policy regime of the

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empire. The cities’ importance resulted not just from their partial autonomy but also from their control over significant revenues.22 There were no legal prescriptions concerning the level or composition of local revenues, nor were there limits on what a city could own, sell, or trade.23 The municipalities’ fiscal authority was expressed by the fact that their part of the overall tax burden on the social product in Prussia was 72.2 percent by 1913.24 Douglas Ashford has estimated that social spending was higher at local levels of government than at either state or federal levels in Imperial Germany.25 According to a different estimate, municipalities accounted for around 45 percent of total spending on social services at all levels of government in Germany in 1913.26 There is no absolute measure that would allow one to establish definitively whether social policy was more “developed” at the local or national level before 1914. The direct effect of the state on cities was certainly greater than the influence of local governments on the state. The state’s social-policy aims could not have been realized without the cooperation of local authorities. This does not mean that local interventions were a mere extension of central policies. No matter how carefully designed, national and regional legislation was reinterpreted and transformed in the course of its implementation at the local level. Municipal authorities elaborated novel forms of discipline, such as the Elberfeld system of poor relief, and pioneered many of the forms of social policy for which national governments later assumed responsibility, such as unemployment insurance. It can even be argued that the “breakthrough of the modern interventionary state” occurred at the municipal rather than the national level of government during the Kaiserreich.27 Municipal governments served as “experimental fields” for social strategies that were later taken up by the central state.28 THE STRUCTURE OF LOCAL POLITICS: THE RISE AND FALL OF DIRECT BOURGEOIS CONTROL (1860s–1890s) Urban politics during the first decades of the empire was a quintessentially bourgeois sphere, as many contemporary observers recognized.29 This was true primarily with respect to the composition of local political elites; it does not mean that local politics resembled a Habermasian bürgerliche Öffentlichkeit (bourgeois public sphere). The policies of local governments, like those of the central state, also tended to correspond broadly to the structures of industrial capitalism. The key difference was that the local state was controlled directly by leading segments of the local bourgeoisie. This direct bourgeois control of local affairs had significant consequences for social policy, to which I will turn in the next section. Although the economic bourgeoisie had controlled many German cities throughout the nineteenth century, a certain enmity toward industry and banking had persisted among the older commercial Honoratioren in some cities even after 1850. By 1870, however, such attitudes were rapidly disap-



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pearing, and the commercial bourgeoisie was converting itself economically and ideologically to industrialism.30 The new industrial bourgeoisie assumed political power in many large German cities; elsewhere they shared power with the older commercial bourgeoisie or ruled indirectly through interest groups, chief executives, or corporation lawyers.31 Almost all cities were controlled by the liberals, especially the National Liberal party or tendency.32 Even during the decade before the war, around 85 percent of the German cities with over 50,000 inhabitants were governed by liberals, mainly National Liberals.33 Although liberalism was certainly not identical with the bourgeoisie as a social class, the National Liberals were the “industrial capitalist party par excellence” up to 1914.34 There are scattered statistics on the social class background of city councilors and magistrate members. The majority of councilors in many cities before the turn of the century were bankers, industrialists, or businessmen. In Mülhausen, for example, where the liberals held a majority of town council seats before 1900, almost half of the councilors were bourgeois (using this broad definition) in 1886.35 In Krefeld, half of the councilors representing the top two voting classes were silk manufacturers and silk dealers in 1890.36 Textile manufacturers made up fourteen of the twentyfour town councilors in Mönchengladbach in 1871, and half of the councilors elected in Rheydt between 1817 and 1914.37 In Dortmund, twenty-six of the fifty-five city councilors were members of the exclusive bourgeois “Casino Club” in 1912.38 After 1868, leaders of local industry in Oberhausen replaced the broad range of farmers and middle classes who had controlled the town council.39 Local linen manufacturers led the Bielefeld municipal council for a century.40 The Mannheim city council was dominated throughout the Kaiserreich by liberal bourgeois like Ernst Bassermann.41 Even where the predominance of Catholics led to a displacement of the National Liberals by the Center party, as in many Rhenish and Westphalian towns, political power remained in the hands of the property-owning classes.42 In Münster, for example, a town firmly in the hands of the Center, twenty of the fifty city councilors were members of the local Chamber of Commerce.43 A strong ideological strand within liberalism defended the propertied classes’ domination of municipal politics with reference to their disproportionate tax contribution to local revenues. Even Hegel had argued that the middle classes should run local government.44 There were other major deviations from a “one person, one vote” rule in municipal elections. Most important were the restrictive municipal suffrage rules, which drastically limited the political influence of workers, women, and the poor. A wide array of qualifications were practiced: fees or residence requirements (the Bürgerrecht); an electoral “census” that permitted only those paying a certain minimum amount of taxes to vote; plural voting; and various forms of “class” voting which typically weighted votes according to income. In the three-class system, also used for elections to the Prussian House of Representatives, voters were distributed into separate electoral classes, according to their tax

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assessment. Each class paid the same proportion of the total tax bill and each elected the same number of representatives. Local voting thus differed radically from elections to the Reichstag, which were based on universal adult male suffrage. In various Rheinland cities with only a few large factories, the top electoral class frequently included fewer than ten voters, and in the notorious case of Essen, Friedrich Krupp was the only voter in the first class between 1886 and 1894.45 Recipients of poor relief could not vote, and women could vote in only a small number of states and cities, and usually only indirectly, through a male representative.46 The number of workers entitled to vote increased over the course of the empire as wages rose. Yet even by 1911 only 13 percent of the local population was eligible, on average, to vote in municipal elections in the cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants. In the same year, the sector of the population enfranchised locally varied from 1 percent (in Hannover) to 20 percent (in Gelsenkirchen, Remschied, and Spandau).47 Upper-class control of urban government was enhanced further by a series of additional regulations. In the state of Hesse-Darmstadt, the most heavily taxed person automatically became a full member of the town council. The Westphalian Municipal Code stipulated that the firm paying the highest local taxes was entitled to vote in the first voting class. As a result, such corporations were often the only voters in the first electoral class in smaller industrial towns. This regulation also made a palpable difference in middle-sized Westphalian cities like Bochum (where there were only 136 voters in the first division in 1899) or Gelsenkirchen (where only 116 were eligible to vote in the first class in 1904). In Ludwigshafen, the most heavily taxed local firms were even allowed to vote in city council deliberations on the municipal budget.48 THE SOCIAL POLICY OF THE BOURGEOISIE DURING THE PERIOD OF DIRECT CONTROL Over the course of the nineteenth century, the German bourgeoisie created a system of urban social policy in its own image. The intimate relationship between the middle class and municipal political power allowed capitalist social-policy needs to be transmitted directly to the public agenda. And the local bourgeoisie was by no means opposed to social reform. David Peters, an Elberfeld textile manufacturer, strongly supported public provision of poor relief, writing in 1866 that “experience has shown that the best and most industrious workers were those who prospered at home.”49 The strength of such sentiments certainly varied among individual capitalists and according to particular circumstances, including the nature of the social policy and the branch of industry. The direct control of local politics by the bourgeoisie also meant that any social policies that they opposed were unlikely to be introduced, or even considered.



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The “instrumentalized” local state was thus less well equipped than the central state to act as a “political superego” of the bourgeoisie, opposing certain demands or specific branches of industry for the sake of overall social stability and economic growth. At the local level, only the town mayor (usually called Bürgermeister or Oberbürgermeister) could approximate the role of the semiautonomous state bureaucrat.50 Unlike city councilors, mayors were elected for long periods—six to twelve years—and often remained in office for decades, which granted them a certain immunity from immediate pressures.51 They were typically career politicians with a legal background, not businessmen.52 Yet in most other respects, mayors were poorly situated to free themselves from the control of the local bourgeoisie. As Wolfgang Hofmann has argued, mayors needed to be socially integrated into the local upper class in order to carry out their duties effectively.53 Municipal administration depended heavily upon the volunteer (ehrenamtlich) work of the local middle classes. This meant that the mayor’s control over local “state capacities” was quite diluted in comparison with the chancellor’s control of the central state apparatus. Mayoral interventions required bourgeois cooperation to be successful. This changed only gradually toward the end of the century, and even then, the branches of local administration requiring the most manpower, such as poor relief, continued to depend mainly on volunteers.54 Even the mayors’ closest coworkers, the Beigeordneten, were often unpaid notables, “typically industrialists whose business was going so well that they could afford to take on such a time-consuming office.”55 And if the average mayor was not from a capitalist background, he was distinctly middle class and had often married into the industrial bourgeoisie. In addition to the class composition of city government, municipal social policies were also shaped by social pressures from the lower classes, as they figured in middle-class perceptions and anxieties. Indeed, in the absence of social fear it is doubtful that officials would have engaged in social reform at all. The preceding chapter pointed out that the timing of the Prussian social policies of the 1850s reflected the 1848 revolution and that the social insurance laws of the 1870s and 1880s followed in the wake of the upsurge of strikes and demonstrations during the 1870s and the continually rising popularity of the Social Democrats.56 Similar connections can be traced between popular pressures and local social policy. If anything, urban elites were even more exposed to and aware of social pressures than the state. As one widely read text on the “worker question” commented in 1897, “The very nature of things forces the city to engage in social-political activity, whether it wants to or not. Social misery confronts the locality much more immediately than state authorities.”57 The analyses in this chapter and the next suggest that local welfare policies were indeed closely tied to levels of social fear, whether or not this was “natural.” Certain dimensions of local poor relief, such as overall spending, were related to disruptive collective protest. The socialists’ rising success in municipal elections during the 1890s created a new sort of pressure and led to new forms of social policy. Fear and dis-

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ruption did not have simple linear effects, or even strictly positive ones, however. A third determinant of urban social policy, the structure of local revenues, exerted a constraining influence that recalls the analysis of the central state. Municipal revenues were generated locally, rather than being distributed on the basis of need or population from higher levels of government. They came mainly from taxes on income and property, fees and tariffs, and municipally owned utilities. Like the central state, local governments were thus virtually required to promote industry and commerce in order to finance their own operations. Direct taxes were the most visible form of municipal dependence on the private sector, but levels of indirect taxes like the octroi (a tax on consumer goods and raw materials) were also a function of economic activity.58 The resultant structural pressures overdetermined the bourgeois character of urban social policy. Richer taxpayers and local firms could threaten to move if a city introduced a policy that they opposed. The threat of industrial flight was raised in 1913 by the mayors of various cities in the Berlin area during a discussion of the possibility of introducing municipal unemployment insurance. As their letter to the German chancellor put it, the mayors feared “that industry will move away from the towns which introduce unemployment insurance, particularly due to the tax burden imposed by unemployment insurance.”59 The partially democratic nature of municipal electoral politics had a minor effect on social policy. Although the municipal franchise was quite restricted, increasing percentages of people became enfranchised over the course of the empire (table 6.1). In some cities, the liberal and Catholic Center parties appealed to the new lower-income voters through social programs. TABLE 6.1 Changes in Rates of Municipal Voter Enfranchisement (by percent) City Year

Barmen

Breslau

Bielefeld

Hagen

Frankfurt am Main

1871 1873 1874 1884 1900 1901 1909 1912 1913

4.0 – – – – 12.5 – – 19.4

– 5.3 – – 11.7 – – 16.8 –

6.9 7.0 – – – 12.8 17.1 – 18.2

– – – 8.3 – – 18.0 – –

– – 7.3 – – – – – 15.5

Source: Figures from Rosenbaum, “Sozialgeschichte der Stadt Barmen,” table 1; Wolfgang Hofmann, Bielefelder Stadtverordneten, pp. 166–167; and from the Verwaltungsberichte for Breslau, Hagen, and Frankfurt am Main, various years.



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Finally, there was a certain convergence in the relief practices of different cities, spurred on not only by similar social and political conditions but also by the circulation of experts between municipalities and by the German Association for Poor Relief and Charity (Deutscher Verein für Armenpflege und Wohltätigkeit [DVAW]), an interest group of poor-relief professionals that began holding annual meetings in 1880.60 THE “MODERN” FORM OF POOR RELIEF IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY GERMANY On 26 September 1913 at 7:00 P.M. a certain Frau B. appeared before me with an approximately four-year-old boy and requested immediate assistance, claiming that her husband had left her on September 18 with all of the couple’s possessions. . . . I responded that I would first have to confer with a member of the Poor Relief Commission, and that she should accompany me there for immediate resolution of the matter, and also show me her apartment. . . . B. suddenly left my apartment in a great hurry, and I now knew that she was a swindler—I succeeded in halting her in the street—; unfortunately the public, assembled into a mob (Haufen), took her side and freed her from arrest. —From a Berlin poor-relief guardian’s report in 1913.61

The central legislation discussed in chapter 5 specified only the broad contours of public assistance; the actual form in which relief was delivered to clients was determined by local authorities. The specifically “German-modern” system of urban poor relief that was predominant between the 1860s and 1914 provides a striking expression of the consciousness, habitus, and interests of the local bourgeoisie. The modern system of poor relief was a mirror image of the values of the economic bourgeoisie: it stressed individual responsibility, self-monitoring, and the swift reintegration of the poor into labor markets, and it did this within a framework designed to minimize costs—the specific contribution of the cost-saving Elberfeld system. As noted in chapter 5, the relief system combined elements of “security” (the management of social aggregates and flows) with “discipline,” which postulated the individual as both its addressee and its end product. Disciplinary elements were especially prevalent at the local point of contact between state and pauper. Along these lines, assistance was actually treated officially as a loan rather than a grant, even if few paupers were ever able to reimburse the full costs of their aid.62 In Charlottenburg, poor-relief clients were asked to sign an agreement promising later repayment.63 The ultimate goal of poor relief, as Charlottenburg’s regulations put it, was to “get the pauper back on his own feet.”64 The 1862 poor-relief code in Duisburg dictated that “the poor relief guardians should try as hard as possible to influence the pauper’s moral stance,” adding that “it is designated as their noblest duty to render the pauper capable of work and to find appropriate work for the able-

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bodied, thus paving the way for the restoration of an autonomous existence.”65 The goals of the 1895 Münster code included “the struggle against carelessness, begging, and aversion to work, the moral elevation of the paupers and their families, and the avoidance of unnecessary . . . costs.”66 In Altona, relief guardians were instructed to take into account the fact that poverty resulted as much from “poor economizing, clumsiness, lack of judgment, and in a word, spiritual need” as from economic and physical causes.67 The core elements of this relief system were contained in the so-called Elberfeld system, named after the city where it was codified in 1853 (if not actually introduced for the first time).68 Other elements of the modern German relief system emerged slowly and piecemeal over the course of the century. Between 1853 and 1914, most German cities created poor-relief systems resembling the Elberfeld system (see table 6.2). The main tenets of the Elberfeld system, according to the slogans of its proponents, were the “individualization” and “decentralization” of relief, the reliance on volunteer friendly visitors or guardians, and the avoidance of long-term grants of assistance.69 “Individualization” signaled a generalized emphasis on personal rather than social factors in the diagnosis and resolution of poverty and on promoting a sense of individual responsibility among the poor. The aim of poor relief, according to the architects of the Elberfeld system, was to root out poverty by “working on the individual” (Einwirken auf das Individuum).70 Although the very existence of public relief revealed a sometimes grudging acknowledgment of the trans-individual bases of poverty, the mantralike repetition of the notion of the “individual” in discussions of the Elberfeld system underscored the bourgeoisie’s continuing unease with overly sociological thinking. The “individualization” of treatment and surveillance also required a vast increase in the number of poor-relief guardians in the field. “Decentralization” referred to the devolution of decision-making authority into the hands of the friendly visitors. Traditionally, each decision to honor or reject an individual’s request for aid was supposed to be made at meetings of the entire staff of poor-relief officials. The visitors were now considered best able to judge their clients’ needs and to monitor their behavior. The increased accountability and intensity of surveillance necessitated a heavy reliance on volunteers.71 These volunteers were almost uniformly petty bourgeois and middle-class citizens and could thus be counted on to instill the proper values in the poor. Since the volunteers were also taxpayers, they would have an interest in keeping assistance costs under control. The Elberfeld system was also centered on temporary as opposed to ongoing awards of relief. The term ongoing relief signaled that no specific termination date for assistance was established at the outset; relief was provided in monthly portions that were larger than the typical temporary grant.72 Prior to the Elberfeld system, aid was usually long term, and there



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TABLE 6.2 Year in Which the Elberfeld System Was Officially Introduced in Various German Cities Year

City

Year

City

1853 1862/63 1862/63 1862/63 1864 1864/65 1875 1876 1876 1880

Elberfeld Barmen Krefeld Duisburg Essen Altona Bremen Siegen Darmstadt Leipzig

1883 1883 End of 1880s 1898 1892/93a 1893/95 1895 1895 1895 1911

Frankfurt am Main Fulda Bielefeld Danzig Hamburg Breslau Mainz Münster Mühlhausen in Thüringen Lübeck

Note: Although these are the dates on which the Elberfeld system was officially introduced, many cities insisted that they had already been operating according to the precepts of the system; see for instance Die Stadt Danzig (1904), p. 92. The Leipzig system of 1880 was merely a codification of an already-existing system, according to Wohlfahrtseinrichtungen in Leipzig (Leipzig, 1905), p. 50. Berlin already had a version of the Elberfeld system early in the nineteenth century, but by 1899 it was being argued that the city was too big and the population too mobile for such close relations between guardians and paupers to work. See StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr.352, p. 11 (blue pagination), meeting of committee of poor relief commission heads (31 January 1899). Other information from Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit,” p. 176; Schütz, “Geschichte der Sozialverwaltung”; Blaßhofer, “Die öffentliche und private,” pp. 8–9; Steinohrt, “Die Entwickelung des Armenwesens,” pp. 33–38; Scherer, Die öffentliche Armen-und Wohlfahrtspflege, p. 11; Ditt, Industrialisierung, Arbeiterschaft, p. 85; Evans, Death in Hamburg, p. 99; Georg Schmidt, Das öffentliche Armenwesen, pp. 27ff.; Weissenborn, Geschichte des Armenwesens, p. 106; Boettcher, Fürsorge in Lübeck, pp. 43–46; Feuss, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte der Armenpflege, p. 24; Verwaltungsbericht Breslau (1892–1895), pp. 101ff.; Hagenberg, “Das Armen- und Fürsorgewesen,” p. 16; Fünfundzwanzig Jahre der Wirksamkeit; Gemündt, “Das Armen- und Wohlfahrtswesen,” p. 18; Bericht über die Gemeindeverwaltung der Stadt Altona in den Jahren 1863–1900, vol. 3, p. 157; and Armen-Verwaltung der Stadt Münster (n.p: n.d. [1895]). a Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit.” Lube argues, correctly, that the main principles of the Elberfeld system were prefigured in the Elberfeld’s “General Poor Relief Institution” (Allgemeine Armenanstalt) of 1800, which itself was modelled on the 1788 Hamburg system. On the Hamburg precedents, see Lindemann, Patriots and Paupers; and Köhler, Arme und Irre, pp. 94–95.

was comparatively little effort to monitor or reform the recipients. By insisting that assistance was “temporary,” officials hoped to encourage self-reliance and to recommodify impoverished workers. Making the grants smaller also gave the friendly visitors more frequent opportunities to observe the pauper at home.73 Finally, temporary relief seemed well suited for dealing with the increasingly recognized phenomenon of conjunctural unemployment. By 1901, nearly as much was spent for short-term as for ongoing relief in Berlin.74 In many cities there also seemed to be an unspoken principle according to which the economically useful unemployed were treated more

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generously than the more traditional categories of feeble poor. This was the direct opposite of the earlier system in which the able-bodied were actively barred from receiving aid. The Elberfeld system was thus the cornerstone of an overall strategy of increased discipline of the poor, intended to force an orientation toward the labor market and to combat welfare dependency. Two other common features of municipal poor relief during the second half of the nineteenth century were equally “bourgeois” in character, even if they were not specifically part of the Elberfeld system: the increased provision of assistance in cash rather than in kind and the reliance on home relief rather than indoor relief. All cities distinguished between home versus indoor (or “open” versus “closed”) relief. Unlike England, where the New Poor Law of 1834 had established workhouse relief as the norm—in theory, at least, if not in practice—German officials and poor-relief experts preferred domiciliary relief for able-bodied workers.75 As Georg Simmel noted in 1906, the English system differed from the German in “completely neglect[ing] the criterion of personal worthiness,” depending instead on the workhouse test.76 Although local poor-relief instructions urged officials to test applicants’ willingness to work before proffering aid, this test was rarely applied. Home relief was preferred even for the sturdy poor mainly because it seemed more likely to allow and encourage them to be self-reliant and to keep seeking work. It can also be assumed from the negative remarks by poor people about indoor relief (see below) that they preferred home relief. Finally, home relief served as a relatively inexpensive concession to popular discontent, as is suggested by the statistical analysis below. Official preference for home relief apparently increased over the course of the empire, but there were still large intercity differences in the proportion of relief money spent on indoor rather than outdoor aid. In 1911, the percentage of total relief spending committed to domiciliary aid ranged from 11 to 90 percent in the ninety-four largest German cities.77 Table 6.3 shows the ratio of indoor to home relief expenditures in two cities for which time-series data exist, Bremen and Breslau, between 1880 and 1911. Even though German poor-relief doctrine stressed home assistance more than comparable relief agencies in Britain or the U.S., German authorities retained the prerogative of shutting people up in workhouses or poorhouses. The workhouse (Arbeitshaus) was a prisonlike institution to which “vagabonds,” “malingerers,” and other rebels against work discipline could be sent against their will. One working-class writer described his six months in a workhouse as “indescribable psychic torture.”78 The poorhouse (Armenhaus) was generally an institution to which people went “voluntarily” but in which they were required to live in order to qualify for assistance. In the larger poorhouses there was obligatory separation of the sexes. Often the term Armenhaus referred to nothing more than a degraded sort of public housing. One working-class autobiographer described his experiences as a child in a local poorhouse during the late 1870s and 1880s:



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TABLE 6.3 Ratio of Indoor to Outdoor Relief Costs in Bremen and Breslau, 1880–1913 Year

Bremen

Breslau

Year

Bremen

Breslau

1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895

.42 .40 .36 .34 .35 .35 .35 .37 .37 .36 .39 .42 .37 .35 .35 .31

.38 .33 .30 .28 .25 .25 .21 .21 .21 .20 .21 .24 .33 .27 .25 .24

1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911

.31 .30 .29 .28 .26 .26 .23 .21 .21 .22 .21 .21 .20 .18 .16 –

.21 .23 .14 .13 .14 .15 .17 .16 .07 .05 .13 .23 .22 .22 .20 .18

Sources: Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 153; Breslauer Statistik, vol. 12 (1988); and Breslau, Verwaltungsbericht (various years). Note: The figures for Breslau represent the ratio of spending on the workhouse and poorhouse (Arbeitshaus and Armenhaus) to the open poor relief spending. The Bremen figures represent the ratio of the “Armen-, Witwen- und Waisenhäuser” (poorhouses, widow homes, and orphanages) to domiciliary relief.

Mother needed assistance. . . . As lodging, they gave us the poorhouse (Armenhaus), with one room on the ground floor and another open garret at the top of the stairs. The house was a bit outside of the village, as if to suggest that the residents were not socially equal to the other villagers. We children only perceived the degrading aspect of it later, or when the peasants’ and cottagers’ children insulted us. . . . All [mother’s] efforts were directed toward getting out of the poorhouse.79

The option of institutionalization was the ultimate weapon in the hands of local elites for enforcing an orientation toward work and individual responsibility among the poor. But only those who resisted discipline were locked away. Confinement was avoided because it withdrew potentially valuable forces from the market economy. Local officials also generally needed a court order to send “malingerers” to a workhouse.80 The liberal middleclass preference for market-based solutions over authoritarian confinement was aptly illustrated by the conflict between the Berlin city council and the magistrate in 1876 over a plan to put the homeless shelter under the same roof as the new workhouse. The magistrate’s bill argued that shutting the homeless up in the workhouse would inspire them to find work and lodging as soon as possible. Against this, some councilors insisted that they could

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discover “no genuine relation between homeless families and confined persons. . . . it would be much more commendable to build the workhouse in Rummelsberg for confined persons alone, and when housing shortages occur, to lodge the homeless families within the city.”81 The following year it was decided to house the homeless separately.82 The provision of relief in the form of money rather than goods can also be interpreted as aligning welfare with the principles of the market economy.83 Gustav Schmoller defended pecuniary relief as preferable for educating and promoting the independence of the pauper.84 A Bremen municipal official gave a typical justification of the use of monetary aid in 1913, writing that “it is preferred nowadays to provide the pauper with cash, in order to help him learn to employ it more economically and to thereby exercise a pedagogical influence on him.”85 A new set of poor-relief regulations (Armenordnung) introduced in Hamburg in 1903 replaced an older guideline that 25 percent of aid should be delivered in the form of “soup coupons” with the stipulation that cash relief should be the rule, “so that the pauper remains economically independent and is able to satisfy his needs, which he himself knows best.”86 By the end of the empire, cities were providing an average of 85 percent of their home relief in cash.87 The provision of relief in the form of money was more pronounced in bigger cities than in rural areas and was less common in the southern and southwestern parts of the country.88 Within these general trends, however, there was a great deal of intercity variation in poor-relief practices. Differences in overall spending levels and in the emphasis on home relief were partially related to levels of collective disruption, as demonstrated in the next section. This relationship makes sense in light of the specific elite worldview and the strategic orientation toward the social question of which modern poor relief was a part. The central social actor here was, indeed, the “poor,” who were seen as a disorderly and undifferentiated mass, prone to rioting, profligacy, promiscuity, excess fertility, intemperance, and other disturbing forms of behavior. Georg Simmel articulated this contradictory mix of meanings attached to the poor: “It possesses a great homogeneity insofar as its meaning and location in the social body is concerned; but it lacks it completely insofar as the individual qualification of its elements is concerned.”89 Because of the linkages between the poor and chaos, civil disorder tended to elicit a series of immediate responses by local officials, which included increased poor-relief spending.90 Poor-relief spending was an inexpensive investment in social peace that did not raise the long-range capacities of poor and disruptive groups. The dearth of local social policies other than poor relief prior to the 1890s can be explained rather easily. German poor relief corresponded to the interests and mentality of the class that directly controlled local politics until the end of the nineteenth century. For decades, poor relief seemed capable of palliating local social unrest. It also promised to help forge a working class well suited to the needs of industry. In terms of its material and ideal benefits, poor relief was more advantageous for the urban middle class than other



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kinds of social policy, such as social insurance and unemployment relief. Workers were legally disempowered by poor relief, which presented itself in the form of a gift rather than a right.91 Poor relief tried to balance two somewhat contradictory ideas: the poor should be encouraged to take care of themselves; but they should also receive “gifts” delivered by stern, prosperous, middle-class agents. (It was typically forgotten that a large percentage of the municipal revenues with which local relief was financed came from fees imposed on the poorer classes themselves.) The poor could be turned into capitalist subjects, while their simultaneous definition as gift recipients kept them from threatening the distinctive status of the middle class. WOMEN, GENDER RELATIONS, AND POOR RELIEF It is important to consider the gendered nature of relief practices, in particular the thesis that public assistance is a “female” stream of social policy opposed to the “male” stream of national social insurance.92 We also need to examine the system of implicit gender relations and definitions of the family that were embodied within poor-relief practices. Much German historiography supports the idea that poor relief was a particularly feminine realm. The discourse of the nineteenth-century women’s movement insisted on a special affinity between feminine “nature” and charitable activities. Moreover, statistics on the receipt of German poor relief during the empire suggest that its clientele was predominantly female. In an 1896 survey, the ratio of female to male clients of municipal poor relief ranged from 1.09 in Mannheim to 1.95 in Strassburg.93 Eighty-two percent of the relief recipients in Hamburg were women in 1900, 56.7 percent in Magdeburg between 1885 and 1892, and around 60 percent in Bremen during the whole nineteenth century.94 Women were particularly overrepresented among paupers receiving outdoor relief (table 6.4). Men tended to dominate the category of short-term outdoor relief, however, especially during recession years, because grants of relief were theoretically available to able-bodied men who were temporarily unemployed or unable to work (e.g., due to illness). An especially good illustration of this relationship is provided by the Elberfeld statistics on the number of male and female heads of household drawing relief due to “unemployment or insufficient earnings” during the crisis decade of the 1870s: the women-to-men ratio fell monotonically from 1.88 in 1872 to .61 in 1879.95 Throughout the mid-1880s the most prevalent causes of destitution were old age, injury, disability, and illness; among women, other common reasons for poverty included divorce, widowhood, and desertion.96 It was expected that women would begin to dominate even the category of paupers receiving temporary relief once the primarily male working force had been insured against these risks. Yet men still seemed to outnumber women as recipients of temporary assistance after the 1880s.97

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TABLE 6.4 Sex Ratios in Ongoing and Temporary Poor Relief City

Year

Berlin

1865 1870 1879 1880 1890 1900 1904–1915 ave. 1893 1898 1900 1901 1902 1900–1912 ave. 1905–1913 ave. 1893–1900 ave. 1908–1913 ave. 1901–1912 ave. 1913 1881–1885 ave. 1886–1890 ave. 1891–1895 ave. 1896–1900 ave. 1901–1905 ave. 1907–1913 ave. 1892 1907–1913 ave.

Bremen

Dresden Düsseldorf Essen Halle

Hamburg Magdeburg Leipzig

Ratio Women/Men Ratio Women/Men in Ongoing Relief in Temporary Relief 3.06 2.98 3.14 3.08 2.83 2.88 2.92 1.73 1.64 1.43 1.48 1.55 1.45 4.20 1.76 1.83 3.78 2.95 1.86 1.67 1.44 1.23 1.16 4.45 3.52 3.31

.54 .66 .28 – – – – .46 .59 .38 .34 .34 .53 – – – 1.46 .51 1.23 .55 .46 .54 .40 – .60 –

Sources: For these and other figures, see Berthold, Armenlast und Freizügigkeit, pp. 34, 36; Meinerich, Die Leistungen der Stadt Berlin, p. 33; Steinbacher, “Eingige Ergebnisse,” p. 280; Hagenberg, “Das Armen- und Fürsorgewesen,” pp. 62-63, 72; and Silbergleit, Magdeburger Armenstatistik, p. 8; Jahrbuch für Bremische Statistik (1893), p. 136; (1898), p. 150; (1900– 1904), p. 261; Bericht über den Stand und die Verwaltung der Gemeindeangelegenheiten der Stadt Düsseldorf (1893–1894), p. 108; (1895–1896), p. 106; (1896–1897), p. 115; (1897– 1898), p. 118; (1898–1899), p. 65; (1899–1900), p. 85; Jaahresbericht des Statistischen Amts der Stadt Düsseldorf (1909), p. 30; (1910), p. 34; (1911), p. 34; (1912), p. 38; (1913), p. 40; Reichelt, Die Entwicklung und Statistik, p. 82.

Indoor relief, like temporary outdoor aid, was the domain of poor men. Women were typically less likely than men to be found in poorhouses, workhouses, and other institutions for the indigent. In Berlin, men outnumbered women in the municipal and state hospitals and mental asylums, the denominational hospitals, the city homeless shelter (städtisches Obdach), and the various sanatoria and specialized clinics.98 Men also represented 64 percent of those receiving “indoor” assistance in Bremen (1901–1910 average) and



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68 percent in Magdeburg (1892). An average of 70.5 percent of the residents of the Altona poorhouse were men between 1898 and 1901, and 77 percent were men in 1910, and the Leipzig poorhouse averaged 63 percent men during the 1890s.100 In the Halle workhouse, 78 percent of the inmates were men on average between 1879 and 1888.101 A preliminary question in asking how gender figured in the actual provision of relief is whether women received lower benefits than men. We have seen that men tended to draw short-term grants of aid when conjuncturally unemployed, whereas women more commonly were on welfare for extended periods of time. The director of one Berlin Public Assistance District complained in 1880 that the volunteer visitors (ehrenamtliche Armenpfleger) tended to treat paupers who received short-term aid more generously than the “truly miserable and needy . . . relief recipient.”102 Were men treated better than women, on average? Official municipal “rates” that specified either maximum or standard benefit levels were adopted by most bigger cities before 1914. Interestingly, almost all these regulations stipulated equal rates for men and women, whether single, divorced, separated, or widowed. (In Kiel, women with children were actually promised higher levels of assistance than men with children.)103 In dual-parent families, however, men were universally considered to be the household heads. It was assumed that the husband contributed all or most of the family wage and that he required or deserved more than the wife.104 Table 6.5 shows some typical relief rates. These were only theoretical rates, however. In practice, even independent women were often given less aid than men in comparable circumstances. In Dresden, women received 3.15 marks per week on average between 1905 and 1911, whereas men averaged 3.53 marks.105 In 1896, men received much more than women in Strassburg and Frankfurt an der Oder. In Frankfurt am Main, individual men and women received roughly equal amounts of ongoing relief, but women were given much less than men as single heads of households.106 Local poor relief was designed around traditional notions of gender, sexuality, and the family. Married women were assumed to have fewer material needs than their husbands, and they rarely had the right to receive aid in their own name.107 The husband was automatically treated as the head of the household: he was expected to apply for assistance for the whole family, and he received the whole payment.108 And whereas men were brought into the cash economy and conceptualized within a logic of commodities, women were often given in-kind relief such as clothing, food, furniture, and fuel.109 Finally, in the new “scientific” social-work paradigm that emerged around the turn of the century and was only partially differentiated from poor relief, women were conceptualized even more specifically as mothers and home workers (see below).110 We saw in chapter 5 that women were not represented in the administration of national social policy. The literature on the feminization of the so-

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TABLE 6.5 Monthly Poor-Relief Rates in Selected German Cities in 1909/1910 (in marks)

City Cologne Dortmund Duisburg Düsseldorf Essen Frankfurt am Main Kiel Leipzig Munich Aachen Barmen Bochum Braunsch Bremen

Single Single Ratio Man Woman M/W

For Husband For Wife Ratio in Family in Family M/W

Amount Added to Aid for the First Three Children

22 24 15 15 22 35

22 22 15 15 22 35

1 1.1 1 1 1 1

22 10 (37 for both parents) 15 13 15 11 18 11 (43 for both parents)

2.2 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.6 1.0

less for the third less for each same for each same for each more for first same for all

20 24 20 20 15 15 15 20

20 24 20 17 15 15 15 18

1 1 1 1.1 1 1 1 1.1

(30 for both parents) 22 15 (30 for both parents) 17 13 15 11 13 11 14 7 (30 for both parents)

1.0 1.5 1.0 1.3 1.4 1.2 2 1.0

same for all same for all same for all more for first more for first same for all same for all same for all

Sources: Figures from Landsberg, “Die Armengflege,” p. 660; Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 116 (Bremen figures for 1910). It is not necessary to differentiate between maximum and absolute rates here, because the relations between men and women are of most interest. For similar figures, see Georg Schmidt, Das öffentliche Armenwesen, p. 34.

cial-work profession might leave the impression that, by contrast, women played an important role within poor relief. The idea of the sexes’ intrinsic difference gained in popularity from the Vormärz onwards, becoming especially prominent during the empire. Characteristics such as nurturing, caring, mothering, and a general orientation toward the local sphere were ascribed to women. The middle-class women’s movement emphasized women’s supposedly natural predilection for charitable work, based on their orientation toward nurturing and “spiritual motherhood.” The nonconfessional women’s clubs emerging at mid-century directed their energies toward “female” problems: mothers’ aid, day care for working mothers, infant care, the education of female domestics, and teaching hygiene, sewing, and cooking to working-class girls.111 Louise Otto, the “mother of the German women’s movement” in the nineteenth century, insisted on “das Ewig-Weibliche,” the innate spiritual and biological differences between women and men.112 The Patriotic Women’s Associations (vaterländische Frauenvereine), which were formed during the 1866 war with Austria to care for the wounded, represented motherhood as the basis for its charity activities. The moderate leaders of the late-nineteenth-century women’s movement, including Helene Lange, Gertrud Bäumer, and Alice Salomon,



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perpetuated this insistence on women’s difference, maternal instinct, and natural sensitivity as the basis for their natural advantage over men in charity and social work.113 The first program of the Federation of German Women’s Associations (Bund deutscher Frauenvereine) was concerned mainly with charity work, and the federation’s 1913 yearbook proclaimed that “within women, there is a natural wish and aptitude for helping.”114 The socialist women’s movement defended similar ideas, basing its demand for shorter work hours for women on the argument that they could then be better mothers and housewives. Socialist women’s organizations became increasingly oriented toward welfare before World War I, especially at the local level following a 1911 party directive encouraging women to engage in social work.115 Many male middle-class social reformers agreed that women were ideally suited for social work, including Lorenz von Stein.116 A Leipzig city councilor argued that poor women would get closer to female visitors than male ones, adding that relief work consisted of tasks “to which nature has primarily summoned women, not men.”117 During a discussion of women’s participation in relief work at the 1881 meeting of the DVAW, Court Chaplain Baur submitted that “a woman has no other choice, if she is a proper woman, than to engage somehow in poor relief. . . . An orderly housewife . . . cannot look at a negligent household without feeling the urge to help somehow.”118 Women, he claimed, were actually superior to men in the work of public assistance, having a stronger relation to cleanliness and domesticity. Poor relief, after all, was inevitably concerned with families: “Just as we cannot dispense with women in our own homes for our domestic existence, so, I believe, we cannot do without them in our masculine poor relief.”119 At the 1896 meetings a male official argued that women’s “gaze, which is better-trained with respect to domestic affairs,” made them better suited for welfare work with women and children.120 Similar statements were made at subsequent meetings of the DVAW, and it resolved at its 1881 conference and again in 1896 that women should be admitted as publicrelief guardians.121 Despite these moderate men’s belief in a special feminine proclivity for charitable activities, many cities actually prohibited women from holding positions as public-relief guardians until the end of the nineteenth century. The first German town to permit women as visitors was Ratibor, in 1874, and the first large city was Kassel, in 1881.122 In Bavaria, women were forbidden by state law from becoming poor-relief visitors until 1914.123 Most men agreed that women should be allowed to work in private charities, and perhaps in specific areas of public municipal assistance such as aid for orphans, youth, and mothers. The administrators of public assistance frequently cooperated with private women’s charitable organizations, and some cities even offered them subsidies.124 Yet women encountered enormous opposition in their attempts to be admitted as friendly visitors. Male

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relief visitors rebelled in Hamburg and Berlin when the city attempted to appoint female visitors.125 In their petition threatening to quit in 1896, the directors of a number of Berlin Poor Relief Commissions wrote a protest letter to the city: We protest decisively against the publicly-expressed view that poor relief in Berlin is in a sorry state and that it could only be improved through the participation of women. . . . Women may be appropriate in orphan care, but in the Poor Relief Commissions they could only have a disturbing effect due to their entire constitution, and thus some issues would have to be discussed in the absence of the women.126

An author in the Berliner Damen-Zeitung riposted against these “Spießbürger” (philistines), insisting that “charity without women is an absurdity.”127 Again in 1908, the male members of one Berlin poor-relief commission quit their office following the city council’s delegation of socialist women guardians to their district. The men were more exercised about gender and class than party politics, as their resignation letter suggested: “Our social position prohibits us from sitting down for beer at the same table with working-class women.”128 Male guardians also feared that women would be too generous in granting aid.129 Clearly the construction of gender relations in poor relief did not simply involve the paupers; the masculine identities of the poor guardians themselves were at stake. In light of this level of male resistance, it may seem remarkable that women were permitted to become relief workers at all, but all cities were eventually forced to begin accepting them.130 The Elberfeld system of poor relief required a high guardian-to-pauper ratio, and it was difficult to recruit enough men for the job. The tradition of unpaid women’s work also meant that pressures to begin paying relief guardians, as in the so-called “Strassburg system,” might be resisted.131 By 1908, as many as one million women were members of private charitable associations, but their numbers were much smaller in public poor relief. On average, only 10 percent of municipal Armenpfleger were women in 1911, although female participation ranged from zero to 67 percent.132 Women were used especially for the care of orphans, single women, families with many children, and the sick and the feeble—situations thought to require a feminine touch.133 The core logic and institutions of poor relief were barely affected by this influx of women. Municipal relief was still organized around the concern with constituting a labor market, inculcating the poor with an individualistic, self-monitoring habitus, and choking off threatening “social” disorders. Poor relief embodied certain assumptions about gender and the family, but these were not central to its explicit strategy and goals. By contrast, in the new branches of urban social reform, such as aid for mothers, infants, and youth, discourse about gender came to the fore, as women’s volunteer work started to have an impact.134 These programs are different enough from stan-



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dard poor relief to be treated separately, as part of a new paradigm of “scientific social work,” in the next chapter. The feminist movement’s specific “gender project,” its attempt to introduce feminine principles into public-welfare work, was expressed partially in this new paradigm. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF INTERCITY VARIATIONS IN POOR-RELIEF SPENDING I have discussed the general contours of the emergent poor-relief system in nineteenth-century German cities. The best means of elucidating the forces driving poor relief is statistical analysis of intercity differences in spending rates and patterns. German cities are ideal for cross-sectional statistical analysis.135 The data-gathering procedures of German cities became increasingly standardized during the Kaiserreich, due to the movement of career statisticians from city to city and to the coordinating efforts of the editors of the Statistical Yearbook of German Cities. The sample used here includes the ninety-four German cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants in 1914.136 Ordinary least squares regression is used to model per capita poor-relief spending and the proportion of poor relief given as home relief rather than institutional aid.137 THEORIES, HYPOTHESES, AND CAUSAL VARIABLES Although we are most interested in the effects on poor-relief spending of violent disruptions and other signals of potential disruption such as poverty and unemployment rates, it is crucial to include other potential causal factors as independent (predictor) variables. The choice of these variables is guided by the theoretical perspectives discussed in chapter 1. The variables, described in table 6.6, will also be used in the later analyses of municipal worker policy and proto-corporatist programs. Modernization theory sees social programs as fairly straightforward responses to objective need. Need will be measured as a function of poverty (indicated here by unemployment rates and the percentage of the local population falling under an unofficial poverty line of 900 marks per annum) and of other phenomena that disrupt people’s lives, such as urbanization (indicated by population growth). Industrialization is thought to make it easier for the local state to extract revenues and so should be positively related to social spending.138 Structural Marxist theories view the welfare state as a function of the needs of the capitalist economy. Disagreement exists as to the nature of these needs, however. At the most basic level, it might be argued that social policy is necessary to guarantee the reproduction of labor power; in this case the

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TABLE 6.6 Description of Variables Included in the Regression Analyses Independent Variables (1) Societal Theories Modernization Theory Variables: Unemployment rate Unemployment rate in 1911 Poverty rate (percentage “poor”)

Mean

0.0 3.02 78%

Population growth

531%

Population size Industrialization

183,088 11,946

Marxist Variables: Proletarianization

.56

Skill dependence

.22

Conflict Variables: Social Democratic councilors

.17

SPD party membership

.03

Union membership

.08

Capitalist organization

.74

Worker power

.63

Number of disruptions

5.84

Recency of last disruption

1.57

Description

Local deviation from all cities’ average unemployment ratea Unemployment rate in 1911 Average proportion of the population earning less than 900 marks annually, 1899–1906b The percentage change in the total population between 1871 and 1911 Total population in 1911 Number of firms in city in 1907 Manual wage workers as a proportion of the total local labor force (1907)c Proportion of labor force in sectors requiring the most skilled labord Proportion of the city councilors affiliated with the Social Democratic party (SPD) in 1911 or most recent year before 1911 for which data available Proportion of local population belonging to local SPD organization in 1911 (or most recent year before 1911 for which data available) Proportion of the local population belonging to Socialist free trade unions in 1911 (or most recent year before 1911 for which data available) Whether or not a chamber of commerce exists in the city in 1911 (coded 1 = Yes; 0 = No)e The proportion of local strikes that achieved some of their demands during 1906 (the last year before 1911 with full data)f Number of violent collective disruptions in city between 1816 and 1911 Number of years elapsed between 1907 and the most recent collective disruptiong

Religion: Catholicism

.36

Proportion Catholic in local population

Local Political Parties and Politics: Voter turnout

.55

Proportion of eligible voters participating in most recent municipal election



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TABLE 6.6 (continued) Independent Variables

Mean

Liberal councilors

.54

Voter enfranchisement

.13

(2) Combined Statist/Societal Theories Constraints on State Managers: Dependence on income taxes

Description Proportion of city councilors affiliated with liberal parties (National Liberals or left liberals) in 1911 or most recent year before 1911 with available data Proportion of population eligible to vote in municipal elections for 1911 (or most recent preceding election)

.49

Proportion of city revenues derived from locally assessed income taxes in 1911

(3) Statist Theories State Capacities Variables: Administrative complexity

17.30

Strength of bureaucracy City revenues

1,139 112.71

Number of branches in city administration in 1909 (the last year before 1911 with full data) Total number of municipal bureaucrats in 1909 Total revenues per capita in 1911 (in marks)

Social Policy Knowledge/Activism: Officials’ social policy activity Regional State Legacies: City in Alsace-Lorraine a

2.00

City’s level of activity in the DVAW (national poor relief policy association)h Dummy variable: 1 = in Alsace-Lorraine

Unemployment rates are averages for the years 1904–1911. The rates are constructed using data from the municipal and subsidized private labor exchanges. Two pieces of information are used: the number of job seekers and the number of job offers. The first step in constructing the unemployment indicator was to subtract the number of job openings from the number of seekers in a given year and dividing this figure by the city population for that year. Second, we transform these figures into standard deviations from the mean. Finally, we take the average of these standardized “unemployment rates” for 1904–1911. Similar results are obtained using the raw, unstandardized unemployment rates. b In Prussia, state income tax was paid on incomes over 900 marks; cities in Prussia and elsewhere often levied a small income tax on people earning less than that. For the estimation procedure used for nonPrussian states, see Steinmetz, “Social Policy and the Local State,” appendix 2. c Data from the German industrial census of 1907; this was the only census conducted between 1895 and the end of the empire. d The sectors included here are metals, machines, instruments, engineering, forest products, paper making, leather, and furniture. Similar results are obtained using the proportion of the population engaged in skill-intensive sectors or the absolute number employed in these sectors. e Several other measures of capitalist power were used, but none had a significant effect in any of the regressions. These included the existence of a local chamber of commerce belonging to the activist and right-wing association of heavy industry, the CdI (Centralverband deutscher Industrieller); the number of local employers’ organizations in a city belonging to the CdI; the political-activism rate of the local chamber of commerce (indicated by its participation in the national association of Handelskammer, the Deutscher Handelstag); and the concentration ratio in the “monopoly” sectors of industry.

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TABLE 6.6 (continued) f

Other strike variables were examined, including the number of strikes and the strike “volume.” These were either not significant or gave results similar to those for the strike success rate. g The “recency” variable gives cities a higher score if they had a more recent violent disruption. Coded “0” if there was no disruption in this period. I restricted Tilly’s sample to exclude events in which the populations in the main “formation” were students or military; and I include only events in which the “object of attack,” if known, was political or economic rather than religious or ethnic. h Coded “1” if in 1911 the city government was a recent member of DVAW only; “2” if city government was a founding member of DVAW; “3” if city government hosted a meeting of the DVAW but was not a founding member; “4” if city government hosted a meeting of the DVAW and was also a founding member; “0” if none of the above. Simpler operationalizations were examined, such as membership in the DVAW, but failed to yield positive results.

intensity of a city’s social policy should be related to the reliance of the local economy on attracting, retaining, and “recommodifying” proletarian wage labor. On the other hand, it might be argued that only the industrial sectors using more skilled labor would be sensitive to the costs of losing labor due to bouts of sickness or unemployment. To test these hypotheses, I include measures of the proportion of manual workers in the local labor force and the proportion of the local labor force working in the more skill-based industries. Theories that focus on “social democratic” power and fear of the working class are assessed using indicators of the proportion of socialists in the city council; the size of the local SPD chapter and the free labor unions relative to the local population; and the proportion of local strikes that were at least partially successful. The thesis that social policy was linked to violent disruptions not specifically associated with the working class is tested with variables generated from Richard Tilly’s dataset on “social protest in Germany during the nineteenth century.”139 The key indicators of social disorder are the long-term proneness of a city to collective violence, measured as the number of violent outbreaks between 1816 and 1911, and the recency of a violent disruption. Theories focusing on capitalist class power are tapped with various measures, such as whether a chamber of commerce existed in a given city.140 The influence of features of the local political system on social policy is assessed using indicators of levels of municipal voter enfranchisement and voter turnout. A rational-choice theory of politics might hypothesize that elected officials would raise social spending when they saw it as improving their chances of staying in office or gaining votes, regardless of their programmatic orientation. As noted above, higher levels of voter enfranchisement and participation typically signaled the entry into politics of lowerincome voters. Politicians might be led by such shifts to “invest” in policies that were attractive to workers. I also evaluate the impact of political parties within local government. Variables for parties other than the liberals and the SPD are not shown, however, because these were the only two parties that were both widely represented and had consistent views on social policy. Theories of the semiautonomous state are evaluated here with a measure



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of the dependence of city revenues on income taxes. The local state, like the central state, relied upon resources generated in the private economy and appropriated in the form of taxes and credits. Municipal social policies that threatened profits or upper-class incomes would therefore have been structurally sanctioned through the fear of disinvestment, capital flight, and the loss of municipal revenue. German cities generated revenues from a wide range of sources, some of which made them more vulnerable than others to the vagaries of business confidence. The most important municipal revenue source was direct income taxes, which were sensitive to “exit” by rich inhabitants.141 Cities varied greatly in their dependence on income taxes, however, and many relied on less “sensitive” duties on consumer goods, vehicle taxes, etc. The proportion of city revenues derived from income taxes should tap the political limits on the generosity of social policy. The state-centered literature focuses on state capacities and on the activism of state managers. Three measures of local capacities are used in this analysis: the size of the municipal bureaucracy, the revenues available to local government, and the complexity of the municipal administration.142 The power of a bureaucracy to promote a new social program should depend on the bureaucracy’s absolute size. The typical measure of the number of bureaucrats per capita makes less substantive sense, because the requisite number of bureaucrats is a function of the difficulty of the task, which is not necessarily related to local population size.143 Total local revenues are standardized by population, however: greater per capita revenues should predict higher social spending. Bureaucratic complexity, reflecting the administration’s modernity, specialization, and ability to solve problems, is measured by the number of municipal government branches with separate functions and personnel. Greater organizational differentiation might indicate an openness to more “advanced” social policies as well as the expertise needed to pursue them. State-centered research often focuses specifically on the role of expert social-policy knowledge in shaping policy.144 In the German Empire, specialized journals and networks of municipal officials and experts emerged around the issues of poor relief, unemployment insurance, and other social reforms.145 As the oldest area of social policy, poor relief had developed the largest corps of specialists. In 1880 they began to meet annually as the Deutscher Verein für Armenpflege und Wohltätigkeit. The DVAW debated policy issues, conducted research on relief programs and legislation, and tended to support the expansion of outdoor poor relief. The statist emphasis on bureaucratic activism and policy knowledge is assessed with a measure of the level of involvement of local officials in the DVAW. Finally, I test the possibility that the legacies of the German federal states influenced the welfare policies of cities located in those regions. An analysis including dummy variables for each of the states to which cities belonged before German unification or that continued to exist after 1871 found that only Alsace-Lorraine was significantly different from other states.

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It is therefore included in the analysis reported here. Alsace’s distinctiveness in social policy (as well as its local taxation systems, local electoral laws, and forms of government) survived from the period before the Franco-Prussian war.146 ANALYSIS OF TOTAL PER CAPITA POOR-RELIEF SPENDING Model 1 in table 6.7 presents the final results of the multiple regression analysis of total spending on poor relief per capita, standardized by a local cost-of-living index. The models presented here are trimmed equations that exclude variables that were not significant at the .10 level in univariate regressions or in the full models (shown in appendix 1). The trimmed equations also exclude variables whose effects were not in the expected direction, with the exception of working-class-power variables, for reasons that will be discussed in detail below.147 The first thing to note is the positive relationship between unemployment rates and relief spending. This finding is somewhat ambiguous: although it is consistent with modernization theory, unemployment may also have functioned as a signal to local elites of potential unrest. It is impossible to distinguish between these two interpretations here, and indeed, both may be partially correct.148 The relations between relief spending, Social Democrats, and collective violence are more complex. Relief spending was higher in cities in which there had recently been violent disruptions. High voter participation in the most recent municipal election before 1911 was also related to greater poorrelief spending, suggesting that officials were using relief to make themselves more attractive to voters. The significant negative relation of Social Democratic party membership to relief spending might seem to present a paradox, however. This finding persists over different operationalizations of labor radicalism and labor strength.149 It is important to note in this regard that although public assistance rarely appeared in the SPD’s theoretical journals, public discussions, or municipal and national programs, the Socialists were firm supporters of poor relief. The SPD did not participate in the original poor-relief debates in the Reichstag. After 1890, however, Socialist representatives in the national, state, and local parliaments struggled to improve the laws and practices governing relief.150 Bebel and the SPD parliamentary group called for legislation bringing the Saxony law into accord with the national law on freedom of movement.151 In 1893, the SPD parliamentarian Karl Wilhelm Stolle argued for centralizing poor relief and emphasized the generosity of SPD city councilors in a local poor-relief case.152 The Socialist Hermann Molkenbuhr complained in 1893 about the burdens that the 1870 Settlement Law placed on industrial cities and called for measures to distribute cities’ relief burdens more evenly.153 The Social Democrat Paul Singer said in 1896 that he had been “fighting for more than a decade in the Berlin



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TABLE 6.7 Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients for Total Poor-Relief Expenditures per Capita: German Cities, 1911 Independent Variable Unemployment rate Recency of last protest Voter participation SPD membership City revenues per capita Strength of bureaucracy City in Alsace-Lorraine Recency of last disruption × strength of bureaucracy Constant R2 Number of cases

Model 1 **

.36 (2.06) .11* (2.30) 2.27*** (3.70) −15.05** (−2.61) .00** (2.54) .03*** (5.24) −2.74** (−2.54)

1.93 .50 87

Model 2 .34* (2.01) .06 (1.18) 2.52*** (4.13) −15.52*** (−2.75) .01*** (2.73) .01 (.97) −2.69** (−2.55) .01** (2.15) 1.94 .53 87

Note: Figures in parentheses are t-ratios. * p< .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests).

city council for substantial improvements and increases in poor relief.”154 Several prominent Social Democrats also worked as municipal poor-relief guardians.155 One might thus expect the strength of labor unions, socialists, and SPD representation in the city councils to have a positive impact on poor-relief spending, especially if local politics corresponded to the “social democratic” model of the welfare state. Social-democratic theory would certainly be capable of explaining the absence of such a relationship, by assuming that socialist power falls below a certain threshold of efficacy or that socialists simply put less effort into improving poor relief than into other social programs. Yet neither of these explanations can account for the negative impact of working-class organization on poor relief. Explaining the negative effect of Social Democratic power on poor relief requires an understanding of the worldviews and strategic orientations of local elites, including their interpretation of labor militancy and civil violence. German elites thought in very different ways about the problems posed by the rise of the organized socialist labor movement and about the more traditional forms of “social disorder” represented by collective urban violence. The distinction between these different ways of imagining the so-

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TABLE 6.8 Average Total Poor-Relief Expenditures per Capita by Size of Bureaucracy and Occurrence of Violent Protest between 1906 and 1914: German Cities Violent Protest Event, 1906–1914 No protest since 1906 Protest since 1906 All cities

Size of Bureaucracy a

Small

Large

All Cities

3.22 (28) 3.40 (7) 3.26

3.67 (28) 4.66 (24) 4.13

3.45 4.37 4.12

Note: Number of cases in parentheses. a Size of bureaucracy is dichotomized at the median.

cial help to explain why a strong local socialist labor movement did not provoke a traditional relief response, and in fact predicted lower rates of relief spending. Elites were willing to expand poor relief where it could be expected to diminish protest. But where social order was threatened by working-class and Social Democratic organizations, local elites’ quest for social order was channeled in other directions, such as those discussed below. Municipal fiscal strength and local state capacities (represented by revenues per capita and the size of the city bureaucracy) were positively related to relief levels. The impact of local state capacities might be taken as support for the sort of bureaucratic “push” effect suggested by statist approaches. A different explanation is suggested by the interaction effect included in model 2 of table 6.7. The strength of the local bureaucracy appears here as an intervening variable making official interventions more effective, and not as an independent force driving welfare spending upward. Table 6.8 illustrates this in a different way. Among the sample of cities that had experienced a recent violent protest event, those with large bureaucracies had above-average poor-relief spending. Among the cities with no recent civic violence, those with large local bureaucracies had levels of relief spending that were somewhat below the overall mean.156 Finally, cities in Alsace-Lorraine had lower spending rates than cities in other states. The 1870 Poor Law had only been applied in Alsace-Lorraine since 1910. Alsatian cities thus still bore the legacy of the French poor-relief system, which relied more heavily on private assistance. ANALYSIS OF OUTDOOR POOR RELIEF Results for regressions predicting the proportion of public assistance given as outdoor relief resemble the previous results (see model 1 in table 6.9). Poverty rates are positively related to an emphasis on outdoor relief. Cities



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TABLE 6.9 Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients for Outdoor Poor-Relief Spending as Proportion of Total Poor-Relief Expenditures: German Cities, 1911 Independent Variable Poverty rate Recency of last protest Worker power Social Democratic councilors City in Alsace-Lorraine Worker power × Social Democratic councilors Constant R2 Number of cases

Model 1 ***

.86 (3.29) .01** (2.46) −.15*** (−2.97) .25*** (3.25) .53*** (5.01) −.32 .42 84

Model 2 .94*** (3.65) .01* (1.94) −.09 (−1.56) .57*** (3.60) .52*** (5.08) −.58** (−2.30) −.39 .46 84

Note: Figures in parentheses are t-ratios * p < .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests).

in Alsace-Lorraine are again distinctive, showing a relatively greater reliance on outdoor relief than cities in other states. The sorts of cases that were handled by public institutions were more likely to be treated in private charitable institutions and district-level public hospitals in France. The recency of a violent collective protest is related positively to outdoor-relief spending, as in the previous model. And extraparliamentary worker strength, measured by strike success rates, is again negatively related to the emphasis on outdoor-relief spending. Social Democratic representation in municipal councils was strongly related to outdoor spending, reflecting the socialists’ opposition to the poorhouse. A term measuring the interaction between SPD council strength and strike success has a significant negative coefficient (model 2), suggesting that city elites were willing to accept higher rates of outdoor-relief spending only where the SPD was able to keep the extraparliamentary labor movement in check. In other words, where the labor movement pursued strikes successfully, municipal notables were not reassured by the SPD’s participation in local government. In general, however, poor relief was seen by local elites as inadequate and inappropriate for dealing with the rising Social Democratic threat. The next section turns to a set of local social initiatives that were structurally similar to those pursued by Bismarck and his successors at the national level and that were based on the same principles of frontally addressing some of the grievances of industrial workers while attempting to bypass the SPD.

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THE EMERGENCE OF “WORKER POLICY” AT THE LOCAL LEVEL A range of new local social programs emerged during the 1890s that resembled the “Bismarckian” model of social policy. Although they did not displace poor relief, these policies differed from it in several basic respects.157 The breakthrough to worker policy at the municipal level began during the 1840s with the rise of municipal regulations requiring membership in sickness funds (see chapter 5). After 1849, the focus of these laws came to rest squarely on the industrial working class, now identified as the clear and present danger. Emergency public works (Notstandsarbeiten) represented another important local policy in this mold. These were public works implemented to provide jobs for the unemployed during economic downturns.158 Central states typically urged cities to carry out public works with their own funds and only rarely provided subsidies.159 During the economic crisis after 1816, many towns in Württemberg had created employment for the jobless, including voluntary Beschäftigungsanstalten (employment institutions), but these disappeared in the second half of the century for lack of funds.160 In the crisis of the Vormätz, cities in other regions had decided to run productive enterprises in order to “provide bread for the many idle poor,” and public works were created in Barmen, Elberfeld, Remscheid, Naumberg, Chemnitz, and Berlin.161 Emergency employment was also provided during the recession of the 1870s, often administered as part of poor relief.162 By the 1890s, most larger cities were beginning to create emergency public works on a regular basis. Between 1891 and 1895, 25 different cities implemented emergency public works,163 and at the peak of the 1908– 1909 recession, “as many as 200 cities employed 15,000–20,000 unemployed.”164 Table 6.10 shows the number of cities offering public employment: the first column includes cities with at least 50,000 residents in any given year; the right-hand column shows the number of cities of all sizes with Notstandsarbeiten in the years before the war. During crises, city spending for emergency works could be relatively high, although it almost never reached the levels of poor-relief expenditures. In the recession year 1908–1909, for example, Kaiserslautern spent nearly 11 percent of its tax revenues on emergency public works.165 Emergency works in Düsseldorf during the same year used up 4.6 percent of the city’s tax revenues and employed as many as 931 workers simultaneously.166 Public works became the most widespread form of explicit unemployment policy during the prewar period. Emergency jobs programs strongly resembled national social-insurance policy in terms of goals, addressees, implicit categories, and patterns of inclusion and exclusion. Like the Bismarckian paradigm, emergency works emphasized “security” over “discipline” and explicitly recognized the involuntary nature of (some) industrial unemployment. The programs were structured around the category of “worker” rather than that of “pauper.” This



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TABLE 6.10 Emergency Public Works in Cities, 1891–1911 Number of Cities Implementing Public Works by Population Fiscal Year

> 50,000 in Yeara

Cities of All Sizesb

1891/92 1892/93 1893/94 1894/95 1895/96 1896/97 1897/98 1898/99 1899/1900 1900/01 1901/02 1902/03 1903/04 1904/05 1905/06 1906/07 1907/08 1908/09 1909/10 1910/11 1911/12

8 – 9 14 8 9 7 6 5 13 23 30 13 11 5 5 28 58 25 28 24

– – – – 36 – – – – 100 – – – – – – 60 191 97 84 82

Note: No source covering all German cities is available for years prior to 1907, when the Kommunales Jahrbuch began publishing its surveys; the data from the SJdS only cover cities that had reached 50,000 by the year of the survey. The sample covered in the left column thus increases from 37 to 94 cities between 1891 and 1912. Dashes indicate no data is available. a From SJdS; and Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 298. b From Anselm Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, pp. 114ff.

distinction was reinforced by the fact that in contrast to the workhouse, participation in emergency work relief was both voluntary and remunerated, albeit at a level lower than normal wage work. Like the Bismarckian legislation, municipal public works reinforced a frontier between the respectable industrial worker and other social groups. Participation in local Notstandsarbeiten was typically restricted to those who had been working regularly before being laid off, and who were German, local citizens, older, and male. Married men, especially those with large families, were often given preference.167 As with the national social legislation, these emergency works attempted to undermine workers’ own organizations, especially the labor unions and the SPD. The latter were excluded from the administration of the public works, which were normally managed by the city or private contractors. Sometimes the emergency workers were allowed to elect their

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168

own supervisor. Of course, jobs programs may have indirectly helped labor organizations by relieving some of the pressure of the “reserve army” on employed workers’ wages. In some cases the unions and Social Democrats actively contributed to the restrictions on eligibility for emergency relief, which solidified intra-class boundaries. When proposing an emergency-works bill in 1901, the SPD group in the second chamber of the Saxon Landtag stipulated that preference should be given to nonimmigrants and married workers.169 In 1913, a pamphlet by the Munich trade union cartel demanded that a works program be restricted to Munich residents and called for measures to limit the immigration of foreign workers.170 Even by agreeing to participate in jobs programs, socialists reinforced such social distinctions. DETERMINANTS OF THE INTRODUCTION OF LOCAL EMERGENCY WORKS PROGRAMS An investigation of the reasons for the spread of emergency works programs reveals a constellation of factors similar to those operating at the national level. This section analyzes the incidence of emergency public-works programs in German cities during 1907 and 1908. The first was a year with “normal,” low unemployment rates at the end of a period with a generally healthy economic climate; by contrast, 1908 marked the beginning of a conjunctural downturn with rising unemployment.171 Most of the independent variables and data used in this analysis are identical to those used in the earlier investigation of poor relief. Unemployment rates are an exception: because the provision of emergency works might be expected to respond to immediate economic pressures, they are measured for the year in question (1907 or 1908).172 The dichotomous dependent variable—whether or not a city provided public works in a given year—is modeled using logistic regression analysis. Table 6.11 presents the results of a logistic regression analysis of the incidence of municipal public-works programs in 1907. The model in the first column includes unemployment rates in 1907; the proportion of socialist city councilors; extraparliamentary protest; capitalist political strength (presence of a local chamber of commerce); local membership in the SPD (extraparliamentary power); fiscal constraints (proportion of revenues from income taxes); and municipal voter participation.173 The second model includes the four variables with t-values of at least 1.00 in the first equation and with coefficients in the expected direction: unemployment rates, Social Democratic city councilors, SPD membership, and voter turnout rates.174 This second model provides a significantly better fit than the first one. But the level of socialist presence on the city council did not appreciably increase the likelihood that a city would provide jobs to the unemployed, according to the t-statistic. The model in column three therefore drops the SPD-coun-



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TABLE 6.11 Logit Coefficients for Provision of Emergency Work for the Unemployed in a Nonrecession Year (1907): German Cities Independent Variable

Model 1

Recency of last protest

.01 (.06) 3.26 (1.40) −85.80*** (3.54) .19** (2.14) .86 (1.20) 2.04 (1.17) 2.19 (1.21) 85.77 86 28.77*** 8

Social Democratic councilors Social Democratic party membership Unemployment rate Capitalist organization Dependence on income taxes Local voter turnout −2 log likelihood d.f. χ2(df) d.f.

Model 2

Model 3

2.16 (1.05) −75.36*** (3.44) .20** (2.35)

−70.90*** (3.40) .22*** (2.70)

2.01 (1.18) 88.85 89 25.65*** 4

2.86* (1.93) 89.97 90 24.53*** 3

Note: Numbers in parentheses are t-ratios. The chi-square statistics pertain to the test of a null model including only cutpoint parameters (−2 log likelihood = 116.17) against the fitted model. The chi-square test is important in light of disagreements about the value of t-tests for logit coefficients. * p < .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests).

cilors variable and includes only unemployment rates, local SPD membership, and voter turnout. According to a chi-square comparison, this simpler model does not provide an appreciably worse fit than the second model. Were jobs programs a response to extraparliamentary disruptions? Unemployment crises had occurred during the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, and as in the past, workers called on the central government to provide work.175 But the organized socialist labor movement only started strongly pressuring local governments during the recession of the early 1890s. Collective protests demanding local or national government-sponsored employment occurred in Cologne, Berlin, Elberfeld, Frankfurt am Main, Neukölln, Kiel, Nürnberg, and Bremen during the 1890s.176 The free labor unions called on local governments to take censuses of the jobless, and in several cities they collected their own data.177 There were numerous protests again in Berlin and many other cities during the recession of 1900–1902.178 Unemployed workers demonstrated again in German cities in 1905, 1908–1909, and 1912–1913.179 Local demonstrations by unemployed workers preceded the first emergency works programs in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Crimmitschau, Dortmund, Görlitz, Munich, and other cities.180 In Mannheim the

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administration had already planned to create emergency jobs in September 1892, but it opened the jobs earlier than planned after unemployed workers protested.181 For the German middle class, such demonstrations against unemployment were no longer momentary, if violent, threats to order but were another sign of the seemingly ineradicable cancer of Social Democracy. Even when it was not involved, the SPD was accused of being the ringleader of unemployed workers’ demonstrations. The internal records of state and local officials demonstrate the close attention that was paid to the political violence that might arise from recessions and layoffs.182 The Berlin president of police reported regularly to the Prussian minister of the interior on the economic conjuncture in the metropolis. Police observers voiced their anxiety during the 1870s that the drawn-out crisis was enhancing the credibility of the socialists’ argument that unemployment was an inevitable product of capitalism.183 As an association in the Berlin neighborhood Gesundbrunnen argued in a petition to the city council in 1877 calling for public works, “If the current crisis continues it is beyond question that . . . socialism, dangerous for the state and for the public good, will strike ever deeper roots.”184 The Berlin president of police reported that the unemployed workers’ demonstrations of February 25–27, 1891, in Berlin “arrived almost inevitably at the conclusion that the unemployment crisis is due not only to the momentarily unfortunate economic conditions but also and even especially to the dominant economic system.”185 One of these assemblies called upon the city council to create an emergency jobs program, while another declared the council’s majority to be “representatives of the capitalists and Manchester Liberals.”186 A group of textile workers in Chemnitz declared in a petition addressed to Secretary of the Interior Karl von Bötticher in 1893 that “it is in the nature of the capitalist economic system that after a short period of favorable business a bad period follows with ever greater unemployment and increasingly severe misery.” They continued that even if “our current bourgeois social order is incapable of fully eliminating this emergency, we still believe that it is the supreme duty of the Empire, as well as the state governments and the municipalities, to begin public works immediately.”187 In March 1893, at the end of a winter with particularly harsh unemployment, the Berlin police president’s report to the Prussian Commerce and Industry Ministry concluded with the reassurance that “there is no reason to fear that any more worker riots (Arbeitertumulte) will be organized during this winter season.”188 Despite these concerns with extraparliamentary disruptions, the statistical analysis indicates that they were unrelated to the incidence of municipal jobs programs. If violent disruptions were not effective in getting cities to create employment, what about the more orderly activities of the Social Democratic party and the unions? It is worth noting that the SPD called continually for the implementation of emergency public works, even if they preferred unemployment insurance.189 Starting in the early 1890s, Social



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Democratic contingents in the Reichstag and state parliaments set the tone for the SPD city councilors by introducing bills for emergency public works.190 Similar proposals were introduced repeatedly by the SPD in the councils of Berlin and other cities.191 By the decade before the war, the reformist approach had become so self-evident that the national SPD daily Vorwärts could combine an exhortation to the unemployed to take to the streets with these practical guidelines: “From their meetings the unemployed must go to the mayors, the Regierungspräsidenten, or their representatives, and demand immediate aid.”192 In the rare case where a Social Democratic majority controlled local government, emergency works were a regular component of municipal policy. In Offenbach, where the city council was dominated by the SPD during much of the time after 1900, employment for jobless workers was a permanent municipal institution rather than an “emergency” measure. Correspondingly, spending for public works responded in a systematic way to conjunctural fluctuations in employment, as shown in table 6.12.193 Nonetheless, the statistical analysis indicates that organized socialist and labor union militancy actually made officials less likely to provide employment relief. The effect of SPD city-council strength on policy introduction was not statistically significant. Clearly, emergency works did not require that socialists were represented in a given city council.194 How should we read the positive effect of unemployment rates? I would interpret this as suggesting an indirect presence of popular pressure within social policy. Unemployment was believed to trigger social disorder, and it therefore elicited emergency works in an “anticipatory” fashion. This was not the case before the 1890s, however. Emergency works were not strongly correlated with unemployment rates during the mid-1870s, the worst recession years under the empire.195 The approximate ten-year lag between the national implementation of the “Bismarckian” strategy and its local appearance reflected the delayed entrance of the socialist movement into municipal politics.196 Only after 1890 did local elites begin to develop specific measures for dealing with the socialist threat. Indicators of employer strength are unrelated to the incidence of emergency public works. Only those industrialists who hoped to profit from public-works contracts appear to have been supportive of emergency employment measures. In 1901, for example, several dozen Berlin engineering and electrotechnical firms and iron foundries recommended that they be granted contracts to provide “increased work opportunities for jobless laborers.”197 Employers who did not stand to gain from such contracts countered that there was actually a shortage of labor power in other cities and in the countryside.198 They also argued that emergency works were more expensive than regular public works, and that they would attract jobless workers from outside communities and undermine laborers’ motivation to seek work on their own. Local employers’ opinions were probably evenly divided enough on the question of job provision to cancel each other out.

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TABLE 6.12 Spending on Emergency Public Works in Offenbach, 1899–1913 Year

Marks Spent

Year of Economic Recession?

1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913

29,206 48,386 73,077 8,207 16,347 2,778 6,917 12,345 19,411 45,449 26,340 6,121 15,378 24,388 56,000

No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes

Source: Müller, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge, pp. 76–77.

Finally, the positive effect of voter turnout on policy implementation indicates that parties in power used social policy to attract voters. The indicator of fiscal constraints on local policy did not have a significant negative effect on jobs policy. PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED IN A RECESSION YEAR (1908) We have already found that unemployment rates were positive predictors of emergency works, but it is also possible that the contextual effect of a general national economic crisis could change the decision-making process for local officials. Rates of intercity worker migration were so great that local labor problems could not be separated from national trends.199 Officials may also have been more sensitive to demonstrations during recessions. Social Democrats may have pushed harder for relief during crisis periods regardless of local conditions, suspecting that local elites would be more susceptible to such calls for relief. To assess these possibilities, the following results analyze the determination of job policy during a recession year. The year 1908 was widely perceived as the beginning of a serious economic downturn.200 In 1908 the number of cities providing emergency jobs for the unemployed tripled in comparison to 1907 (see table 6.10 above). Table 6.13 presents a set of regressions on the incidence of emergencyjobs provision in 1908. The variables included in the first model are identical



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TABLE 6.13 Logit Coefficients for Provision of Emergency Work for the Unemployed in a Recession Year (1908): German Cities Independent Variable Unemployment rate Social Democratic councilors Interaction: unemployment rate × SPD Councilors Recency of last protest Capitalist organization Social Democratic party membership Dependence on income taxes Local voter turnout -2 log likelihood d.f. χ2(df) d.f.

Model 1 .09 (1.63) 2.72 (1.19)

Model 2 *

.11 (1.98) 2.22 (1.10)

Model 3 .16** (2.03) 5.00** (2.16) −.390 (1.41)

.08 (.71) .72 (1.21) −53.65*** (3.05) 1.60 (.91) 2.26 (1.45) 98.99 86 25.13*** 7

−47.42*** (2.85)

−40.73*** (2.67)

2.37** (1.59) 102.46 89 21.66*** 4

103.39 89 20.73*** 4

Note: Numbers in parentheses are t-ratios. The chi-square statistics pertain to the test of a null model including only cutpoint parameters (−2 log likelihood = 124.12) against the fitted model. The chi-square test is important in light of disagreements about the value of t-tests for logit coefficients. * p < .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests).

to the first column of table 6.11. The second model includes the four variables that had t-values of at least 1.00 in the first equation and coefficients in the predicted direction. These are the same variables as in the second model of table 6.11. Again, the SPD-councilors variable fails to reach statistical significance according to a t-test. The third model in table 6.13 attempts to account for the apparent inefficacy of SPD city councilors by including a term for the interaction between unemployment rates and the SPD-councilors variable. When this term is included, the SPD variable becomes positive and highly significant, as does the unemployment variable. The interaction term itself is negative, suggesting that where the SPD was strongly represented in the city council, high unemployment rates were less important factors in policymakers’ decisions to create emergency works. This supports the view that unemployment rates were as much a warning of potential unrest as a measure of “social need” in the neutral sense. Where the SPD was strongly “municipalized,” as signaled by its successful engagement in con-

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ventional municipal politics, elites had less reason to fear the disruptive effects of unemployment.201 Where the SPD was only weakly represented in a city council, popular extraparliamentary politics were more volatile and high unemployment continued to serve as a signal of potential disruption. This means that Social Democratic council representation was the only form of working-class pressure capable of making a city more likely to introduce jobs programs, and this only during recession years. The only other alternative, as we saw above, was for the SPD to gain absolute control of a city council. Until the municipal franchise was democratized in 1918, however, this was possible only in rather unusual circumstances.

CONCLUSION The analysis of local politics allows one to understand better the precise causal mechanisms involved in social policy, because such a controlled comparative analysis is impossible using national states as units of analysis.202 The statistical analysis in this chapter elucidated the complex relations between social policy and a cluster of “social” forces: disruptive protests, the anxiety provoked by unemployment, extraparliamentary working-class power, and Social Democratic engagement in local government. The statistical analysis also suggested that local elites were more sensitive to voter participation than the restricted electoral franchise might lead one to expect. But if social factors had the most significant effects on local policy, their causal impact was mediated by statist mechanisms. Most important were state officials’ interpretations of demonstrations, recession, organized labor, the socialist threat, and the possibilities for cooperation with the SPD. Only by taking elite interpretations into consideration is it possible to understand, for example, why violent protests raised relief spending but did not make cities more likely to create emergency employment for the jobless. By interposing official subjective frames between socialist activities and policy, we can understand why Social Democratic participation in municipal self-government generally raised the level of urban social reform while extraparliamentary labor militancy depressed it. Although intercity variations in social policy were not influenced by differences in the level and composition of local revenues, it is likely that all cities were affected more or less equally by revenue constraints. The nearly universal adoption of the Elberfeld system was certainly inspired in part by cost-saving motives, just as restrictions on eligibility for jobless relief were justified with similar arguments.203 Other dimensions of administrative capacities, to the extent that they differentiated cities at all, functioned mainly as intervening variables. We saw that local bureaucratic strength enhanced the effect of violent disruptions on poor-relief spending. The analysis of proto-corporatist policy in the next chapter will demonstrate that local state capacities played a similar mediating role, strengthening the positive impact



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of socialist city council representation on the likelihood that a city would implement municipal unemployment insurance. Local poor-relief and worker policies paralleled similar initiatives at the central level, but they differed in being more sensitive to social perturbations. Being in closer contact with the clients of social programs, urban administrators tended to put greater emphasis on the disciplinary aspects of policy. State managers, by contrast, could look down on the social field from a loftier standpoint, blocking in their visions of reform in bold, broad strokes and assuming that the detail work would be carried out by others.204 At the same time, this very insulation of the central state partially explains why its leaders stubbornly resisted more flexible techniques for dealing with the socialist threat. As we will see in the next chapter, some local governments became increasingly bold in trying out partially corporatist strategies for dealing with the social(ist) question. To some extent this simply reflected the apparently inexorable growth of Social Democracy. But local officials were not only more exposed to social problems and more inclined to recognize them than national leaders. Local governments were also more willing to experiment than the central state. This was especially true after the changes of the 1890s in local government, explored below. The extremely invasive practices of “scientific” social work were the other major innovation in urban social policy after the 1890s. These programs also reflected the municipalities’ openness to social experimentation. In contrast to proto-corporatism, however, these new programs exacerbated the disciplinary tendencies in local poor relief rather than moderating them.



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Change in Municipal Politics and the Regulation of the Social after the 1890s: Scientific Social Work and Proto-Corporatism

TWO NEW FORMS of social policy emerged, principally at the local level, between the 1890s and 1914: proto-corporatism and scientific social work. Although these social interventions had a limited material impact before 1914, they were extremely significant in adumbrating novel ways of imagining and regulating the social. The urban proto-corporatist programs that developed after the 1890s, such as social commissions and the Ghent system of municipally subsidized local unemployment insurance, pointed toward a society in which autonomous working-class organizations would participate in the resolution of social problems. These policies foreshadowed the more full-fledged corporatist arrangements of the Weimar Republic and West Germany. Their aim was to domesticate rather than to isolate the socialist labor movement by involving it directly in the regulation of the social. The statistical analysis of the introduction of the Ghent system below highlights the strategic rationality that underpinned proto-corporatist policy. Only in cities where the local worker movement demonstrated convincingly that it would focus on conventional politics and suppress radical extraparliamentary protest were local elites confident enough to bring the SPD into social management. As in the discussion of worker policy in chapter 6, proto-corporatist policy can be analyzed in terms of a specific, revised version of the “social democratic” theory of the welfare state. Scientific social work gestured toward a quite different, “biologized” or “naturalized” form of social regulation. Implicit in this paradigm was a vision of the human world that was much less “social” than in the protocorporatist policies. One form of biologization conceptualized social problems and their solutions in terms of the natural sciences, including “social hygiene,” eugenics, and bacteriology. Scientific disciplines suggested schemes of social classification that crosscut those based on more properly social categories such as class. Parts of the late-nineteenth-century middleclass women’s movement represented another source of naturalizing views of the social. Here the central categories were derived first from familial imagery, and only secondarily from science. The feminist movement’s guiding metaphor for its social-work activities was motherhood—“organized” or “social” motherhood, and motherhood as an occupation (Mütterlichkeit als Beruf). The groups targeted by women’s welfare activities were defined primarily in terms of their gender, age, and family status. The solutions for



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social problems typically involved strengthening families and bodies, and did not focus on socialist or labor organizations. Although the women’s movement was separate from the scientific social reformers, many feminists embraced scientific discourse. Some adopted eugenic arguments, resulting in areas of overlap between their activities and those of male eugenicists. In sum, the social-work paradigm strongly recalls the form of politics described by Foucault as “bio-politics.” Foucault correctly rejects interpretations that reduce body discipline to a function of capitalism; the problem is to understand the reasons for this late-nineteenth-century shift. In order to understand what made these new social-policy paradigms possible and the factors spurring their development, we first need to lay out the central changes in the structure of local politics around the turn of the century. The first section discusses these general developments in local government. The second section analyzes the two new strategies of social policy. The third section presents a statistical analysis of cities’ differential introduction of the Ghent system. This statistical analysis supports the interpretation of proto-corporatism as a sort of strategic game in which social benefits were offered in exchange for “good behavior” on the part of the Social Democrats. It also confirms the finding in chapter 6 that state capacities played a mediating role.1 CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE OF LOCAL POLITICS DURING THE 1890s Five main dimensions of change in local political structures can be dated approximately to the 1890s: (1) the decline of bourgeois control; (2) the change in the liberals’ orientation toward social policy; (3) the increasing importance of professionals and experts in local administration, especially its “social” branches; (4) the growing acceptance of women as participants in certain areas of municipal policy, especially the social branches; and (5) the entrance of organized political parties, especially the SPD, into local electoral politics, and the concomitant rise in interparty competition. We need to explore these five underlying changes in local politics in order to understand the new social strategies that emerged during this period.2 The Withering of Direct Bourgeois Control of Local Government Businessmen started withdrawing from German town councils during the 1890s and were gradually replaced by full-time politicians, professionals, “experts” of various kinds, and noncapitalist sectors of the broadly defined middle classes.3 The timing of this decline in bourgeois power varied from city to city. Capitalists had already lost control of the Berlin city council in the 1870s. In Bavaria, the Rheinland, and Westphalia, this occurred during the 1890s; only in Baden does there appear to have been “unbroken bour-

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geois domination” even after the turn of the century.4 In the majority of cities, however, the bourgeois Honoratioren began to lose their “sacrosanct position” by the 1890s.5 This decline was related in part to the weakened bonds between the heads of giant corporations and particular cities.6 Another reason for the bourgeois retreat from politics had to do with the growing demands on capitalists’ time as production units became bigger and more complex.7 Capitalists also increasingly viewed participation in chambers of commerce and national-interest organizations as more important than local politics for the defense of their economic interests. As the local notables had fewer hours to contribute to municipal duties, cities began to rely more on workers and women for volunteer work and to hire professional civil servants.8 This in turn lowered the prestige of the position of magistrate or councilor. Probably an even more significant factor in the bourgeois withdrawal was the direct challenge to their traditionally stable control over local politics by nonliberal parties. Competition increased as more people were admitted into local electorates due to rising incomes and political parties were consolidated at the national level. This challenge had three main results. The first was a sense among the middle classes of a certain pollution of local government. This sentiment was related particularly to the invasion by Social Democrats and workers of an arena that had been understood as lying outside of politics and that was central to local bourgeois identity. In the language of one contemporary study of Hamburg, the traditional “gemütliche[s] Stilleben” (comfortable still life) of civic affairs was disturbed by the Social Democrats.9 Following the election of socialists to the town councils in Barmen and Ludwigshafen, local industrialists withdrew from city politics altogether, investing their time in the Chamber of Commerce.10 A further problem was that when working-class men were admitted to local government, socialist women could not be far behind. Socialists, workers, and women were antithetical to the venerable middle-class values that informed traditional local government. The bourgeois Honoratioren did not simply abandon their posts, but to some extent were also forced out. In many cities, liberal control over the third and even the second voting divisions was increasingly contested by the Social Democrats and the Catholic Center party. In most cities using the three-class voting system, the third class fell firmly into the hands of the socialists. A Prussian law in 1900 shifted many average taxpayers from the third voting class into the second, and in Catholic cities like Cologne this allowed the Center to gain control over the city council.11 Changes in the Liberals’ Relationship to Social Policy after 1890 If they did not simply forsake politics, local bourgeois were thus forced to create formal, organized political parties of their own. This required a greater professionalization of politics, and such professionalization in turn weakened direct capitalist control over the liberal parties. The more “profes-



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sional” liberals looked favorably on the use of academically trained personnel in local government. And they were also quite receptive to reform strategies based explicitly on the social and natural sciences. Attitudes toward social reform among the liberal parties and organizations began to change in the 1890s. Because local liberal organizations were forced to compete in municipal elections with organized national parties like the SPD and the Center, they too underwent a certain “nationalization.” Many national party leaders and propagandists were also active in municipal politics.12 To understand changes in local liberalism it is therefore necessary first to examine national-level trends in liberal ideologies. Almost all strands of liberalism moved toward greater acceptance of public social policy around the turn of the century.13 The liberal political parties and associated social-policy organizations began to chart a new set of social strategies that went beyond both poor relief and Bismarckian approaches. This was true of the largest liberal party, the National Liberals, whose leader Ernst Basserman promoted a policy of state reform and increased social spending.14 Basserman sought to reduce the liberals’ distance from the moderate wing of the SPD, arguing that the radicalism of local socialist movements stood in a direct relationship to the conservatism of their liberal counterparts.15 In the 1890s, the second-largest liberal party, the Liberal Association (Freisinnige Vereinigung), moved from the “Manchesterist” self-help doctrine which had informed liberal opposition to social insurance during the 1880s to a position of strong support for social policy.16 The Vereinigung’s leader, Theodor Barth, called for tactical alliances with the Social Democrats and cultivated relations with the right wing of the SPD after 1890.17 The Berlin section of the Vereinigung even included the description “Social Liberal” in its name.18 The chancellor had to promise to renew social legislation and to pass the Imperial Law on Associations to get the Vereinigung to join the “Bülow block” coalition in 1907.19 The shortlived National-Social Association (Nationalsozialer Verein, 1896–1903), headed by Friedrich Naumann, mounted the strongest liberal defense of social policy as a means of promoting the more opportunist elements in the labor movement and a general “reconciliation of interests among the different social groups.”20 The Nationalsozialer Verein tried to work closely with labor unions, which it saw as harboring the “healthiest,” “best,” and most “tranquil” section of the working class.21 They strongly supported Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism in the SPD and favored tactical alliances with the Social Democrats in elections. Particularly during their early years, the National Socials promoted a social-policy agenda that included the right to strike and to organize unions (Koalitionsschutz), protective legislation for workers, and the extension of the broader national electoral franchise to city and state elections. During the second half of the 1890s they opposed conservative efforts to augment government repression (the Zuchthausvorlage), and they supported the striking Hamburg longshoremen in 1896–1897.22 The other major left liberal party, the Liberal People’s party (Freisinnige Volkspartei), vehemently opposed social policy and cooperation with the

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socialists until the death of its leader, Eugen Richter, in 1906. In 1910 they united with the Freisinnige Vereinigung to form the Progressive People’s party (Fortschrittliche Volkspartei). The new party’s social-policy positions were close to those of the National Socials, and Friedrich Naumann was the main speaker on the “worker question” at the 1912 party congress.23 A number of social-reformist organizations were formed during the Wilhelmine period. Like the liberals, these associations had a middle-class base and typically sought a social order “between Communism and Capitalism.”24 In 1872, a group of “socialists of the chair” had formed the Social Policy Association (Verein für Sozialpolitik).25 This was a slightly more “scientific” version of the older Central Association for the Welfare of the Working Classes (Centralverein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen), which had been founded at mid-century and continued to exist throughout the empire.26 Many of the prominent members of the Verein were close to one of the liberal parties, especially the National Liberals.27 Gustav Schmoller, a historical economist and one of the Verein’s founders, provided a revealing description of its goal: in light of the “menace to our culture” arising from the social question, “to raise, educate, and propitiate the lower classes, such that they adapt themselves in peace and harmony to the organism of society and the state.”28 Schmoller called repeatedly for a “rapprochement” with the SPD.29 These ideas could only begin to influence local policy after the reformers began to replace local notables in municipal government.30 The Society for Social Reform (Gesellschaft für Soziale Reform [GfSR]) was founded in 1901 by bourgeois social politicians, Center and liberal parliamentarians, and representatives of nonsocialist labor unions.31 Unlike the Verein, which only actively pursued political goals during its first decade, the GfSR had a consistently activist orientation.32 The society’s broad objective was to put an end to the social-political quiescence of the “Stumm Era”—named after the influential Saarland heavy industrialist Baron Karl Ferdinand von Stumm whose growing opposition to social policy received a generous hearing in government circles during the latter part of the 1890s.33 The GfSR described its goals as a realization of the 1890 “February Decrees” of Wilhelm II, which had promised a new era of social reform. The GfSR supported legislation on contract negotiations, worker councils, Arbeitsschutz, freedom of association, and new municipal social programs such as unemployment insurance.34 In 1904 the GfSR opened a Social Policy Office (Bureau für Sozialpolitik) in Berlin, which became an important link between middle-class social reformers and workers’ organizations, offering popular courses on social policy and producing policy papers for public officials.35 The local groups of the GfSR helped to bridge the gap between the middle-class and social-democratic worlds. According to a recent history of the GfSR, “The first seeds for a rapprochement between bourgeois and Socialist Democrats” occurred at the municipal level.36 Indeed, liberal reformers were increasingly influential in the realm of local social reform, whereas only the more conservative social reformers such as



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Adolph Wagner had a voice in national social policy. Some of the social projects supported by the liberals, such as unemployment insurance or strike arbitration, would function most effectively on a national scale, yet they could only be realized in individual municipalities. The liberal reformers developed a positive urban agenda, including the democratization of the municipal franchise, the replacement of working-class “rental barracks” (Mietskaserne) with smaller, more hygienic, publicly subsidized apartments, the decentralization of population and industry to the urban periphery, and the creation of a whole panoply of hygienic reforms.37 Increasing numbers of reformers became active in local government after 1890, advising municipalities, acting as labor court chairmen, working as poor-relief doctors, and being elected as councilors. Liberalism’s “social turn” began to appear in local social policy. The Increasing Importance of Professionals and Experts in Local Government At the same time, municipal governments began to hire increasing numbers of paid employees, including trained administrators, scientists, and doctors.38 The emergence of a system of urban “administration by experts” overlapped but was not identical with the social turn in liberalism.39 Among the doctors active in the new areas of public intervention grouped under the rubric “social hygiene,” there were large numbers of both Social Democrats and liberals.40 The importance of science and professionalism among local administrators sharply distinguished them from the older amateur Honoratioren. Special training academies for future municipal civil servants were created as the educational requirements for such positions rose.41 A professional ethos and administrative culture emerged, separate from local culture and local economic interests. This process was promoted by the circulation of mayors and other officials among major cities and between municipal and state bureaucracies.42 Some of the ideas the new officials brought to bear on social reform came from national economics and the proto-sociology of groups like the Verein für Sozialpolitik. Other ideas reflected the legal training of local administrators.43 Of particular importance for social policy was the influence of physicians and others with backgrounds in the natural sciences, especially adherents of the emergent field of social hygiene.44 One further result of the growing prestige of science among these circles was that eugenic ideas slowly made their way into thinking on social policy.45 The new officials’ distance from bourgeois interests and folkways created new frictions and conflicts with industrialists.46 Unlike the municipal bourgeois notables, whose policies had been rooted in the habitus and capitalist interests of their own social class, the new governing elite was able to take a longer view on the problem of integrating workers into society even if this involved challenging the bourgeoisie directly. Yet, as we saw in chapter 4, university training certainly did not turn public officials against capitalism.

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Even if these Bildungsbürger and professionals were less isolated within the administration than the academically trained mayors had been in earlier decades, they faced other constraints in implementing social policies. Most significantly, urban revenues were seen as depending on the economic activities and incomes of the bourgeoisie. Women and Local Politics A fourth change that was especially important for social policy was the growing participation of women in local politics. By 1914, tens of thousands of women were working as municipal poor-relief guardians and housing inspectors and as adjuncts to the “moral” section of the local police force in repressing prostitution and alcoholism.47 As noted in chapter 6, a large section of the women’s movement during the empire turned away from demands for legal equality and suffrage, instead embracing social work as the ideal expression of a feminine nature rooted in motherliness. Another element of this ideological shift was the belief that women were best able to exercise their feminine capacities within the local realm. Just as the American feminist Jane Addams described government as “enlarged housekeeping,” in Germany moderate feminists focused on the municipality, which they understood as a “feminine arena.”48 The doctrinal defense of this local orientation was reinforced by several external factors. Although women were not enfranchised at either the national or state levels, women with property had a limited form of suffrage in some municipalities.49 Second, there was still a widespread belief across the political spectrum that municipal government was fundamentally different from the state, a realm of administration rather than politics.50 If the local state was somehow unpolitical, men were not relinquishing political power by allowing women access to it and women were not abandoning their true nature by entering the public realm. Finally, many middle-class men played a role in bringing women into municipal social administration, accepting the claim that women’s essential motherliness made them ideally suited for work in social policy and looking for ways to cut administrative costs.51 The Ascendance of the SPD in Municipal Politics The SPD’s entrance into local government and the rising importance of working-class voters in municipal elections marked the final significant change in local politics around the turn of the century. As Adelheid von Saldern has pointed out, the early German socialist movement was deeply influenced by the Lassalian orientation toward the central state and, in contrast to France and England, “directed their social demands at the central state rather than the municipality.”52 Even in their reception of the Paris Commune the German socialists tended to ignore the commune’s specifically municipal dimension.53 Socialists in most cities did not take local elections seriously during the 1870s, and during the 1880s the party was ham-



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pered by the Anti-Socialist Law. The 1880 party congress officially approved Social Democratic participation in city elections, but a party resolution in 1888 condemned such participation.55 There were a few exceptions: the Berlin Social Democrats won city council seats in 1883, and in Bremen the SPD started electing representatives to the Senate in 1881 and had nine senators by the end of the decade.56 In the Bavarian town of Fürth, Social Democrats actually entered a governing coalition during the 1880s.57 Social Democratic attitudes toward municipal politics underwent a marked transformation during the 1890s. At the 1893 SPD party congress, participation in city elections was no longer officially condemned. The idea of municipal socialist activity gained increasing acceptance, even if some local branches continued to reject it.58 The SPD started a commission for municipal affairs in 1899, an urban affairs journal in 1901 (Kommunale Praxis), a yearbook on urban politics (Kommunales Jahrbuch), and a related book series (Sozialdemokratische Gemeindepolitik).59 Local politics were discussed at the national party congresses in 1902 and 1904.60 By 1913, there were nearly 3,000 socialist councilors in large cities and almost 12,000 representatives in cities or towns.61 With the exceptions of Offenbach, Strassburg, Mülhausen in Alsace, and Munich, the SPD held the majority of council seats only in smaller towns.62 After deciding to participate in municipal politics, the Social Democrats were forced to clarify their stance on cooperation with the liberals. In most regions the restrictive city electoral franchise virtually precluded any hope of eventual socialist majorities. The strong opposition to cooperation with bourgeois parties in national politics was therefore less tenable at the local level. A faction emerged within the SPD that saw the municipal arena as ideally suited for socialist activities.63 City government was understood by many socialists as a class-neutral realm, as somehow exempt from the reactionary control that was typically attributed to national and regional political bodies.64 Eduard Bernstein, the leading Social Democratic revisionist, supported the emphasis on the municipality, which he called “an ever more important lever for social emancipation.”65 Here Bernstein was uncharacteristically close to Karl Kautsky, the party’s semiofficial orthodox theoretician, who wrote in 1899 that the proletariat could attain more power in the cities than in the Reichstag.66 In 1908, Kautsky again expressed the depoliticized view of the local state: “The state . . . is above all an institution of domination, a mechanism for the domination of men by men. The municipality, on the other hand, is an administrative organization, a mechanism for the administration of things by men.”67 The Social Democratic Reichstag deputy Paul Singer agitated against socialist participation in the Prussian Landtag while participating in local politics for many years as a Berlin city councilor.68 Even the future Spartacist leader Karl Liebknecht participated in the Berlin city council and the municipal poor-relief commission.69 The language that socialists used to describe their municipal activities reflected this uncritical view of local government. The first socialists

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TABLE 7.1 The Growth of SPD Municipal Council Participation in Large Cities, 1907–1913 Year

Number of Cities with SPD Council of Representation

Number of Social Democratic Municipal Councilors

1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914

– 307 300 396 410 470 509 523

1,207 1,360 1,368 1,813 2,015 2,531 2,753 2,821

Source: John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” table 1, p. 12.

elected to town councils frequently referred to themselves as “pikes in the carp pond” (Hechte im Karpfenteich).70 Yet at the 1906 Social Democratic congress a speaker optimistically declared that “the times are past when municipal affairs were run by a few philistines sitting around at the pub, and when the city itself was seen as an institution for improving the business of a few suppliers.”71 An even more sanguine assessment of the prospects for local Social Democracy was ventured at the 1912 congress: The city used to be the place where the property-owners peacefully represented their individual and class interests. Since Social Democracy has drawn the city into its sphere of activities, things have changed in many places. Now the interests of workers are represented too.72

The socialist town councilors portrayed their work as diligent, conscientious, and meriting the respect of their middle-class counterparts: “Even our opponents have to recognize how competently the Socialist city councilors develop their beneficial activities for the workers in the municipal sphere.”73 It was not just competence that was being recognized, however. More important was the fact that the Social Democrats were often willing to cooperate with the bourgeois parties in a constructive manner. Some local officials extended a cautious welcome to the socialist councilors, grasping the opportunity to integrate the recalcitrant working class. The liberal city syndic Landmann of Mannheim enthusiastically described the changes in socialist behavior: “The workers’ bitter conviction that they were not being heard or understood by local government . . . was dispelled; their leaders gained . . . the insight that the elevation of the working class could not be achieved through rigid adherence to the unswerving radicalism of party dogma.”74 Local leaders in Württemberg agreed that the socialist councilors were “an element of progress, frequently with extremely salutary effects, and that they cooperate practically in municipal affairs.”75 The mayor of Göttingen explained in 1899 that “in order to eliminate the distrust of social



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policy it will be particularly advisable to include in the organization and administration of these programs the people they are intended to help.”76 The incipient “municipalization” of the SPD did not proceed without resistance. Left-wing SPD factions in Berlin and Bremen opposed their organizations’ engagement in town politics.77 Debates were provoked in 1910 by the mayoral candidacy of the Social Democrat Hugo Lindemann in Stuttgart, and again when SPD town council groups in southern German cities voted to approve municipal budgets: party tradition required that representatives vote against the Reichstag budget, but no clear position existed with respect to localities.78 In several cases SPD locals were reprimanded for breaking party discipline by forming common municipal electoral lists with nonsocialist parties.79 In some cities SPD councilors claimed to be resisting the temptations of reformist municipal socialism by using their posts mainly as a forum for agitation and addressing national issues.80 The SPD’s official adherence to Marxism prevented municipal socialism from being accepted in a fully conscious manner; instead it simply became the party’s actual practice.81 Once elected, Social Democrats pushed for the formation of labor courts, social commissions, public housing, tax reform, housing inspection, health offices, improved work conditions for municipal workers, work relief programs, unemployment insurance, and improvements in public assistance.82 The question here is whether Social Democratic councilors were effectively able to influence the course of local policy-making, and under what conditions. The analysis in the last chapter showed that SPD city council strength was correlated with more favorable forms of poor relief. Other policies, such as unemployment insurance, required a bigger political investment on the part of the ruling elites, a wager on the “trustworthiness” of the SPD and the unions. Social Democrats were generally more successful in attaining these policies in cities governed by the left liberals than in National Liberal strongholds.83 To be effective in attaining the more desirable forms of social policy, the Social Democrats also had to convince the ruling liberals of their “good intentions,” their willingness to abandon revolutionary goals and work responsibly within the system. The ability of local SPD organizations to prevent extraparliamentary social disturbances, for example, reassured city leaders and made them more inclined to support the implementation of unemployment insurance.84 URBAN SOCIAL POLICY AFTER THE 1890s Two novel forms of social policy emerged during the 1890s within the context of this new structure of local politics: scientific social work and protocorporatist social policy. It was in these areas that urban social policy truly came into its own, developing strategies for social regulation that went far beyond central state interventions.85 Municipal proto-corporatist interven-

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tions were important precursors of full-scale neo-corporatism, while some dimensions of scientific social work anticipated the radical restructuring of much social policy along eugenic lines under the Nazi regime. Scientific Social Work A new form of social intervention, which I will call scientific social work, emerged after 1890.86 The most important feature of this model was its tendency to define social questions in terms of gender, family, genetic, and other “natural” categories, i.e., to engage in a “biologization of the social.”87 The categorization of social-policy clients moved away from social class and toward schemes that were both more general and more detailed. On the one hand, this new paradigm tended to direct itself toward the entire human population; on the other hand, it diversified the groups addressed by social policy along a myriad of dimensions, defining whole new social problems and risks. Novel social agencies and forms of intervention were developed in areas like youth policy, housing inspection, health programs for mothers, infants, and school children, and policies to combat tuberculosis, prostitution, alcoholism, and venereal disease.88 The goal of social policy according to this paradigm was to prevent problems rather than treating them ex post facto. There was nothing particularly novel about this general ambition. The Prussian state had engaged in health policies since the eighteenth century, and most municipalities had created sewage systems and public slaughterhouses earlier in the century in an effort to ward off disease.89 The focus on transforming individual behavior as the key to prevention, however, emerged as the crux of the new theoretical discipline of “social hygiene” at the end of the century. Alfred Grotjahn, the Social Democratic founder of social hygiene, argued that individuals had to take responsibility for their own health.90 Social hygiene focused on “defined groups of people: namely those who endangered others through their illnesses—as in tuberculosis, for example—and those whose situation put them in particular danger, such as pregnant women, mothers, infants, etc.”91 In some respects, this paradigm resembled the older “bio-politics of population” discussed by Foucault as the socialization of procreative behavior.92 Like Foucault’s bio-power, social work made the “species body” a concern of the state. But Foucault fixes the upswing in procreative policies in the eighteenth century. The emphasis on natural science within the German social-work paradigm better fits Foucault’s description of the psychological technologies of the late nineteenth century. In contrast to the psychological technologies, however, which were still restricted in their application to the bourgeoisie, social work was directed especially at the lower sectors of the population.93 Scientific social work had many points of contact with the modern system of poor relief that had developed in Germany over the course of the nine-



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teenth century. Like poor relief—and in contrast to proto-corporatist policy—the clients of social policy did not participate in its administration. Like poor relief, scientific social work was not focused explicitly on the core working class (even if the bulk of its clients were propertyless wage earners). Like poor relief, social work attempted to individualize “treatment” while simultaneously acknowledging the trans-individual roots of social problems. The emphasis on disciplining behavior and training the body that characterized public-hygiene campaigns and correctional institutions for youth recalled similar features in poor relief. The goal in both social work and poor relief was to inculcate internalized controls rather than relying on external sanctions. In other respects, however, social work differed sharply from the nineteenth-century form of poor relief. The most important difference was in the way the trans-individual level was conceptualized. Whereas poor relief had taken for granted the existence of specifically economic and sociological phenomena, social work was drawn toward a natural, biological, and often racial imagination of the social. The new system relied on criteria from the natural sciences, especially biology, medicine, and eugenics, to redefine and relocate whole sectors of the social question into the field of “nature.” The centrality of the natural sciences in framing social problems and their solutions and lending credibility and significance to the project also distinguished social work from poor relief, which was a less theorized, rather unmediated expression of the urban bourgeois worldview. The privileged sites for social-work interventions were the family, sexuality, and the body. The central goal was the construction of “homo hygienicus”; poor relief, by contrast, attempted to create a “homo laborans.”94 Poor relief was more interested in ineffable moral qualities such as “work shyness” than in bodily functions. And as one historian notes, “Simple relief of the needy was now to be complemented by prophylactic activities, which were to prevent the needy condition in the first place.”95 Pedagogic methods therefore became central. One crucial determinant of the new paradigm was the rise of scientific professionals, especially doctors, as well as paid social workers, who were deeply involved in both the elaboration and the daily administration of policy. Even within the poor-relief administrations of the larger cities there was a shift to paid labor, i.e., from the “Elberfeld” to the “Strassburg” system.96 The experts, professionals, doctors, middle-class women’s movement, and various other social reformers shared an attraction to the sciences (social and natural). The same educated middle-class reforming forces that had agitated the state ineffectually for social reforms during the 1870s and 1880s in organizations like the Verein für Sozialpolitik now had some direct access to political power.97 One prominent representative of this scientific approach to social politics was Emil Münsterberg (1855–1911), who studied law and political science and wrote a dissertation under Gustav Schmoller during the 1880s. Mün-

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sterberg was in charge of reorganizing Hamburg’s poor-relief system after the 1893 cholera epidemic and assumed the direction of Berlin’s poor-relief administration in 1901. Münsterberg oversaw the transition from poor relief to social work in Berlin. He wrote numerous articles and books on relief and social policy and was active in the German Association for Poor Relief and Charity, which elected him chair shortly before his death.98 Most of the leading social hygienists, such as Alfons Fischer, Adolf Gottstein, and Ignaz Zadek, were medically trained. Alfred Grotjahn studied with both Ferdinand Tönnies and Schmoller.99 Another determinant of the new paradigm was the official alarm over Germany’s falling birth rate, which was seen as a threat to its military and economic viability.100 France served as Germany’s abschreckendes Beispiel (warning). The earlier Malthusian concerns with overpopulation receded and methods were sought for reducing the infant-mortality rate and reversing the decline in family size. The “male” concern with strengthening the family and the health of mothers and infants was seconded by the middleclass women’s movement.101 Women were gradually accepted as municipal social managers.102 According to one estimate, German municipalities took on 12,000 women as volunteers or paid workers between 1898 and 1913.103 “Women’s issues” thus became increasingly important in local social policy. The heightened attention to mothers, infants, and schoolchildren in municipal social policy reflected these concerns with population and reproduction and the growing presence of women in social regulation.104 Women staffed child-labor committees, poor-relief and charity bodies, school boards, infant-care committees (Säuglingsfürsorgestellen), and acted as apartment inspectors and caretakers for alcoholics and “fallen women.”105 The pedagogic side of these interventions is illustrated by the campaign to encourage breast-feeding.106 The women’s movement also tended to embrace science and draw on knowledge of nutrition and medicine. Women supplied uncontaminated milk to mothers and instructed them on its storage and preparation.107 Simultaneous with these concerns with population size and reproduction was a mounting alarm over the supposed decline in the “quality” of the population. This theme was captured in the widespread metaphor of “degeneration” and received a scientific allure through the new German field of “race hygiene,” or eugenics.108 Eugenicists also called for renewed attention to reproductive issues, but their policy recommendations were very different from those of other social reformers. The eugenicists’ acceptance of the notion of natural selection and their rejection of Lamarckian arguments about the inheritance of acquired characteristics lent a very peculiar cast to their views on social policy. Rather than simply calling for an increase in overall birth rates, eugenicists saw a need for differential birth rates among the more and less “fit” sectors of the population. Taken to its logical conclusion eugenics therefore implied opposition to social policy, which was seen as exacerbating genetic degeneration by permitting “defective” individuals to



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survive and reproduce. Eugenicists argued that medical progress and social-welfare measures “could only be offset by policies discouraging or preventing these individuals from transmitting their undesirable traits to future generations.”110 Their recommendations for so-called negative eugenic measures included limits on the number of children according to the genetic quality of the parents and sterilization, isolation, or abortion of the weak, sick, physically handicapped, and mentally retarded.111 Given the political barriers to attaining these goals, some German eugenicists called instead for “positive” eugenic measures such as raising the birth rates among the supposedly genetically superior segments of the population.112 Eugenic theory entered mainstream thought in somewhat diluted form, but it contributed to the powerful sea change in ways of thinking about the social that began in this era. Eugenics seemed to provide hard-edged scientific legitimation for the sorts of reforms that feminists and social hygienists were already recommending. Alfred Grotjahn’s writings provide a particularly striking example of the “soft” version of eugenics, in which support for an expansive welfare state was combined in a somewhat contradictory way with eugenic recommendations. The eugenicist insistence on the physical deterioration of the population seemed to confirm the widespread belief that health reforms were urgently needed. Prominent eugenicists seconded the calls for policies against venereal disease, alcoholism, and tobacco consumption, even though their rejection of Lamarckianism should have convinced them of the irrelevancy of such policies to their goals.113 Eugenics thus had an indirect impact on social policy. But strict eugenic recommendations were not put into practice during the Kaiserreich, and the biologization of the social question remained limited. The more properly “social” ways of thinking about the social were still so hegemonic that they even crept into and adulterated the writings of eugenicists such as Grotjahn. The scientific social-work paradigm was also confined mainly to the local level before 1914, and even there it had to coexist with alternative ways of organizing social policy such as poor relief, worker policy, and protocorporatism. Under Nazism, by contrast, the social was engulfed by the biological at all levels of the state.114 Is it possible to see the roots of Nazi eugenics in the biologizing and eugenic discourses of the empire? The work of Paul Weindling and Detlev Peukert on health and youth policies points directly to such a lineage.115 But the connection between Nazi eugenics and the imperial period is complex and indirect. First, it should be recalled that eugenics was neither more radical nor more successfully implemented in pre-1933 Germany than elsewhere. Indeed, eugenic sterilization policies were first put into effect in the U.S., and these served as an inspiration to German eugenicists.116 The measures of “negative eugenics” were not fully realized in Germany until after the Nazis took power. It is also important to point out that many of the mainstream German eugenicists before 1914 were not explicitly racist, even if their theory was particularly amenable to racist interpreta-

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tions. There was no necessary historical process linking the eugenics of the empire and the Nazi eugenic programs. Yet many of the ideological and practical seeds of Nazi eugenics were sown during the latter years of the empire. In order to understand the relationship between Nazi policy and early eugenics and scientific social work, it is important to think in terms of the production of social technologies and ideological raw materials that might later be radicalized, given the appropriate conditions. The Nazis drew upon eugenic ideas and more generally on the biological social imaginary. Another proto-fascist idea that emerged during the pre-1914 period was a morality based on science that placed the social-collective good above the rights of the individual. Eugenics calculated progress and regression at the level of the gene pool rather than the individual. Given the structural similarity of this collective morality to crude conceptions of class interests, its attractiveness for certain Social Democrats is not as paradoxical as it might seem. The SPD was turning away from cooperative forms of medicine during this period and toward an approach in which the class or national group became the unit of reckoning.118 Indeed, Social Democrats such as Kautsky, Grotjahn, and Eduard David argued that society should have the right to prevent “defective” people from reproducing.119 Finally, Wilhelmine eugenics provided a scientific challenge to the privateness of reproductive issues and the sanctity of the family and granted the state the moral authority to overrule the law of the father. It was partially for these reasons that eugenics was taken up by sections of the women’s movement, which was also beginning to try to politicize “private” issues.120 But the deeper affinity between feminism and eugenics was also forged at a different level. Eugenics placed at the center of public debate and policy the same problems that the women’s movement had “specialized” in—reproductive and other women’s and gender issues. Feminists may have recognized that eugenics would focus the attention of social reform on an arena where they would have greater authority. Proto-Corporatist Social Policy The second novel paradigm of social reform that emerged around the turn of the century was focused on industrial workers, but it marked a significant break with the Bismarckian model. Here elites accepted the existence not only of the working class but of the socialist labor movement as well. The model of social policy that resulted from this acceptance roughly resembled the sorts of structured interactions between interest groups and the state that have come to be known as “neo-corporatist.”121 Within the social-policymaking process, designated representatives of “labor” (here the SPD and unions) were permitted, indeed encouraged, to monopolize the articulation of workers’ interests. Moreover, these organizations were enrolled in implementing public policies and defending them vis-à-vis the rank and file.



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Examples of proto-corporatist social programs in urban Imperial Germany include the Ghent system of unemployment insurance, which will be analyzed below, and the municipal “social commissions.” The latter were consultation committees created by local governments to discuss and elaborate social policies with worker representatives.122 The first social commission was created in Krefeld in 1893. The main goal of such commissions, according to the SPD expert on municipal affairs Hugo Lindemann, was to “alleviate misery” during crises, and to promote good relations between bosses and workers.123 Temporary consultation commissions were also set up. In Essen, for example, the city created a committee with three employers, three workers, and three representatives of the municipality to study changes in the local labor court.124 The labor courts, discussed in chapter 5, were also de facto proto-corporatist institutions. Although they had originally been designed to pacify social conflict and thus draw workers away from the SPD, it soon became clear that the Social Democrats were controlling most of the worker positions on the courts. Indeed, the labor courts corresponded most closely to the “ideal type” of neo-corporatism, because they involved all three social “partners”: workers, employers, and the state. Proto-corporatist policies were addressed primarily to the more stable, industrial, male, better-paid sector of wage earners—the group that made up the bulk of the socialist trade unions. Union members were the privileged participants in the Ghent system, for example, and no real effort was made to create a viable form of unemployment insurance for nonunionized workers. In arguing for acceptance of the Ghent system in 1907, the Strassburg town councilors explicitly defended this focus on the organized sector of the working class. They were not disturbed by the Ghent scheme’s exclusion of nonunionized workers, claiming that emergency work relief could adequately solve the problem of unemployment among the unskilled, unorganized sector.125 The next section will look more closely at the Ghent system and the reasons for its implementation. THE GHENT SYSTEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AS A PROTOCORPORATIST STRATEGY OF SOCIAL REGULATION If we still had the same world view as our ancestors, we would see unemployment as a form of punishment. . . . Times have changed; nowadays the pest and leprosy are no longer the greatest horrors for humanity, instead today it’s the negative economic effects of contemporary society, above all the elevated rates of unemployment.126 —Speaker at a meeting of unemployed workers in Berlin in 1891

By today’s standards, unemployment rates between 1871 and 1914 appear relatively insignificant. Of course, it is impossible to get a precise measure of unemployment levels for any period before the 1920s, and there are

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no statistics at all for what appears to be the worst period in Germany, the 1870s.127 In 1887 the free trade unions began collecting statistics on joblessness among their members, yet as even government observers acknowledged, unionists had lower levels of unemployment than unorganized workers.128 The free unions’ minimal unemployment estimates between 1887 and 1914 show a peak of 6.7 percent in 1901.129 Yet these comparatively low levels of unemployment were experienced as extremely threatening by urban workers who had no access to land or other forms of selfprovisioning and who could not rely on family support. My own figures suggest that around 15 percent of the labor force in the larger cities, on average, made unsuccessful job applications at local labor exchanges between 1899 and 1911.130 Unemployment therefore periodically became a central theme in the labor movement throughout the last third of the nineteenth century.131 In 1871 the First International had decried “the misery resulting from involuntary unemployment” and pledged to examine the “special question[s] of . . . general unemployment.”132 The most fundamental acknowledgment of the significance of unemployment by labor unions in Germany, France, Britain, and elsewhere was the creation of relief funds specifically for joblessness.133 In France, 22 percent of trade unions were distributing jobless benefits by 1894, while all but two of the central German federations had such funds in 1914.134 Between 1891 and 1912, the German free trade unions paid 54 million marks to their unemployed members.135 And as noted in the discussion of emergency works programs in chapter 6, unemployed workers frequently called on the government for relief. As Gerhard Ritter has noted, one of the most striking features of Imperial German social policy was an absence rather than a presence: “The great gap in Germany’s system of social security before 1914 was its lack of any adequate provision against the effects of unemployment.”136 The fact that Germany preceded all other nations in implementing national insurance against sickness, old age, and industrial accidents makes this lacuna even more perplexing. Britain introduced compulsory unemployment insurance in 1911, and the French, Norwegian, and Danish governments provided subsidies for private voluntary unemployment-insurance funds in 1905, 1906, and 1907, respectively.137 Unemployment was the last major industrialization-related grievance to which the German social state turned its attention. Compulsory relief was first created in 1918, and the law on universal contributory unemployment insurance was not passed until 1927.138 The first public unemployment-insurance funds in Europe were pioneered by the town of St. Gallen and the Basel canton in Switzerland during the 1890s.139 These funds were organized like private insurance along actuarial lines, with contributions typically made by workers, employers, and the municipality. In 1900, the Belgian city of Ghent introduced a new program in which the city provided subsidies (usually at a rate of 50 percent)



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to labor unions that paid unemployment relief to their members. This left the unions completely in charge of administering the funds and controlling for “simulated” unemployment, or feigned willingness to work. Members of unemployment funds were entitled to receive benefits without having to open up their homes and lives to the prying investigations of relief agents. By accepting labor unions as a legitimate actor in the regulation of social problems, the Ghent system marked a fundamental change in welfare policy. Most of the unemployment-insurance programs adopted by German cities before the war were variants of the Ghent system.141 Despite the fairly broad opposition to unemployment insurance, a wave of program adoption was initiated by Strassburg in 1907. By mid-1914, twenty-two cities were actually allocating funds for jobless insurance.142 Most other larger municipalities had by that time already decided whether to accept or reject the Ghent system. To begin explaining the reasons for the spread of the Ghent system, it is necessary to understand the patterns of support for it, as well as the degree of opposition in some quarters. The most visible agitators for municipal jobless insurance were the municipal representatives of the Social Democratic party. In Offenbach, for example, a city that implemented a Ghentstyle system, the socialist-dominated city council worked out the plan for insurance.143 The 1910 municipal program of the Prussian branch of the SPD called on cities to subsidize labor union unemployment funds.144 Local branches of the free labor unions initiated the call for the Ghent system in numerous cities, including Strassburg.145 The original impetus behind the Ghent system in all cities seems to have come from either the socialists or the unions. Another form of ideological, if not financial, support for city jobless policy came from several of the regional state governments. During the recession of 1908–1909, Bavaria, Hessen, and Baden issued statements recommending (but not requiring) that cities implement unemployment-insurance funds.146 The memorandum of the Baden Interior Ministry singled out the Ghent system of subsidized union funds as worthy of special attention.147 A number of nonsocialist municipal politicians and social-policy experts, left liberals, and social liberals supported the Ghent system. Indeed, they were crucial in popularizing the idea that unemployment was an involuntary condition—a notion that hitherto had been mainly associated in Germany with the socialists.148 The Catholic Center party often found itself in local competition with both liberals and Social Democrats and tried to attract working-class voters by supporting policies like unemployment insurance which its national organization opposed.149 Strategic and cooptative motives vis-à-vis the labor movement played a central role in the politicians’ stance, although economic and altruistic motives predominated in their public justifications. In 1912, the mayor of Schöneberg (one of the cities that estab-

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lished the Ghent program) argued in a report to the Imperial Ministry of the Interior that unemployment insurance was needed to prevent “dangerous [social] movements.”150 Ignaz Jastrow, a social policy expert in Berlin and architect of a plan for unemployment insurance in Charlottenburg, openly expressed the hope that municipal support could have the effect of fortifying the politically less radical elements of the proletarian world and stimulating them to increased activity. This would also favor the emergence of politically indifferent worker associations interested in purely economic goals, thus contributing significantly to the “depoliticization” of the organizations.151

Many municipal authorities and local social policymakers explicitly opposed the Ghent system, however. The essence of their aversion was expressed clearly in a publication of Nürnberg, a city governed by National Liberals: the Ghent system would eliminate the “city’s neutrality in the political and economic struggle” by favoring the socialist trade unions.152 Other objections concerned the technical obstacles to unemployment insurance, especially the inadequacy of labor market statistics and the difficulties in detecting “simulated” unemployment.153 Municipal authorities also emphasized the lack of a viable system of cost distribution among industries with different risks of joblessness.154 Officials in major urban agglomerations like Berlin faced the further difficulty that workers often lived and worked in different municipalities. They also predicted that cities with unemployment-insurance funds would have to bear an unfair tax burden in comparison with other cities and would experience both deindustrialization and an influx of new workers.155 Another drawback was that most construction workers’ unions did not have relief funds and therefore would not qualify for subsidies under the Ghent system, despite their high rates of winter unemployment. Finally, many representatives of city government did not reject unemployment insurance in principle but claimed that it could only be carried out by national or state governments. This was the position adopted by the German association of municipal governments (Städtetag) and by various special subcommittees set up by city councils to study the question.156 Some commentators claimed to discern a certain amount of support for unemployment insurance among employers. The Belgian founder of the Ghent system claimed that German industrialists supported the Ghent system because it corresponded with their principle of Auslese, or selection of an elite labor force; he also claimed that employers in some German industries, such as metal and textiles, hoped that unemployment insurance would diminish the attractiveness of Social Democracy.157 The town councilors in Strassburg claimed that employers were beginning to realize that a thoroughgoing organization of both capital and labor was the best way to achieve a peaceful resolution of the social question.158 Although it is possible that individual employers perceived an economic advantage in preserving a



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skilled labor force during recessions, there is no direct evidence of employer support. Instead, industrialists and their pressure groups were almost unanimously opposed to unemployment insurance.159 The opponents ranged from the powerful Centralverband deutscher Industrieller, representing huge firms primarily in heavy industry, to regional associations and organizations of medium-sized employers, small craftsmen, and master artisans.160 Most of the German chambers of commerce (Handelskammern) decisively rejected unemployment insurance.161 The influential German Employers’ Newspaper came out against unemployment insurance.162 Town councilors affiliated with the National Liberal party provided a focal point for employer opposition at the local level.163 Employers’ associations also actively intervened against unemployment insurance. In southern Germany, the regional Association of Textile Manufacturers lobbied against municipal unemployment insurance in cities such as Augsburg.164 Bavarian employers argued against the Ghent system in discussions with the Bavarian interior ministry.165 In Offenbach, local industrialists attempted without success to force the Hessian communal control board authorities to overrule the town council’s decision to introduce the Ghent system.166 What arguments did employers marshal against unemployment insurance? First, where proponents stressed the administrative and political advantages to be obtained from involving labor unions in the Ghent system, for its detractors this was the system’s fundamental evil. The Ghent system gave workers an incentive to join unions, they warned; union members would receive higher benefits even where cities made provisions for the unorganized. Even worse, it was argued, the public subsidies could be used to nourish funds for strikers. Employers also claimed repeatedly that unemployment insurance would lower their “ability to compete with foreign powers.”167 The very existence of an unemployment problem was called into question, as in one chamber of commerce report which asserted that the protesters attending demonstrations against unemployment were actually “professionally unemployed” agitators.168 A very specific constellation of conditions was necessary for the movement in favor of the Ghent system to be successful. Local politicians had to be pushed into action by a local socialist movement, but one that was not too threatening. The SPD could not simply abstain from municipal politics, but had to be represented in the city council. Socialists also had to signal their willingness to play by the rules of conventional politics, which meant in particular showing an ability to keep disruptive street demonstrations under control. The city also had to have the fiscal and administrative resources to engage in a difficult and potentially costly endeavor. Finally, given the widespread employer opposition to unemployment insurance, it was crucial that city government be sufficiently autonomous from capitalist pressure. The significance of this factor, employer opposition, can be illustrated by a comparison of the closely matched cases of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim.169

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THE CASES OF LUDWIGSHAFEN AND MANNHEIM AND CAPITALIST OPPOSITION TO THE GHENT SYSTEM The German cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen, located just across the Rhine from each other in the states of Baden and the Bavarian Palatinate, were politically similar in many respects. Yet the Mannheim city council voted to introduce the Ghent system in 1911, whereas a similar bill was defeated in Ludwigshafen in 1913. A systematic comparison of the two cities points to the significance of industrial interests and employers’ veto power. Liberals controlled both city councils, although the Center party was also well represented, with 15.3 percent of the seats in Ludwigshafen and 12 percent in Mannheim (in 1911).170 In Mannheim the SPD held a third of the city council seats between 1881 and 1910 and controlled around 45 percent of the seats by 1913.171 The Social Democrats were even more strongly represented in Ludwigshafen, where they held half of the town council seats between 1909 and 1913, without, however, controlling the magistrate.172 A similar percentage of the population in both towns belonged to the free labor unions (9.1 percent in Ludwigshafen and 12.5 percent in Mannheim)173 and to the SPD (2.6 percent in Ludwigshafen, 3.7 percent in Mannheim).174 The SPD also received a clear majority of Reichstag votes in both cities: 61.5 percent in Ludwigshafen and 57.4 percent in Mannheim in 1907.175 Striking laborers were quite successful in the two cities: In both Ludwigshafen and Mannheim, about half of strikers’ demands concerned nonwage issues, an indicator of confidence and strength.176 Finally, the SPD town council groups in both cities introduced bills calling for unemployment insurance.177 The main differences in the fate of the bills in the two cities hinged on the interests and actions of local employers. In Ludwigshafen, the unemployment-insurance bill had gained the support of a majority of the city council, but there was bitter opposition from local industry, most importantly the BASF chemical firm. The local chemical industry had stopped sending its representatives to the city council at the end of the 1890s, following the socialists’ first major municipal electoral victory. But BASF was still able to wield enormous influence on local decisions both indirectly, through its impact on local economic conditions, and directly: the highest-taxed local firms were allowed to vote in council deliberations on the city budget. When the majority of the city council voted in favor of the Ghent system in the autumn of 1913, the industrialists cast their votes in the budget session to reverse the decision by stopping the appropriation of funds.178 This was an extreme step, given that local elites had seemed to accept that the era of “municipal politics without consideration of Social-Democratic demands” was over.179 In Mannheim, however, the local employers’ association agreed to cooperate with the city’s plan to create a system of subsidized savings accounts



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for unemployment aid in 1911 and did not openly oppose the program’s expansion to include subsidies for union jobless funds the following year.180 Why did the Ludwigshafen industrialists react so differently from their counterparts in Mannheim? One key reason has to do with the nature of their labor-force requirements. The chemical industry clearly dominated the Ludwigshafen economy by the 1900s and relied mainly on unskilled labor.181 Mannheim employers, by contrast, bemoaned the shortage of “first-class labor power” in the city.182 Unemployment insurance was a program for the labor elite, for consolidating a stable labor force, and not for the easily replaceable mass of unskilled workers. The level of concentration and political power of industry in Ludwigshafen was somewhat unusual, however. In most cases, employers were not as powerful in local affairs by the turn of the century as they had been earlier. Therefore it is important to weigh the influence of some of the other determinants and their interactions. The statistical analysis in the next section will attempt to elucidate the conditions leading some cities to embrace the Ghent system. LOGISTIC REGRESSION ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GHENT SYSTEM The dependent variable for the analysis in this section is the presence or absence of subsidized unemployment insurance in a city before 1914.183 Logistic regression analysis is used to model the dichotomous dependent variable. The data and independent variables used here are nearly identical to those employed in the analysis of poor relief in chapter 6 (see table 6.6 for an overview of the variables). The exception is that for cities that introduced the Ghent system, independent variables are measured only for the years preceding implementation. Table 7.2 presents the basic results of this analysis. Model 1 of table 7.2 includes each of the variables that were statistically significant in the expected direction at the p < .05 level in a series of initial univariate logit analyses (see appendix 1). Unemployment rates are positively related to the introduction of the Ghent system, as are local state capacities, represented here by administrative complexity. The coefficient for SPD city council seats is positive and significant at the .10 level (in a one-tailed t-test). Liberal control of the city council bears a strong negative relation to the implementation of the Ghent system. The coefficient for the effect of income tax dependence is also negative, suggesting that social policy was readily “censored” in cities that depended heavily on income taxes for their revenues. But the coefficient is too statistically insignificant to be retained in subsequent models. Although cities in Alsace-Lorraine were more likely to introduce the Ghent system, this effect drops out when the other variables are controlled for. This suggests that in the case of unemployment insurance, unlike poor relief, we

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TABLE 7.2 Logit Coefficients for Presence of Unemployment Insurance before 1914: German Cities Independent Variable Unemployment rate Social Democratic councilors Liberal councilors Administrative complexity Dependence on income taxes City in Alsace-Lorraine

Model 1

Model 2

Model 3

Model 4

**

**

**

2.58 (2.49) 5.64

2.45 (2.61) 7.12**

2.54 (2.64) 6.84**

2.73** (2.60) 46.37*

(1.65) −12.12** (−2.08) 1.31*** (2.96)

(2.18) −11.83** (−2.14) 1.25*** (2.98)

(2.02) −12.47** (2.19) 1.30*** (2.89)

(1.93) −13.07** (2.06) 1.17*** (2.85)

−.01 (.44)

.16* (1.68)

24.50 88 43.4*** 5

−.46* (1.76) 19.91 87 48.0*** 6

−4.67 (−1.20) −.08 (−.03)

Recency of last protest Social Democratic councilors × recency of last protest −2 log likelihood d.f. χ2 d.f.

22.92 87 44.9*** 6

24.69 89 43.2*** 4

Note: Numbers in parentheses are t-ratios. The chi-square statistics pertain to the test of a null model including only cutpoint parameters (−2 log likelihood = 67.86) against the fitted model. The chi-square test is important in light of disagreements about the value of t-tests for logit coefficients. * p < .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests).

can replace the proper names of states by explanatory variables.184 Model 2 includes only the variables that were significant in the first model. The chisquare test suggests that model 2 provides as good a fit as model 1, with fewer variables. The “political” variables clearly matter here, as in the analysis in chapter 6, but they bear a different relationship to unemployment insurance than to poor relief. The negative effect of liberal council strength is understandable in terms of the liberals’ sensitivity to capitalist opposition to unemployment insurance.185 Socialist representation on the town council, by contrast, contributed positively to the implementation of the Ghent system.186 Clearly, the ruling parties were willing to compromise with the less powerful Social Democrats under certain conditions. But what were these circumstances? I



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TABLE 7.3 Percentage of Cities with Unemployment Insurance by Proportion of SPD Councilors and Occurrence of Violent Protest between 1906 and 1914 Violent Protest Event, 1906–1914 No protest since 1906 Protest since 1906 All cities

Percentage of SPD Councilorsa Low

High

All Cities

0 (29) 10 (20) 4

23 (30) 13 (15) 20

12 12

Note: Number of cases in parentheses. a The SPD councilors variable is dichotomized at the median.

have argued that poor relief and unemployment insurance were located within different conceptual and strategic orientations to the problem of social regulation. Unemployment insurance was part of a strategy directed toward the long-term domestication of the Social Democratic party, rather than its temporary pacification. One would not therefore expect violent disruptions to make officials more willing to pursue reforms such as the Ghent system. To test this hypothesis, model 3 adds an indicator of the recency of the last violent protest. The coefficient for this protest variable is not significant, however.187 Table 7.3 shows the likelihood that a city had unemployment insurance, broken down by the proportion of SPD councilors and the occurrence of a violent protest during the period when the Ghent system was on the municipal agenda (1906–1914). In cities that had experienced at least one violent incident, the proportion of SPD councilors had no influence on the likelihood of unemployment insurance. Only in cities that experienced no violent protest were the socialists able to have an impact. The significance of this effect is also illustrated by the interaction between SPD city council strength and the recency of the last violent protest, presented in model 4 of table 7.2. This supports the argument that the majority parties were willing to embark on a course of quasi-corporatist compromise, as represented by the Ghent system, only where they believed this would lead to a pacification of the labor movement. The SPD was viewed realistically as the only organization capable of bringing the street under control. The final puzzle concerns the positive effect of administrative complexity on the introduction of the Ghent system. I argued in chapter 6 that bureaucratic capacities should not be seen as autonomous causal mechanisms, but rather as mediating the translation of collective violence into poor-relief spending. A similar interpretation is suggested by table 7.4, which explores the relations between administrative complexity and socialist city council strength. Administrative complexity seems to have had a positive effect on unemployment policy only within the subsample of cases in which Social

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TABLE 7.4 Percentage of Cities with Unemployment Insurance by Proportion of SPD Councilors and Administrative Complexity: German Cities Number of Social Democratic City Councilors None Some All cities

Administrative Complexitya Low

High

All Cities

0 (26) 4 (33) 3

8 (12) 35 (23) 26

4 21

Note: Number of cases in parentheses. a The administrative-complexity variable is dichotomized at the median.

Democrats were represented on the municipal council. This conclusion must be more tentative than in the earlier analysis, however, because the coefficient for the interaction between complexity and Social Democratic council seats was not statistically significant, nor did it improve the overall fit of the model in logistic regressions not shown here. Table 7.4 strengthens the conclusion that state capacities worked in conjunction with other causal forces, and were not an independent factor in the expansion of the (local) welfare state. State capacities enhanced the capacity of Social Democratic council groups to push successfully for the adoption of unemployment-insurance subsidies. As state-centered theory suggests, (local) state capacities contribute to the explanation of public policy. But strong state capacities alone did not lead cities to increase their poor-relief spending or to adopt unemployment-insurance schemes. More complex administrative structures increased the probability that a city would adopt the Ghent system only where some socialist councilors were on the town council.188 Poor-relief spending and unemployment insurance in urban Imperial Germany played similar economic roles: both were available to able-bodied jobless workers and helped to ease labor market frictions. However, political factors are more important in explaining differences and intercity variations in the two types of policy. The two systems were situated within distinct worldviews and strategies for establishing domination and social order. The proto-corporatist approach to labor radicalism could be characterized as a form of “positive integration,” turning Guenther Roth’s classic analysis of the “negative integration” of the working class in Imperial Germany back on its head.189 Quasi-corporatist politics were directed at the elite of the working class. Here, the German middle classes reconciled themselves to the existence of a permanent organized labor movement, which they decided to enlist in running the welfare state. By making limited concessions to municipal socialism, urban rulers accepted the SPD as a permanent player in the sociopolitical arena. This approach contrasted sharply with the ostracism of



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the SPD within national and regional parliamentary politics. This strategy also clashes with the prevalent image of the German middle classes as conservative, exhausted, and ineffective even within their urban refuge.190 As social-democratic theories of the welfare state predict, socialist representation in Imperial German town councils sometimes contributed to the expansion of the Ghent system and to increased spending on outdoor poor relief.191 Nonsocialist parties in the city councils sometimes agreed to support bills whose initiators or primary backers were Social Democrats. Probing into the reasons for the effectiveness of conventional political strategies by the Left also pointed to the ineffectiveness of extraparliamentary disruption in hastening the introduction of the Ghent system. Indeed, violent protests actually seemed to lower the ability of SPD municipal councilors to obtain subsidies for unemployment insurance. Where Social Democratic parliamentarization was not accompanied by a decrease in disruptive protest, elites were unwilling to cooperate with the SPD in pursuing more “advanced” social policies. (They were, however, inclined to raise poor-relief spending under these circumstances.)192 Acceptance of the Ghent system was part of an effort by local elites to deradicalize and integrate the labor movement. By granting an important labor demand, it was hoped that bonds of loyalty would be created between workers and the state, and that the appeal of the more revolutionary strands of Social Democracy would be weakened. Labor militancy and extraparliamentary protest had no impact on social policy precisely because reforms would typically only be granted where the Social Democratic movement demonstrated willingness to adhere to and enforce the parliamentary game rules. Only conventional political participation, not strikes or riots, was able to produce results. The proto-corporatist paradigm of social regulation represented the apogee of social-policy experimentation in prewar Germany. Of course, the German cities’ programs tended to lack the third key element in full-fledged corporatism: employer participation. But they included the other central ingredient: namely, the state’s willingness to involve labor unions and the political parties closely tied to the working class in socioeconomic policy. This was only possible at the local level, where the intransigently antisocialist conservatives in charge of national politics were marginal. It was also only possible after 1890. Capitalists, most of whom were unwilling to imagine a less antagonistic relationship to workers, became less important actors in local government. They were replaced by an urban liberalism increasingly oriented toward social reform and optimistic about the possibility of integrating the socialist working class into society. At the same time, a pragmatic, reformist wing of the SPD emerged after 1890 that showed a willingness to forgo extraparliamentary militancy. Although corporatist ideas were only beginning to have a material impact before 1914, and were found almost exclusively at the local level, they were highly significant in sketching out an approach to social regulation that

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would be used extensively at the national level in the Weimar and Federal Republics. Tripartite corporatist arrangements first emerged at the national level during the latter part of World War I, culminating in the Stinnes-Legien Agreement of October 1918 and the Central Working Community (Zentralarbeitsgemeinschaft) in November 1918. The Concerted Action (Konzertierte Aktion) operating between 1967 and 1977 was the broadest and most formal of a series of ongoing consultative frameworks involving labor, employers, and the state in West German socioeconomic planning.193 The other significant developments in welfare policy during the Wilhelmine period contributed to a biologized paradigm of social regulation, one that shifted attention from socioeconomic categories to natural ones. The main birthplace of these ideas was the professional and scientific milieu of middle-class reformers. The focus on motherhood and the family within the women’s movement contributed to the naturalized view of the social. Women’s-movement doctrines and scientific discourses on welfare overlapped in some areas, such as the concern with hygiene, population, and improving health and genetic “fitness.” Some of the ideas and practices emerging in scientific social work between 1890 and 1914, such as welfare programs for mothers and infants, left a perfectly benign legacy for later social policy. Other aspects of scientific social work, however, played a role in later Nazi policies. Eugenics reached a gruesome culmination in the Nazi period, when it was applied to a wide array of “degenerate” groups and categories: Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, and other groups defined as inferior races; homosexuals, prostitutes, alcoholics, vagabonds, beggars, criminals, the “feeble-minded” and crippled; and people with other diseases assumed to be hereditary or chronic.194 The measures inspired by hereditarian eugenics or racial hygiene included the sterilization law of 1933 (Law to Prevent Hereditary Sick Offspring),195 the medical killing of children and adults, castration, laws forbidding marriage among the “less fit,” obligatory abortion, imprisonment in concentration camps, and ultimately the gas chambers. Yet while technocracy and the “spirit of science” were a necessary component of the Nazi program of racist eugenics, they cannot be held responsible for it. Nor can the eugenicists of the Kaiserreich be blamed entirely for the Nazi eugenic programs. Eugenics was neither intrinsically racist nor genocidal, even if it was necessarily a system of distinction and discrimination.196



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Conclusion THIS BOOK has explored the development of four different paradigms of social regulation and the factors shaping their implementation at the local and national levels of the nineteenth-century German state. I have argued that the formation of social policy is a complex process that can rarely be explained in terms of a single causal mechanism or “theory of the welfare state.” In the first part of this conclusion I will attempt to draw together the various strands of the explanation presented in this book, paying special attention to the differences between the determination of policy at the local and central levels of the state and to questions of timing. (For a detailed summary of the separate explanations of each of the four paradigms, the reader is referred to chapter 2.) In the second part of this conclusion I will return to the question of German exceptionalism. Here I will consider what this study says about the overall modernity and Bürgerlichkeit of the German Empire. I will also try to specify the limits on what a study of the pre-1914 period can contribute to an understanding of Nazism and Nazi “social” policy. MODELS OF THE LOCAL AND THE NATIONAL STATE The literatures on local politics and state theory are so segregated into different journals and academic disciplines that it would seem that they are discussing two fundamentally different objects. One of the goals of this book has been to discuss these two levels of the state together, in order to compare them systematically. State theorists often seem to assume that local politics are determined at a higher level of government and are therefore uninteresting. Certainly, the federal and national German states provided the context for local politics and constrained the actions of city governments, whereas individual municipalities’ influence on central states was quite limited. Yet as I argued in chapter 6, Imperial German cities were quite autonomous in their policy-making and fiscal resources, making them worthy objects of study. The degree of difference between local and central social politics underscores the appropriateness of such a comparison. An initial contrast is that the site of the greatest intensity of social-policy innovation and experimentation moved back and forth between the local and central levels over the course of the nineteenth century. From the middle decades of the century until the 1880s, localities were the most important agencies in social regulation, particularly through the application of poor relief. Starting with the Prussian Industrial Code and Poor Law of the 1840s,

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central state authorities slowly became more engaged in social regulation. But until the 1880s most of this central social-policy legislation simply ratified the already-existing programs of municipalities or provided broad guidelines for their functioning. The national state only surpassed local government as the central axis of social-policy innovation during the 1880s and the early part of the 1890s. With the emergence of the new worker policies, proto-corporatist programs, and scientific social work around the turn of the century, local governments again became the pacemakers of social regulation. How can this shifting balance of social activism be explained? The most important reasons have to do with two sorts of ongoing transformations in central and local states: changes in their internal structures and changes in their relationship to nonstate actors. Until the 1890s, most city governments were controlled directly by the local bourgeoisie and were therefore finely attuned to their needs and interests. The quintessentially bourgeois Elberfeld system of poor relief was the product of this fusion between dominant class and (local) state apparatus. At the same time, bourgeois control meant that local governments rejected any programs or demands associated with organized workers, especially Social Democratic ones. Only after the local bourgeoisie vacated its public offices around the turn of the century (in most cases) were municipalities able to begin experimenting with social strategies that were less allergic to organized labor.1 Although the local electoral franchise was more exclusive than the national one, the exodus of bourgeois notables opened up municipal politics to a variety of middle-class forces that were marginal in national politics: social liberals; experts, professionals, and scientists; and even the middle-class women’s movement. The fact that local government was the first to put into practice each of the four paradigms of social regulation is also related to a general peculiarity of the relationship between local and central power in nineteenth-century Germany. The difference was often captured by claims that local government was somehow more porous or vulnerable to pressures emanating from the social. Clearly, this contrast did not have to do with physical proximity or distance. State officials were not necessarily more removed than local officials from social disturbances because they worked in offices with thicker walls and a more restricted view of the street. The difference had to do with social distance and with the consensual understanding of the place of local government. The “ideology of the city” constructed local government as a sort of extension of society, as the “self-government” of the citizens, in contrast to the Hegelian “idea of the state” as an autonomous entity hovering over society. Correspondingly, the membrane that was interpolated between local state and local society was seen as thin, whereas the barrier separating national state from national society was thought to be nearly impregnable.2 Moreover, both central and local officials seemed to assume that the municipality was in the forefront of crisis management and that it would take responsibility for certain regular social tasks such as the micro-management of the poor.3



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The different social-policy strategies at the central level stemmed from the character of its officials and the nature of its relationship to the industrial bourgeoisie. As I argued in chapter 4, upper-level German officials believed in an activist state. This activist stance was specifically oriented toward promoting industrialization. The state’s reliance on economic growth for the pursuit of its own agenda reinforced its sensitivity to industrial needs. Industry was essential to the states’ own stability and resources. At the same time, the indirectness of the relationship between state and industry meant that there was greater leeway for government officials to pursue a relatively independent course of action. Civil servants’ socialization and tradition reinforced a belief in the value of state interventionism. The precise character of the state-industry relationship changed over time, however, as did the interests of industrial capitalists and the socialpolicy views of leading officials. The burst of national social policy during the 1880s can be traced to two factors: the positive social agenda of key officials and bureaucrats, including Bismarck, and the approval of industry. The absence of either of these factors could restrain social–policy-making, however, and the absence of both could bring it to a standstill. After 1890, the large industrial associations turned sharply against new social programs, and they remained vehemently opposed until 1914. This opposition severely limited the government’s ability to engage in social experimentation throughout the period. During the early 1890s, with Count Leo von Caprivi as chancellor and Baron Hans von Berlepsch as Prussian commerce minister, limited protective legislation was passed even against industrial opposition.4 But social–policy-making came to a particular standstill during the mid1890s, when both the chancellor (Prince Clodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingfürst) and the Prussian commerce minister (Ludwig Brefeld)—the two offices that had traditionally motivated social–policy-making—joined industrialists in opposing new social legislation. After 1899, the state secretary of the interior, Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner (1897–1907), initiated a somewhat less ambitious program of social reform which consisted mainly of changing and unifying existing laws.5 Because of industry’s particular opposition to the SPD, state officials had to avoid any appearance of conciliating Social-Democratic demands. This precluded the sorts of quasi-corporatist integrative strategies that were being tried out by local officials (except in the partially state-owned Prussian mining sector).

EXCEPTIONALISM REDUX In the introduction I discussed the well-entrenched “exceptionalist” reading of German history. Among the problems with most exceptionalist literature on the empire is that it (1) elides and fails to define the adjectives modern and bourgeois and conflates both of them with liberal democracy; (2) idealizes the history of democracy in Germany’s western neighbors; (3) assumes teleologically that all elements of Nazism had deep historical roots going back

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to at least the nineteenth century (thus committing what David Hackett Fischer has called the “fallacy of presumptive continuity”).6 What are the implications of nineteenth-century social policy for the debate around German exceptionalism? Let us consider first the category of modernity. It is obvious that Germany was “exceptional” in being the first country to introduce national social insurance, but it is difficult to see this as an indicator of deep structural backwardness. Rather, the German state and German municipalities were unusually perspicacious, introducing social programs that were closely studied and emulated in other industrialized countries. Perhaps the German state’s traditionalism was located not in its policies but in the nature of its political process. Without a strong legacy of top-down state intervention, it is unlikely that Imperial Germany would have been first in embarking on a course of compulsory social policy. Yet it is extremely unhistorical to view this interventionist tradition as a sign of premodernism. State interventionism is not an invariant category. In terms of forms of state intervention, Imperial Germany more closely resembled the Keynesian regimes of the mid-twentieth century than the feudalism-promoting monarchies of the seventeenth century.7 One could argue that the German welfare state was “modern” in the limited sense of prefiguring the policies of other states. I would argue, however, that it would be a mistake to try to redefine the Kaiserreich using this purely descriptive, historicist definition of modernity. Some critics retain the exceptionalists’ definitions of tradition and modernity. As Thomas Nipperdey writes, “German society before 1914 was . . . segmented in a traditional way, and at the same time, on its way to modern pluralism.”8 Nipperdey thus simply reverses the categories, embarking on a project to emphasize the empire’s “modern” characteristics. The meanings of modernity and tradition in this discussion are already so fixed that it is a mistake to accept these terms of debate: modern designates an idealized Western liberalism; tradition refers to all that is non-Western. Even though this book could be used to support a reading of the Imperial German state as modern in the sense of prefiguring forms of social policy that were later widely adopted elsewhere, I would prefer to avoid using the term. My specific use of the term modern would run the risk of being confused with the currently prevailing meanings. If modernity does not provide a helpful analytic category, can the German Empire be described instead as bourgeois? As discussed above, the relationship between state and society during the empire forced German officials to tailor their own agenda to the interests of capitalism and systematically to promote industrialization. Moreover, most of the state and local social policies of the post-1848 period were based on the assumptions and categories of bourgeois industrial society and were designed to stabilize capitalist social relations. By no means did German social policy support “neo-feudal” social classes or agricultural production at the expense of industrial capitalism.



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However, the category “bourgeois” is also problematic. My rejection of the thesis that the German state was agrarian, antimodern, anticapitalist, or autonomous from society does not entail the alternative reading that the German Empire was fully bourgeois. First, state policy was not unified. Although the nonbourgeois background of the highest governmental officials did not lead to anti-industrial policies, the German state was still inordinately attentive to Junker and agrarian interests. Second, as noted in chapter 4, there are various ways in which state policy can be considered bourgeois. Some analysts may view a policy as bourgeois because capitalists favor it; but policies developed by noncapitalist policymakers may actually be more beneficial to private industry and financiers. Certain policies favor particular “fractions” of capital, perhaps those seen as crucial for the consolidation of hegemonic support for the social formation; other policies seem to be directed at maximizing profits or economic activity in general. Although German policy was generally conducive to industrial development, the most important capitalist associations such as the CdI complained constantly about the state’s uncooperativeness after 1890. In the social field, the post1890 state went beyond what the largest industrial capitalists considered wise. A summary statement about the state’s relationship to explicit bourgeois interests could only say that industrial interests were usually given preference over agrarian ones when a choice was unavoidable. Policies are also ambiguous when viewed in isolation from capitalist demands and preferences, i.e., in terms of their “objective” Bürgerlichkeit. On the one hand, social policies were designed to strengthen capitalist labor markets, to reinforce self-regulating, market-directed behavior, and to undermine the SPD. On the other hand, a regime that minimized social policy and relied mainly on poor relief and private charity, like most of the other states in capitalist societies during the 1880s, could not be characterized as any less bourgeois. It is necessary to transcend the dichotomous, either-or categories that have solidified as a result of the German Sonderweg debate and to develop more fine-grained categories. This will require new research on every area in the Kaiserreich, research that is not prestructured by the inherited categories. A new picture of the Kaiserreich might emerge that is more complex than the rather stark alternatives that dominate the current discussion. As soon as the exceptionalism thesis is rejected, the relevance of the nineteenth century for explaining Nazism is also thrown into question. No longer is it possible to interpret nineteenth-century Germany or its welfare state as containing the seeds of Nazism in the sense of an inevitable outcome. Instead of viewing the Kaiserreich as leading inexorably to Nazism, one should explore instead the creation of ideological and political raw materials that were later used by Nazism. The Nazis mainly used materials that were already in existence, rather than creating them de novo, and some of these materials indeed dated to the imperial period (others, such as anti-Semitism, were much older, and some were more recent, such as the use of the mass media or the paramilitary style of Nazi street politics). Instead of explaining

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Nazism in terms of the Kaiserreich, this sets up a new research agenda similar to Foucauldian “genealogical” research: rather than assuming that all the elements of Nazism developed together, at the same pace, from the same roots, it would disentangle each element and trace its emergence separately. The question then arises, at which particular moment and for which reasons were these elements brought together into a new formation? For example, Nazi eugenics could be followed back to the eugenic wing of nineteenthcentury social hygiene and the ways in which it articulated with other elements of Nazi practice explored.9 This is obviously a question that research focused entirely on the Kaiserreich cannot answer.



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APPENDIX TABLE 1 Complete Regression Models for Poor-Relief Spending and Unemployment Insurance: German Cities Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients Independent Variable

Unemployment rate Poverty rate Population growth Population size Industrialization Proletarianization Skill dependence SPD party membership Union membership Capitalist organization Worker power Number of disruptions Recency of last disruption Catholicism Liberal councilors Social Democratic councilors Voter enfranchisement

Total PoorRelief Spending Per Capita

Outdoor Relief Spending as Proportion of Total Relief Spending

(1)

(2)

Logit Coefficients for Probability of a City Introducing Unemployment Insurancea (3)

*

.38 (1.86) 1.20 (.40) −.02 (−1.44) .00 (.75) −.25 (.83) −1.43 (−.86) .67 (.41) −10.37 (−1.42) −8.27* (−1.96) −.04 (−.12) .29 (.52) .02 (.50) .06 (.86) .41 (.64) −.12 (−.11)

−.06*** (−2.94) .62* (2.02) .00 (−.76) .00 (−.70) .03 (1.02) −.05 (−.29) −.02 (−.11) −.06 (−.08) .09 (.22) .03 (.89) −.17*** (−2.93) .00 (.09) .01* (1.99) .01 (.08) .02 (.15)

1.49*** (3.38) −14.30** (−2.30) .01 (.45) .00 (.17) .04 (.00) −2.90 (−.86) 1.17 (.34) −18.16 (−.02) 8.15 (1.05) −.10 (−.14) .13 (.08) .01 (.53) .08 (.63) 1.14 (1.03) −6.74** (−2.48)

.01 (.01) 2.29 (.59)

.33*** (2.66) .01 (.02)

7.47*** (3.52) 4.88 (.62)

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APPENDIX TABLE 1 (continued) Unstandardized OLS Regression Coefficients Independent Variable

Voter participation Dependence on income taxes Officials’ social policy activities Administrative complexity Strength of bureaucracy City revenues City in Alsace-Lorraine Constant R2 Number of cases

Total PoorRelief Spending Per Capita

Outdoor Relief Spending as Proportion of Total Relief Spending

(1)

(2)

Logit Coefficients for Probability of a City Introducing Unemployment Insurancea (3)

2.92 (3.47)

−.11 (−1.35)

2.61 (1.53)

1.19 (1.30)

−.08 (−.86)

−5.85*** (−3.13)

.13 (.84)

−.02 (−1.01)

.52 (1.95)

.01 (.92) .00 (−1.09) .00* (−1.84) .55*** (4.45) −.06 .57 84

.72*** (3.26) .00 (.23) .00 (.53) 2.90** (2.29)

***

−.09 (−1.27) .03** (2.63) .01** (2.41) −2.83** (−2.25) 1.93 .62 87

94

Note: Numbers in parentheses are t-ratios. * p < .10; ** p < .05; *** p < .01 (two-tailed tests). a These coefficients represent simple univariate regressions. With such a small N, it is impossible to fit a logit regression model with this many independent variables.



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INTRODUCTION 1. Sociological studies confirm the welfare state’s contribution to workers’ “emotional tranquillity”; see especially van Stolk and Wouters, “Die Gemütsruhe.” Peter Baldwin has shown how the middle classes eventually longed for the welfare state’s embrace; see Baldwin, Politics of Social Solidarity. 2. Ewald, “Versicherungs-Gesellschaft,” p. 288; see also Ewald, L’état providence. 3. The biggest gap is perhaps in the area of health care, where more than thirty million people currently have no health insurance at all. During the current recession, fewer unemployed workers are receiving unemployment benefits than at any other time since the 1930s, when the federal legislation was enacted. Money for job retraining and public-works employment was slashed during the 1980s. Even the old-age social-security program, that segment of U.S. social policy that is most comparable to the European welfare states, fails to reach large segments of the population that do not have steady and legal employment. The decentralized nature of much social legislation and public finance in the U.S. also leads to huge regional and local differences even in programs that are federally mandated, such as unemployment insurance and the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) program. 4. See, most recently, Esping-Andersen and Micklewright, “Welfare State Models.” Although the U.S. has an array of national and local social policies that parallel many of the programs found in Europe, its “welfare state” is much smaller than in countries at comparable levels of economic development, according to measures such as state social spending as a percentage of GNP. Moreover, many of the forms of risk that Western European social programs are meant to address, such as day care and maternity leave, are barely acknowledged as risks in United States legislation. Social programs in the U.S. are also less universalistic in their coverage, and the benefits provided to members of such programs are less equal than in European countries at comparable levels of economic development. See Esping-Andersen, Three Worlds, p. 70; Block et al., The Mean Season; Weir et al., Politics of Social Policy. 5. I am referring here to the those who are supplying the free-market theoretical justification for the welfare state’s dismantling, e.g., Murray, Losing Ground; Cohen and Friedman, Social Security. For a discussion of these debates, see Wilson, “Cycles of Deprivation”; and Weir et al., “The Future.” The general criticisms of the assumptions behind rational-choice theory apply to the free-market welfare-state critics here with equal force; see Wacquant and Calhoun, “Intérêt, rationalité.” This is not to say that these rational-choice assumptions are necessarily linked to an attack on the welfare state, of course. 6. This starts with Marx’s discussion of nineteenth-century English factory legislation in the first volume of Capital. 7. Paradoxically, some of the new social movements’ efforts to democratize social policy through decentralization have dovetailed with the Right’s drive to privatize the welfare state. See Margit Mayer, “Politics in the Post-Fordist City”; and Steinmetz, “Regulation Theory.”

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8. The classic statement of the “Whig” view of the welfare state is Marshall, “Citizenship and Social Class.” 9. See especially Foucault, Discipline and Punish. On the notion of the social, see Procacci, “Notes,” p. 14, “Social Economy,” and Sociology and Its Poor”; Donzelot, Policing of Families; and Deleuze, “Rise of the Social.” Cf. also Dean, Constitution of Poverty. 10. There is a large literature on regulation theory. See in particular: Jessop, State Theory, pp. 307–337, and “Regulation Theories”; Boyer, The Regulation School; Aglietta, Theory of Capitalist Regulation; Brenner and Glick, “The Regulation Approach”; Lipietz, Mirages and Miracles; and Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity. 11. My use of the word regulation also differs in this respect from Piven and Cloward, in Regulating the Poor. 12. See, for example, Keohane, “Theory of Hegemonic Stability.” 13. I will leave to exegetes the question of whether this was the actual meaning of Foucault’s comments on “indiscipline” and “revolts, at the level of the body” in Discipline and Punish and the “ars erotica” in The History of Sexuality, not to mention the “Unreason” of Madness and Civilization. See Discipline and Punish, pp. 30, 291–292, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1, pp. 57–71, and Madness and Civilization. On the functioning of these categories in Foucault, see Baudrillard, Forget Foucault. The notion of “government” (or “governmentality”) that Foucault was developing in the last years of his life is discussed in more detail in the next chapter. See Foucault, “Governmentality”; and Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality.” 14. It is important to reiterate that my use of the term modern to describe the welfare state does not imply a value judgment concerning the preferability of specific arrangements, nor is it rooted in one of those teleological schemata in which empirical history is reduced to mere deviations from a pregiven universal developmental narrative. In such theories, as Laclau and Mouffe have shown, the tentative, contingent, and unstable nature of social relations and social change is repressed in favor of a view of social history as a rational, centered process structured around some transcendental signifier. In such perspectives, empirical history can only be repetition, and individual events are “spatialized,” i.e., time is reduced or collapsed into space: “The spatialization of the event’s temporality takes place through repetition, through the reduction of its variation to an invariable nucleus which is an internal moment of a pregiven structure. . . . Any teleological conception of change is therefore also essentially spatialist” (Laclau, “New Reflections,” pp. 41–42). See also Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony. My use of the term modern here is meant to signal that the German welfare state introduced a model of societal regulation that was widely adopted (if not openly praised) in other advanced capitalist countries during the first half of the twentieth century. I ask the reader to keep this definition in mind when the word modern appears. It might have been preferable to use a different term, as modern is already laden with a variety of sedimented and conflicting significations. Yet these are important as “shadow” significations in the present context, given the long-standing interpretation of the Imperial German state as premodern. I address these issues in more detail in my paper, “The Myth and the Reality.” 15. E.g., Köhler, Arme und Irre, p. 113. 16. On Hamburg’s 1788 poor-care system, see Köhler, Arme und Irre, pp. 94–95; Duda, Die Hamburger Armenfürsorge; Lindemann, Patriots and Paupers; and Kraus, Die Unterschichten Hamburgs. On the Elberfeld system, see most recently Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit”; also Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Ar-



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menfürsorge, vol. 1; and chapter 6 below. On its reception in England: Hay, “British Business Community,” p. 115; Rose, “Crisis of Poor Relief,” pp. 66–67; Reulecke, “Formen bürgerlich-sozialen Engagements”; also Doyle, Poor Law System; Hanewinkel, The Elberfeld System. In Austria: Lachner, Die ersten vier Jahre; and Cardona, “Die Armenpflege.” In France: Moll-Weise, “La femme.” 17. The Prussian and German poor-relief laws are discussed in more detail in chapter 5. Austria had a system similar to Prussia’s Unterstützungswohnsitz (relief residency system) until 1863, when it reverted to the hometown relief residence system (Heimatwohnsitz); cf. Krabbe, “Von der Armenpflege,” p. 161, note 10. 18. For French reactions to German social insurance, see Stone, Search for Social Peace, p. 5; for Britain, Dawson, Social Insurance; and Hennock, British Social Reform; on American and English enthusiasm for German urban planning and local policy, see especially Dawson, Municipal Life; James, Municipal Administration; and most recently, Ladd, Urban Planning, pp. 7–35. 19. See Lass, Die deutsche Arbeiterversicherung. Similar guides were published in English for other exhibitions, including the Brussels and Paris exhibitions: see Zacher, Guide to the Workmen’s Insurance (1897 and 1900). 20. My feeling is that although so-called diffusion of innovation probably does play a role in the spread of social policies, it can only be a partial explanation for phenomena like the welfare state. Historically, social policies do not seem to be adopted by all states according to diffusion patterns (e.g., simultaneously, or corresponding to the “arrival” in a country of the idea in question, or following the adoption of the policy by other “reference” states, or according to a stochastic process). The real explanatory task is not to show how novel ideas spread but to explain why, after such ideas are “diffused,” some states act on them while others do not. For a defense of a diffusion model, see Collier and Messick, “Prerequisites versus Diffusion.” 21. On the dangers of comparative work, see MacIntyre, “Is a Science.” 22. Cf. Eley, “German Politics.” 23. Habermas, “Defusing the Past.” 24. Overviews of the Historikerstreit can be found in Eley, “Nazism, Politics”; and Wehler, Entsorgung; the essential texts are published in ‘Historikerstreit.’ The more recent wave of “totalitarianist” comparisons of the GDR and Nazi Germany is a much less elite intellectual phenomenon and more like a transformation of mentalities. For a critical analysis, see Jäckel, “Die doppelte Vergangenheit”; for a response, Buch, “Umgekehrter Historikerstreit?” 25. Przeworski, “Methods,” p. 32. 26. The critique of the Sonderweg thesis began with Blackbourn and Eley’s brilliant Mythen deutscher Geschichtsschreibung, which was followed by their Peculiarities of German History; see also Eley, From Unification, and his more recent essays, especially “German History” and “Liberalism, Europe.” The extensive responses include Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Deutscher Sonderweg; Moeller, “Die Besonderheiten”; Groh, “Le ‘Sonderweg;’ ” Grebing, Der ‘deutsche Sonderweg’; Evans, “The Myth”; Caplan, “Myths, Models”; Kocka, “Der ‘deutsche Sonderweg,’ ” and “German History”; Faulenbach, “Eine Variante”; and Aschheim, “Nazism, Normalcy.” See also the important Bielefeld Bürgertum project, led by Jürgen Kocka and inspired by the Blackbourn/Eley critique; Kocka, Bürger und Bürgerlichkeit, and Bürgertum. A recent study assessing the exceptionalism approach is M. F. John, “The Final Unification,” and the revised version, Politics and the Law.

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27. The basic elements of the Sonderweg thesis are repeated in the writings of nineteenth-century German liberals and social scientists such as Hugo Preuss and Max Weber; American scholars as diverse as Thorstein Veblen, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Fritz Stern; German and European Marxists, including Marx himself, Georg Lukács, and many official historians of the erstwhile German Democratic Republic, such as one of its “founding fathers,” Alexander Abusch; and many West German historians from the 1960s through the 1980s. The paradigmatic exceptionalist account of the Kaiserreich is Wehler, The German Empire, discussed in chapter 4. Of course there is also an older, conservative version of the Sonderweg thesis which praises Germany’s supposed deviation from the West rather than condemning it; cf. Faulenbach, Ideologie. Attempts to code Germany’s “exceptionalism” positively have not disappeared in conservative circles and resurface periodically; see Habermas, “The New Intimacy.” 28. Wehler, Das Deutsche Kaiserreich, pp. 17, 233, for the explicit grounding in modernization theory. The same consequences can be derived from an orthodox “stages” version of Marxism; see, for example, Lukács, Zerstörung, pp. 37–83; cf. also chapter 4 below. 29. Taylor, Course of German History, p. 68. 30. Wehler, “Nicht verstehen,” p. 70. 31. Eley, “German History,” pp. 12–13. 32. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 148. 33. Wehler, German Empire, pp. 132–136, quotes from p. 136. Wehler does not demonstrate that contemporary West German social interventions actually do redistribute national income, however. 34. Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy, pp. 47, 193, 252, etc. 35. This is the subheading of Gaston Rimlinger’s discussion of early German social insurance, in Welfare Policy and Industrialization, p. 112. 36. See Puhle, “Deutscher Sonderweg,” p. 45. See also the more recent opinions of Wehler which seem to exempt municipal politics and state social policy (as well as scientific research) from the negative balance sheet on the Kaiserreich. Wehler, “Vorzüge und Nachteile,” p. 33. Note also that Wehler’s treatment in his Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte of the social policy during the 1850s also stresses its relationship to the 1848 revolution and industrial capitalist needs; Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, pp. 776–777. Rather than evoking a “failed” modernization, this passage seems to be securely located within the standard developmental scenario of modernization theory, discussed in chapter 1. 37. See Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung. 38. Weindling, Health, Race. See also Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus; von Kondratowitz, “Old Age,” and “Old Age under National Socialism.” 39. Abrams, “History, Sociology,” p. 5. CHAPTER ONE 1. I expand upon the centrality of an unexamined received interpretation of the Prussian-German state to the neo-Weberian theoretical tradition in my paper, “The Myth and the Reality of an Autonomous State.” 2. See especially Bhaskar, A Realist Theory of Science, The Possibility of Naturalism, and Scientific Realism. My thoughts on these issues are deeply indebted to Erik Olin Wright. See especially his “Reflections on Classes.”



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3. Weber, The Protestant Ethic, p. 47; see also Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre. 4. Jessop, State Theory, p. 12. 5. Ibid., p. 341. 6. This may seem an odd characterization of sociologists, who are more frequently accused of throwing together a hodgepodge of “independent variables” to see which have the most predictive power in their regression equations, with little interest in the theoretical systems from which the variables are derived. Rather than collapsing the levels of theory/mechanism and explanation/event, this approach eliminates theory altogether. 7. Some authors assume that concrete empirical evidence should be examined to “test” abstract theories. This sometimes leads to a peculiar use of historical evidence, in which, rather than trying to explain an empirical fact, the author mobilizes such facts selectively to support the abstract theory. One can only surmise that the high prestige of abstract theory in the social sciences blinds authors to the epistemological inconsistency of this “pillaging” of the concrete. 8. Hayden White, The Content of the Form, Tropics of Discourse, and Metahistory. See also Danto, Analytical Philosophy of History; Dray, ed., Philosophical Analysis and History; Mink, Historical Understanding. 9. Cf. Geyer and Jarausch, “The Future of the German Past,” p. 251. 10. See Rock, “Some Problems.” 11. Wright, “Reflections,” pp. 57–58. Of course some experiences fail to correspond to any actual “event,” although they may be influenced by them: UFO sightings, for example, might be caused by a combination of conceptual categories and real atmospheric events. 12. This is not to say that commitment to a theoretical concept should be invulnerable to empirical evidence. But a specific piece of evidence may not be decisive for at least two reasons: (1) because “data” (or “experiences” in Bhaskar’s language) are determined not only by events but also by the scientist’s categories, attention, and observational technology, and (2) because the effectiveness of the mechanism in question is overshadowed, or even suppressed, by other mechanisms. Where racial or gender discrimination is very salient, for example, class may be submerged and play little role in shaping subjectivity, even though it continues to exist as an objective pattern of surplus flows between groups. The distinction between underlying mechanisms and concrete events is the basis of the realist rejection of empiricism. 13. Note that deconstructionists need not deny the existence of an external reality; cf. Laclau and Mouffe’s comments on this issue in their response to Norman Geras, “Post-Marxism without Apologies.” 14. Laclau frequently describes arguments that he accepts as “correct”; see “New Reflections,” p. 13. 15. Jessop, “Anti-Marxist Reinstatement,” pp. 287–288. 16. See Jessop, State Theory, pp. 7–8; Timothy Mitchell, “Limits of the State.” Along similar lines, see also Abrams, “Notes on the Difficulty”; Nettl, “The State as a Conceptual Variable”; and Vincent, Theories of the State, pp. 2, 10–11. 17. Parsons, The Social System, p. 113. 18. This is not to say that the state-society dichotomy may not accurately characterize certain social formations and historical moments. But some of the obvious realms that have appeared in history as distinct from both state and “civil society” would include law, the family, and the mass media. Contemporary systems theory is illuminating with respect to the general issue of social “topography”; see Luhmann,

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Politische Theorie im Wohlfahrtsstaat; Teubner, Autopoietic Law; Willke, Entzauberung des Staates; and Jessop, “Political Economy.” 19. Abrams, “Notes on the Difficulty,” p. 76. 20. Of course, German theorists were much less important than the English and French in developing classical and liberal theories of the state. And even the tradition of state autonomy, strongly associated with Hegel and other German writers, began at least as early as Machiavelli (whom Hegel admired). “With Machiavelli we stand at the gateway of the modern world . . . the state has won its full autonomy” (Cassirer, Myth of the State, p. 140, see also pp. 121–122). 21. There is a large literature on this question; see especially Dyson, State Tradition; Rantzau, “Glorification of the State.” 22. Skocpol’s States and Social Revolutions, for instance, deviates sharply from the state-autonomy approach announced at the outset of the book in its treatment of the historical cases. See Timothy Mitchell, “Limits of the State.” 23. On the state, see especially Jessop, Capitalist State; Carnoy, The State and Political Theory; Hall and Ikenberry, The State; Benjamin and Elkin, The Democratic State; and Jürgens, “Entwicklungslinien.” On social policy, see Skocpol and Amenta, “States and Social Policies.” 24. The secondary literature on cameralism is discussed below. For one of the last examples of pure cameralism, see Baumstark, Kameralistische Encyclopädie. The cameralist tradition can be traced through Hegel’s Philosophy of Right; Schmoller, “Die soziale Frage”; Bluntschli, Theory of the State; Hintze, Gesammelte Abhandlungen; Weber, Gesammelte politische Schriften, and Economy and Society. See also Albion Small, The Cameralists. Small recognized the importance of this lineage for the social sciences, although he did not continue his study past Sonnenfels. 25. Foucault, “Governmentality”; Pasquino, “Theatrum politicum”; Engelhardt, “Zum Begriff der Glückseligkeit”; and most recently, Axtmann, “ ‘Police’ and the Formation of the Modern State,” esp. p. 44. 26. Cf. Maier, Ältere Deutsche Staats- und Verwaltungslehre; Baum, Zur Geschichte staatlicher Sozialpolitik; Peter, Probleme der Armut. 27. On “enlightened absolutism,” see Krieger, Essay on the Theory; Niedhardt, “Aufgeklärter Absolutismus”; von Voltelini, “Die naturrechtlichen Lehren.” 28. Axtmann, “ ‘Police’ and the Formation,” p. 48; on Sonnenfels, see Small, The Cameralists, chapters 28–31. 29. Cf. Avineri, Hegel’s Theory; Kaufmann, Hegel’s Political Philosophy; Cassirer, Myth of the State, pp. 248–276; Weil, Hegel et l’état; Riedel, Zwischen Tradition und Revolution; Taylor, Hegel, pp. 428–461. 30. Philosophy of Right, pp. 266 (paragraph 182, addition), 132 (paragraph 205), 148 (paragraph 238), 149 (paragraph 241), and 208–216 (paragraphs 321–340). 31. See Stein, History of the Social Movement; and Böckenförde, “Lorenz von Stein.” For an overview of the large literature on Stein, cf. Blasius and Pankoke, Lorenz von Stein; and Schnur, Studien. An interesting comparison of Stein and a more liberal nineteenth-century German writer on society and social policy, Robert von Mohl, is given in Angermann, “Zwei Typen.” On Huber, see most recently Hindelang, Konservatismus und soziale Frage; Shanahan, German Protestants; and Huber, Hubers Ausgewählte Schriften. On Wagener, see Saile, Hermann Wagener. The relations between these and other conservative writers on social policy are sketched in Blasius, “Konservative Sozialpolitik.”



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32. Hindelang, Konservatismus und soziale Frage, pp. 108–109; Blasius, “Konservative Sozialpolitik”; see also Pankoke, Sociale Bewegung, pp. 194–201. Huber differed from Wagener and Stein in preferring self-help and worker cooperatives to direct state funding of social programs. 33. Böckenförde, “Lorenz von Stein,” argues, however, that Stein failed in his attempt to demonstrate the inevitability of the welfare state. 34. Cf. Böckenförde, “Der Verfassungstyp.” 35. Theda Skocpol claims Weber and Hintze (but not Schmitt) as forefathers of the state-centered perspective: see Skocpol, “Bringing the State Back,” pp. 7–8. See also Hintze, Gesammelte Abhandlungen; Weber, Gesammelte politische Schriften; Beetham, Max Weber; Büsch and Erbe, Otto Hintze; Schmitt, Concept of the Political and Political Theology; Ulmen, “The Sociology of the State.” 36. Hintze, “Der Beamtenstand,” p. 95; cf. also Weber, “Bureaucracy.” 37. Hintze, “Roschers politische Entwicklungstheorie.” 38. Hintze, “Economics and Politics,” pp. 451–452, and “Der moderne Kapitalismus,” p. 412. Elsewhere Hintze wrote that the lower classes were “exercising an ever stronger influence on the life of the state.” Cf. “Wesen und Wandlung,” pp. 473–474. 39. “Economics and Politics,” p. 452. 40. Weber’s famous insistence on the need for a “value-free” science of sociology was expressed in the secession of the separate German Sociological Association from the Verein für Sozialpolitik. As Lepenies notes, “The statutes of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie, of which [Weber] was cofounder and ‘comptroller,’ bear clear marks of his hand and his convictions. Paragraph 1 of these statutes lays it down that the advancement of sociological knowledge shall proceed through purely scientific investigation and inquiry” (Lepenies, Between Literature and Science, p. 248). See also Pankoke, “Sozialpolitik,” pp. 84–89. Of course Weber did not (and could not) adhere strictly to his separation of values and science: see, for example, his Freiburg Antrittsvorlesung, “The National State.” 41. The quote is from Hintze, “Roschers politische Entwicklungstheorie,” p. 4; Weber’s scattered statements on social policy are collected in Mommsen, Max Weber, pp. 101–123. 42. Weber, “Parliament and Government,” pp. 1390–1391; Mommsen, Max Weber, p. 120; and Schäfers, “Ein Rundschreiben.” 43. See Timothy Mitchell, “Limits of the State.” This might seem somewhat paradoxical given Skocpol’s debate with Sewell on the importance of ideology and description of her own approach as “structural.” See Sewell, “Ideologies,” and Skocpol, “Cultural Idioms.” But Skocpol continually emphasizes ideology, referred to alternately as “policy legacies,” “knowledge,” or “orientations”; see Weir and Skocpol, “State Structures”; Orloff and Skocpol, “Why Not Equal Protection?” 44. Schmitt, Concept of the Political, p. 45; see also Julien Freund, L’essence du politique, pp. 443–537. 45. Another indirect contribution to the German tradition tying together the themes of culture and the autonomous state was the work of Ernst Kantorowicz, including his first book, Frederick the Second. Of course, Machiavelli had much earlier emphasized Rome’s use of religion to strengthen the state; cf. Cassirer, The Myth of the State, p. 138. 46. The connection between strong states and the “total state” that is evident

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in Schmitt gestures toward the more threatening side of state autonomy, a dimension that is strikingly absent in the recent writings of American “statist” theorists. 47. See Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions, and “Bringing the State Back”; Stepan, State and Society. On state-centered theory see also Krasner, “Approaches to the State,” and Defending the National Interest; Van den Berg, The Immanent Utopia; Cammack, “Bringing the State Back In”; Levine, “Bringing the State Back In”; Jessop, “Anti-Marxist Reinstatement,” esp. pp. 278–288; and Jürgens, “Entwicklungslinien.” 48. Nordlinger, On the Autonomy; see also “The State.” 49. See Niskanen, Bureaucracy; Borcherding, Budgets and Bureaucrats; Dubiel, “Neue soziale Bewegungen.” 50. State capacities are generally but not always seen as enhancing state autonomy; but for an illustration of declining state economic capacities correlating with increased overall autonomy, see Stepan, “State Power.” For a contrasting argument about the state’s efficacy undercutting its autonomy, see Rueschemeyer and Evans, “The State and Economic Transformation,” pp. 68–70. 51. In sociology, see especially Elias, Power and Civility, pp. 8–14; Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions; Giddens, The Nation-State; and C. Tilly, Coercion, Capital. Tilly has argued for distinguishing the internalist/externalist dimension from the issue of the state’s dependence on the economy. One can be state centered and deny the determination of the state by the economy, while seeing the state as completely determined by the geopolitical system. (Note that Tilly refers to this as a “geopolitical” position. A “statist” approach in his vocabulary is “internalist,” attributing no power to the international states system.) 52. See Orloff, Politics of Pensions; Orloff and Skocpol, “Why Not Equal Protection”; Heclo, Modern Social Politics; Krasner, “Approaches,” pp. 224–225; March and Olsen, “New Institutionalism”; Spittler, “Abstraktes Wissen.” Statists often invoke the rather neutral notion of “knowledge” rather than ideology, culture, or practice; e.g., Rueschemeyer and Evans, “The State,” pp. 52–53; and Weir and Skocpol, “State Structures.” For an interesting discussion of the state as a self-description by state managers, see Luhmann, “Staat und Politik”; and Abrams, “Notes on the Difficulty.” 53. Evans, Rueschmayer, and Skocpol, “On the Road,” p. 359. 54. Skocpol, “Bringing the State Back,” p. 21. See especially Katznelson, “Working-Class”; Laitin, “Hegemony,” and Hegemony and Culture; also Birnbaum, States and Collective Action. 55. Block, “State Theory in Context,” p. 20. 56. Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action, vol. 2; Hirsch, Der Sicherheitsstaat, and “The New Leviathan.” 57. Timothy Mitchell, “Limits of the State,” p. 91. 58. Jessop, State Theory, p. 341. 59. See Karl Marx: Early Writings. The contention that Lorenz von Stein “discovered” class struggle as the motor of history before Marx is of less importance in the present context than Marx’s reversal of Hegel’s prioritizing of the state over civil society, as early as 1843–1844. Stein was responsible for “fusing the Hegelian tradition with the French movement” in social theory, but he did not develop a new theory of the state (Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, p. 363). 60. Riedel, Zwischen Tradition und Revolution, p. 62. Marx’s relation to Hegel is of course much more complex than suggested by this formula. As Althusser took



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great pains to point out, Marx did not simply “turn Hegel on his head”; this simple inversion characterized Feuerbach, who substituted a materialist essentialism for an idealist one. Marx broke with Feuerbach’s humanism and “extracted the rational kernel from the mystical shell” of Hegel’s dialectic: that history was a process without a subject (or if a subject, one of a complex and nonhumanistic sort). Also like Hegel, Marx conceived of history as a dialectical process. Unlike Hegel, Marx’s historical dialectic was nonteleological (contrary to much “Marxist” commentary) and had class struggles rather than nations as its “moments.” See especially Althusser, “Marx’s Relation to Hegel,” and “Contradiction and Overdetermination.” 61. Jessop, Capitalist State, p. 1. 62. First quote in Capitalist State, pp. 9; second quote from Marx and Engels, “Manifesto,” pp. 110–111. 63. Jessop, Capitalist State, pp. 10–11. 64. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, p. 635. See also Booth, “Karl Marx on State Regulation.” 65. From The Poverty of Philosophy, quoted in Poulantzas, Political Power, p. 49. 66. Capital, vol. 1, p. 395. 67. Other former Marxists have followed Foucault in rejecting the emphasis on the state, broadening their sights to encompass the multiple dispersed loci of capillary power. They are discussed at the end of the chapter. 68. Because of the specific theoretical debate within which the term instrumentalist was coined, a preferable overarching label for this approach is “direct capitalist control.” The original designation of “instrumentalist” Marxism came from the standpoint of a “structuralist Marxist” state theory, according to which the modern state was intrinsically capitalist in its very structure. “Instrumentalists,” by contrast, were accused of believing that a revolutionary socialist movement could simply lay hold of the old state apparatus and begin using it immediately for its own ends, without attending to the class interests supposedly inscribed into the very machinery of the state. The problem with the term instrumentalism, therefore, is that it implies acceptance of a specific view of states in capitalist societies as inherently capitalist. See the review of instrumentalist and structuralist Marxist theories of the state in Gold, Lo, and Wright, “Recent Developments.” For a critique of East German “state-monopoly-capitalism” theory that applies with equal force to instrumentalist and enlightened capitalism approaches, see Kocka, “Organisierter Kapitalismus,” pp. 26–27. 69. Poulantzas and other commentators have assimilated instrumentalist Marxism and the so-called social-democratic theory of the state, lumping them under the category of what Jessop calls “class theoretic” (as opposed to “capital theoretic”) approaches. See Jessop, “Marxism, Economic Determinism.” Yet the social-democratic approach has not regarded the state as a mere “instrument” or even as a simple transcription of the current balance of class forces. The U.S. literature on enlightened capitalism up to 1986 is reviewed by Skocpol and Amenta, “States and Social Policies.” For recent analyses that focus on the causal role of liberal business leadership along with other factors, especially working-class protest, see Jenkins and Brents, “Social Protest”; Ferguson, “From Normalcy to New Deal”; and Quadagno, Transformation of Old Age Security. C. Wright Mills emphasized earlier that business liberals had accommodated themselves to the New Deal; see Mills, The Power Elite,

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p. 122; and the discussion in Domhoff, “The Wagner Act.” Also Domhoff, “Corporate-Liberal Theory”; and Melling, “Industrial Capitalism.” 70. Jones and Novak, “State and Social Policy,” pp. 150–151. 71. Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 74. This is an older version of the “Social Democratic whiggery” operative more recently, in which socialists claim responsibility for the “universalist” inclusion of the middle classes in social insurance. See Baldwin, “How Socialist,” p. 147. 72. Peschke, Geschichte der deutschen Sozialversicherung, pp. 5, 112. 73. Kleeis, Die Sozialpolitik der Sozialdemokratie, pp. 3, 7, 15, 7, 9. 74. E.g., Esping-Andersen, Friedland, and Wright, “Modes of Class Struggle”; Wright, “Methodological Introduction.” Kleeis claimed to have discovered in Marx an “advocate of social policy,” in contrast to Lasalle; see his Geschichte der sozialen Versicherung, p. 56. It is interesting that in this study, originally published in 1928, Kleeis presented an image of the rise of the welfare state very different from the one he published in 1910. Social reform and insurance are now depicted as a quasinatural development: “comprehensive and collective measures had to be taken” to combat the mass poverty created by industrial capitalism (ibid., p. 14, my emphasis). This collapse of critical analysis corresponded to the SPD’s changed relationship to the state: Kleeis was now the mayor of a small town, and “the position of the SPD and the working class as underpinnings of the Weimar state appeared to be permanent” by this time (Abraham, “State and Classes,” p. 50). 75. Heimann, Soziale Theorie des Kapitalismus, p. 290. See also the introduction by Bernhard Badura to this reedition of Heimann’s book (which was originally published in 1929) and the recent work of Esping-Andersen, especially Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, which takes up where Heimann left off. 76. Soziale Theorie des Kapitalismus, pp. 195–205. 77. Ibid., 168–172. 78. See Esping-Anderson, Politics Against Markets, and Three Worlds; Korpi, Democratic Class Struggle; Shalev, “The Social Democratic Model”; Stephens, Transition from Capitalism to Socialism; and Hollingsworth and Hanneman, “WorkingClass Power.” 79. In sociology, Göran Therborn is strongly associated with this view; see Therborn, Kjellberg, Marklund, and Ohlund, “Sweden Before and After.” David Abraham interprets the welfare state in Weimar Germany in similar terms; see his Collapse of the Weimar Republic, and “State and Classes,” p. 28. 80. Piven and Cloward, Regulating the Poor,“Reaffirming the Regulation,” and Poor People’s Movements. Piven and Cloward also contend in the latter book that the effectiveness of disruptive protest is mediated by ruling elites’ search for electoral support. See also Albritton, “Social Amelioration”; Achenbaum, “The Formative Years”; Isaac and Kelly, “Racial Insurgency”; Hicks and Swank, “Civil Disorder”; Jennings, “Racial Insurgency”; and Schram and Turbett, “Civil Disorder.” 81. Tilly, “Food Supply”; and Werner Conze, “From ‘Pöbel’ to ‘Proletariat.’ ” Others have emphasized the role of the petty bourgeoisie in pressuring the state into extending advantages to them, but this is of less direct concern to the current project. See L. Weiss, Creating Capitalism; Haupt, “Les petits commerçants”; and most recently the spectacular study by Peter Baldwin, The Politics of Social Solidarity. 82. See in particular Müller and Neusüss, “The Social State Illusion”; J. Hirsch, “The State Apparatus”; Tálos, “Zu den Anfängen”; Saville, “The Welfare State.” See



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also the discussion of Marxist theories in M. Schmidt, Wohlfahrtstaatliche Politik. Gough, Political Economy, combines structural and class-conflict determinants. 83. See, e.g., Boddy and Crotty, “Class Conflict,” p. 3. 84. Offe, “Social Policy,” p. 93.Claus Offe has pointed out to me in conversation that the distinction between passive and active proletarianization was developed earlier by Werner Sombart. 85. Ibid., p. 102. 86. Habermas, “Technology and Science,” p. 102. See also his Legitimation Crisis; Offe, Strukturprobleme; and O’Connor, Fiscal Crisis. 87. In Wehler’s summary of Goldscheid’s theory, “The state’s fiscal arrangements hold the key to an understanding of its true social constitution” (Wehler, German Empire, p. 137; see Goldscheid, “Staat, Öffentlicher Haushalt,” esp. pp. 171–172). See also Schumpeter, Krise des Steuerstaates. 88. Offe, “Theses,” pp. 120–121; see also Berufsbildungsreform, pp. 13–36, and “Structural Problems.” 89. “Introduction” to Offe, Contradictions, p. 12. 90. Jack Goldstone on Tilly, Coercion, Capital, in “States Making Wars,” p. 176. 91. Tilly, Coercion, Capital, pp. 31, 53, 115. The connection between war and social policy is only alluded to in Tilly but is spelled out by Titmuss, Essays, p. 86. 92. Situations in which military state elites are able to rely almost completely on support from capitalists or great powers outside of the national boundaries provide a partial exception to the rule against potential state autonomy. But European monarchs stopped borrowing from foreigners because “the disadvantages outweighed the advantages” (Tilly, Coercion, Capital, p. 87). Tilly suggests that the military in Third World states may be able to free itself from domestic capitalists by acquiring military and economic resources from outside powers (ibid., pp. 218–220). But here the question arises: What is the point of reference for assessing state autonomy in countries that are so dependent on foreign aid? One might argue that state autonomy should now be assessed vis-à-vis the ruling classes in the powerful donor countries. The recent fate of certain despotic (“autonomous”) U.S. clients who had fallen from favor should alert us to the importance of finding the appropriate “civil society” against which to measure a given state’s autonomy. An even more significant factor freeing states from social elites is unlimited state-owned oil supplies; see Brenner, “Autonomy of the State.” 93. Stinchcombe, “Autonomy,” p. 178. 94. See Block, “The Ruling Class” and “Beyond Relative Autonomy.” For a related approach which begins with the “state’s interest in itself” and analyzes variations in its “susceptibility to social pressures,” see Vobruba, “Positionen der Staatstheoriediskussion.” 95. This “censuring” mechanism depends upon subjective perceptions of the effects of state policy, as is indicated by the psychological reference in the term business confidence. The intolerability of public policies is relative and subject to ideological construction—at least up to a certain point. Disinvestment may be less likely as a protest against state policies if the taxes that fund them are “hidden.” It is possible, of course, for state policy to “squeeze” profits, and thus reduce investments, without businessmen perceiving the connection between state actions and their own behavior. But this would only have a direct censoring effect on the specific policies in question if state managers perceived the connection. Wilensky’s suggestion that

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backlash against social policy is more likely with more visible taxes is probably correct, although it does not address the visibility of social policies themselves, or the thematization by capitalists and state managers of the relations between profits and policies. See Wilensky, “Leftism, Catholicism.” 96. Block, “State Theory in Context,” p. 21. 97. We will not discuss pluralist theory here—a society-centered theory of the state to be sure. The reason is that the basic preconditions required by pluralist theory for its own validity are violated in the case of pre-1918 Germany. Pluralist theory explains government actions as reflecting the opinions and organizations in civil society, without privileging any of the multitude of dispersed power centers. (Pluralists also typically eschew the term state as implying an unwonted degree of autonomy and unity to the state.) It follows that social (and other) policies will roughly reflect the balance of citizen preferences. See Dahl, Who Governs?, and Truman, Governmental Process. Gabriel Almond has recently defended pluralism against the statist charge that it is societally reductionist, declaring that the government is more than “a cash register that totals up and then averages the preferences and political power of societal actors.” Pluralism, he insists, has portrayed political parties, state officials, and parliamentary bodies as actively filtering and selecting, not merely passively reflecting, social pressures (Almond, “Return to the State”; the cash register image is from Krasner, “Approaches to the State,” p. 227). To some extent, this debate hinges on which theories are included under the aegis of “pluralism” (compare the very different treatments in Carnoy, The State, pp. 10–43, and Vincent, Theories of the State, pp. 181–217). I will also not directly address religious explanations of the welfare state. The secularization of poor relief in Europe has often been linked to the Reformation, while the idea of abolishing rather than merely palliating poverty has been linked to the decline of religion during the Enlightenment. Much emphasis is placed on Luther’s attacks on benevolence for the sake of one’s own spiritual welfare and on his calls for a strict differentiation between the “voluntary” and “involuntary” poor. The Catholic church, by contrast, is said to have opposed the state’s appropriation of the charitable tasks, which it had traditionally exercised, and to have continued to defend almsgiving. The plausibility of religion-based accounts was based on rough comparisons between Protestant countries such as England and Prussia, with their largely secularized relief, and Catholic countries such as France, where church-based charity remained dominant even after the French Revolution. Yet recent research has questioned this neat opposition between Catholicism and secularized state welfare. First, it has been shown that late-medieval cities in Central Europe were already assuming responsibility from the church for poor care before the Reformation, and that differences in European cities’ welfare policies cut across religious boundaries. Even in predominantly Catholic countries, attitudes toward almsgiving became more critical during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In France, Spain, and Poland, poor relief was partially reformed, centralized, and secularized. Religion is similarly unable to explain differences in the introduction of social insurance and other national-level nineteenth-century social programs. In the German case, a direct “Protestant” impact on the welfare state might be seen in Bismarck’s closest advisers on social policy, Hermann Wagener and Theodor Lohmann, and in Bismarck’s own references to the responsibility of the “Christian state” to protect the workers. Yet after the Kulturkampf the Catholic Center party had to



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broaden its appeal to the Catholic working class, leading it to become a key supporter of national social legislation. Catholic Bavaria and Baden had more extensive factory-inspection regulations during the same period than Protestant Prussia, Mecklenburg, and Saxony. It is also notable that Catholic Austria was the next country to follow “Protestant” Germany in adopting national social-insurance schemes. Research on contemporary Europe, finally, suggests that the dominance of Catholic political parties is correlated with neo-corporatism, and thus with welfare-state development. Thus although there is no doubt that Christianity played an important role in defending the notion of almsgiving in premodern Europe, and that secular poor relief grew out of private charity, there is little direct evidence for a religious basis for variations in social-policy regimes. In order to test the religious thesis systematically, I will include religion as a possible explanatory variable in the statistical analyses of intercity policy differences at the end of this book. See Sassier, Du bon usage, pp. 83ff., 173; Metz, “Staatsraison”; Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, part B; Bremner, “Modern Attitudes,” p. 377; Uhlhorn, Die christliche Liebtätigkeit, p. 531; Madeley, “Religion”; Troeltsch, Social Teaching; Saile, Hermann Wagener; Rothfels, Theodor Lohmann; Heidenheimer, “Secularization”; Shanahan, German Protestants, pp. 268, 319–322; Jütte, “Poor Relief”; Weber, Protestant Ethic, p. 177–178; Davis, “Poor Relief”; Hunecke, “Überlegungen,” p. 493; Shubert, “ ‘Charity Properly Understood’ ”; and Zurawicka, “Charity in Warsaw,” p. 321. 98. Resnick, “Les fonctions,” p. 179. See also Timm, “Das Gesetz”; Krabbe, “Munizipalsozialismus,” p. 267; and Wagner, Grundlegung der politischen Ökonomie, p. 892. 99. Marshall, “Citizenship and Social Class,” p. 74. Two recent appreciative commentaries on Marshall are Mann, “Ruling Class Strategies” and Turner, Citizenship and Capitalism. 100. One of the best-known statements of the theory is Kerr, Junlop, Harbison, and Myers, Industrialism and Industrial Man. In his earlier work, Harold Wilensky argued that economic development is the ultimate cause of welfare-state development; cf. The Welfare State, p. 24. Wilensky’s recent explanations have become more differentiated, however. Arnold Brecht suggested that urbanization was the most important determinant of differences in public spending among the German states during the Weimar Republic: Brecht, “Internationaler Vergleich.” Solomon Fabricant initiated a series of studies on U.S. interstate differences in collective consumption in a 1952 study that attributed most of the variation to urbanization, population density, and income: see Fabricant, The Trend. Cf. also Andic and Veverka, “Growth of Government Expenditure.” 101. Orloff and Skocpol, “Why Not Equal Protection”; Skocpol and Amenta, “States and Social Policies.” 102. Hage, Hanneman, and Gargan, State Responsiveness, p.13; Musgrave, Fiscal Systems. 103. Gordon, “The New Feminist Scholarship,” p. 15. 104. In their more sophisticated modernization theory, Flora and Alber emphasize the role of private buffering agencies (“association filters I” in their jargon), such as private charities, mutual-aid societies, and families, in shielding individuals from material duress and diminishing the need for public intervention. See Flora and Alber, “Modernization.”

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105. Despite these shortcomings I will include modernization theory variables in the statistical analyses in chapters 6 and 7. These turn out to have little predictive power. 106. Connell, Gender and Power, pp. 120, 125ff. 107. Bluntschli, Theory of the State, p. 23. 108. Fernbach, The Spiral Path, pp. 39, 52, argues that the “masculine specialization in violence” is a precondition for the development of the state as an instrument of class and patriarchal power. 109. MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method,” pp. 644–645; see also her “Feminism, Marxism, and the State” and Toward a Feminist Theory. 110. Pateman, “Patriarchal Welfare State.” See also Ostrander, “Feminism, Voluntarism.” Various theories of the state as masculine are discussed by Brown, “Finding the Man.” 111. L. Gordon, “New Feminist Scholarship,” p. 16, and Heroes of Their Own Lives; and Piven, “Women and the State”; Jenson, “Both Friend and Foe.” 112. Van Stolk and Wouters, “Die Gemütsruhe,” p. 254. 113. Nelson, “Women’s Poverty,” p. 210. On the dual system, see also N. Fraser, “Women, Welfare”; and L. Gordon, “What Does Welfare Regulate?” 114. Riedmüller, “Armutspolitik”; Kickbusch and Riedmüller, Die armen Frauen; Bane, “Politics and Policies.” 115. Diana Pearce, by contrast, agrees with the characterization of the U.S. welfare system as dualistic but argues that the secondary sector is also male and “built on the Male Pauper model, which has its roots in the sixteenth-century Poor Laws of England, when paupers were ex-soldiers, beggars, and vagabond landless peasants and were mostly men. . . . the solution to poverty according to [this] model is to ‘put ’em to work.’ ” When applied to women, however, “the result is less than positive. . . . having a job is, ipso facto, a less certain route out of poverty for women than for men,” and “income from earnings only partially addresses a woman’s needs” (Pearce, “Welfare is Not for Women,” p. 270). 116. In addition to the articles referred to above, see on this point Zaretsky, “The Place of the Family”; and Moeller, “Reconstructing the Family.” 117. Connell, Gender and Power, pp. 98–99, see also pp. 119–142; Shaver, “Social Policy Regimes”; and Orloff, O’Connor, and Shaver, “The Gender Regimes.” 118. Shaver, “Social Policy Regimes,” p. 7. In addition, Shaver defines “social policy regimes” as “institutionalized patterns of welfare state provision establishing systematic relations between state power and various social structures of conflict, domination and accommodation. Such patterns refer to the terms and conditions under which claims may be made on the resources of the state and, reciprocally, the terms and conditions of economic and social obligation to the state” (ibid., p. 6). 119. Shaver, “Gender, Class, and the Welfare State,” p. 107; Jenson, “Both Friend and Foe.” 120. Crew, “ ‘Eine Elternschaft zu Dritt,’ ” pp. 283–284. 121. Shaver, “Gender, Class, and the Welfare State,” p. 94. 122. See Massey, “American Apartheid,” p. 354; also A. Hirsch, Making of the Second Ghetto. The term hyperghettoization is proposed by Wacquant and Wilson, “Cost of Racial and Class Exclusion.” Much of the racial subtext of the U.S. welfare state is visible only at the local level. A striking example of the fusion of gender and racial regimes in social policy was the decision by the Chicago Housing Authority in 1988 to force the cohabiting males and females of a specific project to either get



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married or move out; the agency’s initiative culminated in a well-publicized simultaneous marriage by many resident couples. On race and U.S. social policy, see also Hochschild, “Race, Class, Power”; Stack, All Our Kin; and Katz, Undeserving Poor, p. 234; and Piven and Cloward, “The Contemporary Relief Debate.” 123. See Peukert, Inside Nazi Germany, pp. 208–235, and Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung, pp. 274–291; Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene; Otto and Sünker, Soziale Arbeit. David Crew has argued, contra Peukert, that it was “the specifically Nazi resolution of the political crisis of the Weimar welfare system, not the crisis itself, [that] created the conditions for a radical, racist redefinition of the welfare project” (“ ‘Eine Elternschaft zu Dritt,’ ” p. 293). This does not mean that the Imperial German welfare state was free of racial elements, but they were certainly not as overt. 124. German colonial social policy is typically discussed in the context of reforms following the 1905–1908 Maji Maji uprising in German East Africa, but other efforts appeared, at least on paper, in Togo, Cameroon, Shantung, and the Pacific Holdings. See, e.g., Cornevin, “The Germans”; Gründer, Geschichte der deutschen Kolonien; Michel, “Les plantations allemands”; Iliffe, Tanganyika under German Rule, pp. 166–200; Schrecker, Imperialism, pp. 78–84; Schiefel, Bernhard Dernburg; Firth, New Guinea, pp. 118–135; Rudin, Germans in the Cameroons, pp. 315–337, 345–352; and Sebald, Togo 1884–1914, pp. 506–526. 125. Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim,” p. 254. Bourdieu, Outline, p. 193. 126. For definitions of habitus as the basis for “regulated improvisation” and of “field,” see Bourdieu, Outline, pp. 72, 79; “The Genesis,” and Distinction, pp. 170–171. 127. Bourdieu, La noblesse d’état, p. 540. 128. Bourdieu, La noblesse d’état, p. 538. Although Bourdieu disparages the use of the term state, he fails to notice that the (variable) ability of state managers to have the state recognized as a unified, delimited, autonomous entity—as a state—is in itself a strategy of domination (cf. Mitchell, “Limits of the State”). We cannot afford to ignore the idea of the state, even if as a concept it is “pre-scientific.” Similarly, Bourdieu’s comments on the irrelevance of the concepts of state autonomy and state correspondence seem to run directly counter to his own analyses of the constitution of fields as a variable process. An “autonomous” state would then, in his terms, be a fully distinct “bureaucratic field” with its own forms of capital and the like, whereas a “corresponding” state would be one that is integrated into the economic field and whose autonomy is only fictional or partial. And despite Bourdieu’s appropriate critiques of systems theory, he overlooks the similarities between his own ideas about the “genesis of fields” and Luhmann’s conception of the autopoiesis, or radical autonomy, of the political system as a variable. Cf. Bourdieu and Wacquant, Invitation, pp. 102–103, 111–113. 129. Bourdieu, Outline, pp. 196. The other strategy for misrecognition mentioned here, which Bourdieu has examined much more intensively, involves the collection of luxury goods “systematically and ostentatiously opposed to the profane, everyday world of production” (ibid., p. 197). On the welfare state as a gift relationship, see Mauss, The Gift, pp. 65–67. 130. See Speier, German White-Collar Workers, and Kocka, White Collar Workers and “Class Formation.” 131. Boltanski, “How a Social Group.” 132. Baldwin, Politics of Social Solidarity.

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133. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p. 299. See also the discussions in Perrot, L’impossible prison. 134. Foucault, “Body/Power,” p. 60. Foucault continues: “Nothing in society will be changed if the mechanisms of power that function outside, below and alongside the State apparatuses, on a much more minute and everyday level, are not also changed.” 135. Foucault, “Questions on Geography,” p. 72. 136. Foucault, “Two Lectures,” p. 102. 137. Foucault, “Un système fini,” p. 50. 138. Foucault, “Truth and Power,” p. 121. 139. Ibid., p. 122. See also “Clarifications.” 140. Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim,” p. 227. 141. Ibid., p. 235. 142. Rabinow, “Introduction,” p. 15. 143. Foucault, “Subject and Power,” p. 208. 144. Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim,” pp. 235, 237, 252, 254. See also Foucault’s similar comments on the state in “Political Technology,” and “Sécurité.” The relationship of individualizing/disciplining power to capitalism and social class remains ambiguous in Foucault. He discusses the inculcation of self-regulating forms of subjectivity during the transition to modernity but refuses to understand the emergence of the modern subject in class terms. Still, Foucault reveals that these new technologies of subject creation emerged concurrently with capitalism. 145. C. Gordon, “Governmental Rationality,” pp. 19–21. 146. See the essays in Burchell et al., The Foucault Effect. 147. Donzelot, L’invention du social, pp. 108–110, 175; Ewald, L’état providence, pp. 10, 327. 148. Donzelot, L’invention du social, pp. 108–110; also Procacci, “Notes,” p. 14. 149. The other problem with Ewald’s analysis is his assumption that the objective sharing of risks leads to a subjective consciousness of solidarity. This move recalls the shortcut through “objective interests” in traditional Marxism. 150. See Hewitt, “Bio-politics,” pp. 68ff; Labisch, “Die soziale Konstruktion” and “ ‘Hygiene ist Moral”; Weisbrod, “Wohltätigkeit”; and Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung. CHAPTER TWO 1. The literature here is voluminous. For a spirited defense of the idea that the conclusions of historical studies cannot be simply “detached,” and that a special form of comprehension is derived from the total Gestalt of a narrative, see Mink, Historical Understanding. Also germane are the comments in Abrams, Historical Sociology, chapters 7 and 10. On the idea of differing “professional reflexes” (or habitus) among historians and sociologists, see Erikson, “Sociology and the Historical Perspective.” 2. Perhaps, as Mink and others argue, there is at least one level of comprehension of narratives that is synthetic and cannot be “detached.” To the extent that this book takes a partially narrative form, such criticisms may apply. Nonetheless, even Mink does not deny any knowledge-value to general statements (or “plots”). Discussions with Andrew Abbott have helped clarify some of these issues, as has reading his article “What Do Cases Do?”



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3. The term social regulation, as described in the preceding chapter, will be used interchangeably with social policy, social program, and welfare policy. 4. Esping-Andersen, Three Worlds, p. 2. 5. Witham, “German Workers’ Insurance,” pp. 15–16. 6. This “relocation of control” of social policy away from workers occasionally failed, most notably in the case of the sickness-insurance funds. Changes in the original 1880s legislation attempted to reduce what was viewed as a creeping insinuation of the socialist organizations into the structure of the welfare state. See Ritter, Social Welfare, pp. 90–91; Steinmetz, “Workers and the Welfare State.” 7. Cf. Schmitter, “Still the Century”; Lehmbruch and Schmitter, Patterns of Corporatist Policy Making; Cox and O’Sullivan, Corporate State; and Panitch, Working-Class Politics. The programs discussed here might seem to represent only a truncated version of the corporatist model, whose paradigmatic form involves employers in addition to government and labor representatives. In most municipalities, however, government was controlled by the local bourgeoisie, at least before the 1890s (see chapter 6). Still, there is no question that this was an incomplete “neocorporatism,” especially as capitalists withdrew from municipal government (see chapter 7). I am grateful to Adelheid von Saldern for bringing these problems to my attention. 8. See especially Tennstedt, Vom Proleten, and his other works cited in the bibliography. 9. Skilled union members were the privileged participants in the Ghent system. No real effort was made to create a viable form of unemployment insurance for nonunion workers. Wermel and Urban, “Arbeitslosenfürsorge,” p. 83. See also Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, and Faust’s earlier articles referred to there; also Henning, “Arbeitslosenversicherung”; Bernhard, Der gegenwärtige Stand; Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, Die bestehenden Einrichtungen; and Krabbe, “Gründung städtischer Arbeiterschutz-Anstalten.” 10. In German this turn was referred to as the “social elaboration of poor relief” or “assistance” (soziale Ausgestaltung der Armenpflege or Fürsorge). See Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 2. 11. It should be emphasized that this analysis applies only to cities with a certain degree of autonomy from their respective superordinate federal states. 12. See, for example, Polligkeit, “Armenwesen,” pp. 106–107. 13. Still, the SPD controlled only a few smaller cities before 1914. Figures from Matthias John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als,” table 1, p. 12; and von Saldern, “Sozialdemokratische Kommunalpolitik,” p. 29. 14. See Krabbe, “Von der Armenpflege,” p. 205. 15. See Althusser, “Ideology.” My use of the term ideological interpellation should not be taken as an endorsement of the specific base-superstructure model retained by Althusser in this essay, nor his insistence that ideology necessarily originates with “state apparatuses.” What is useful about the notion in its “post-Althusserian” sense is the argument that ideology is more than an intellectual system or an “incorrect” set of ideas; “ideological interpellation” suggests a process involving the formation of individual subjects and their imagined relationship to the world, as well as the adoption of substantive ideas that help reproduce relations of subjection and domination. Althusser did, of course, reject the base-superstructure model elsewhere but returned to it in the “Ideology” (ISA’s) essay; compare Althusser, “Contradiction and Overdetermination.”

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16. I will defend these arguments in greater detail in chapter 4. It may be important to comment here on the argument originally made by Eckart Kehr about the politically motivated “Puttkamer Purge” of the 1880s; cf. Kehr, “Das soziale System.” First, this argument has been largely discredited on empirical grounds; see Anderson and Barkin, “The Myth of the Puttkamer Purge.” See also Morsey, Die oberste Reichsverwaltung, esp. pp. 242–286. The other point is that, whereas meritocratic form and pro-industrial content worked in the same direction, politically motivated deviations from pure meritocracy would not necessarily have been antiindustrial in their effects on policy: even Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm were led willy-nilly to embrace industrialism. 17. Certainly there were specific parliamentary deputies, such as Baron Karl Ferdinand von Stumm and Louis Baare, who contributed to the actual initiation of the 1880s social-insurance legislation. Yet they exercised their influence as major industrialists and not as parliamentarians or members of political parties. 18. The slow and partial “parliamentarization” of the imperial polity is described by Rauh, Die Parlamentarisierung and Föderalismus; see Blackbourn and Eley, The Peculiarities, pp. 119–120, 276–278. 19. Dreier, Die Entstehung. 20. Kocka, “Class Formation.” On the engagement of white-collar women’s organizations in this campaign, see Adams, Women Clerks, pp. 115–127. 21. For an interpretation of the Imperial German political system as a mixture of “pluralism and state corporatism,” see Nocken, “Corporatism and Pluralism.” See Wolfram Fischer, “Staatsverwaltung und Interessenverbände.” 22. The concept of “gender projects” draws on the Gramscian notion of hegemonic projects, narrowing it thematically to focus on efforts to institute authoritative, taken-for-granted understandings of gender, sex, and family practices. I develop the concept in my paper “Women as Agents and Objects of Social Policy.” 23. Connell, Gender and Power; Shaver, “Social Policy Regimes”; Orloff, O’Connor, and Shaver, “The Gender Regimes.” 24. Brown, “Finding the Man,” p. 14. 25. Fraser, “Women, Welfare.” 26. As Bourdieu writes, “While the probability of assembling a set of agents . . . rises when they are closer in social space . . . alliance between those most distant from each other is never impossible” (“Social Space,” pp. 726, 741). See also Aminzade, Ballots and Barricades. 27. The other response to the objection that paradigms are superfluous would refer to their international developmental dynamic. Policies that arose in response to one set of determinants might expand in response to different factors. For example, neo-corporatist social policies may originate as a response to working-class pressure, whereas their later functioning is determined more by a set of formal rules designed and monitored by government bureaucrats. 28. I should note, however, that there are also specifically contextual ways in which social-democratic theory is less relevant at the central level of the state, which I discuss in the text. The SPD’s representation in the national parliament did not have the same incremental effect on policy as a comparable level of socialist representation in local government. 29. Another possibility is that a causal mechanism is simply historically absent. Here the imaginary critic would be guilty of anachronism by arguing counterfactually for the theory’s validity. An example of such anachronistic logic would be an



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argument that if artisans had formed labor parties and become active in urban politics during the eighteenth century, local welfare spending would have been higher. This sort of objection to the “contextual validity of social theories” argument might be logical, but also ultimately anachronistic. Specifically, it is anachronistic to argue that a theory is valid for a historical period in which its central mechanisms and processes do not yet (or no longer) exist. It is worth recalling here the debate about the applicability of Marxist class categories to noncapitalist societies. See, for instance, Konrád and Szelényi, The Intellectuals, pp. 39–46. CHAPTER THREE 1. Cf. Geck, Über das Eindringen; Zimmermann, “Das ‘Soziale.’ ” 2. See Durkheim and Mauss, Primitive Classification; Durkheim, Elementary Forms; Douglas, Natural Symbols and Implicit Meanings. 3. The study of mentalités is nowadays more strongly associated with the reconstruction of popular attitudes. See Hutton, “History of Mentalities”; Gismondi, “ ‘The Gift of Theory’ ”; Sellin, “Mentalität”; and Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms, especially the preface to the Italian version and pp. 58–60, 125–126. 4. Mohl’s essay is summarized by Sheehan, German Liberalism, p. 87; see Mohl, “Die Staatswissenschaften.” 5. See Arendt, The Human Condition. Arendt argued that the emergence of the notion of a specific social realm “is a relatively new phenomenon whose origin coincided with the emergence of the modern age” (ibid., p. 28). Yet the social was described in terms typically applied to civil society, as arising when formerly hidden “household” activities involving “mutual dependence for the sake of life” emerge into the public arena. In On Revolution, where Arendt addresses what “we have come to call the social question” (p. 60), her use of the term social is closer to our own. The oppositional movements in state-socialist countries used the term civil society to refer to associational life independent of the state as well as “bourgeois society,” i.e., markets. The “Hegelian” interpretation also differed from the earlier definition of civil society as “political society,” or something like the political organization of society as a state. See the excellent discussions in Keane, Civil Society, especially the introduction by Keane, pp. 1–31; also Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, pp. 83–116. 6. Hegel, Philosophy of Right, p. 266 (paragraph 182, addition). 7. Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” pp. 15, 37. Habermas’s definition is similar, if more specific: Civil society arose when “commodity exchange and social labor became largely emancipated from government directives.” See Structural Transformation, p. 74, also p. 141. See also Riedel, “Gesellschaft, bürgerliche”; and Keane, “Introduction” to Civil Society and the State. 8. Of course Hegel included in his discussion of civil society not only the Antisittlichkeit and alienation of the “system of needs” but also corporative associations and public opinion. In an effort to recapture the democratic potential of the concept of civil society, Cohen and Arato have recently emphasized these moments in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. They acknowledge, however, that the structures of the market economy remained fundamental for Hegel in his original presentation of the concept of civil society, writing that “Hegel’s model of integration on the level of the system of needs takes off from Adam Smith’s description of the self-regulating market as an

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invisible hand linking self-interest and public welfare,” and that “the tremendous process of economic growth implied by the modern market economy underlies the whole thesis.” Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, p. 98. 9. Third Manuscript, in Karl Marx, Early Writings, p. 181. In the 1844 “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” Marx had included social classes as elements of civil society; see Early Writings, p. 55. 10. According to Lorenz von Stein in his 1842 book Der Socialismus und Communismus des heutigen Frankreichs the analysis of poverty was to be the main focus of the new “social science” (Gesellschaftswissenschaft). The object of this science was Gesellschaft, a realm that, according to Stein, was intermediate between the state and civil society or the economy. See Riedel, “Gesellschaft, Gemeinschaft,” p. 843. On the relations between social science, poverty, and the 1848 revolution, see Procacci, “Sociology and Its Poor.” For Germany, see the important study by Pankoke, Sociale Bewegung. 11. Although it is important to distinguish between the backward-looking corporatism of a Friedrich Schlegel and the social-policy-oriented corporatism of Herman Wagener or Victor Aimeé Huber (discussed below), both recognized the independent existence of the social. See Saile, Hermann Wagener; Hindelang, Konservatismus. 12. Coser, “Primitive Classification,” p. 86. 13. There is a historical debate about whether the mass poverty of the 1830s and 1840s was caused by too much or too little “capitalism,” i.e., whether it resulted directly from employment in industry or from the lack of industrial jobs. This is really a moot point here because both causes of pauperism would be related to capitalism. The mass unemployment of former cultivators would reflect what Marx called the “primitive accumulation of capital” (or Offe’s “passive proletarianization”), whereas underpaid employment would reflect capital accumulation under the conditions of “absolute surplus value.” 14. Raeff, Well-Ordered Police State, pp. 88–91; Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1; Frevert, Krankheit. 15. On this literature, see Jantke and Hilger, Die Eigentumslosen; Kuczynski, Geschichte der Lage, vol. 9; Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, pp. 281ff.; and Mombert, “Aus der Literatur.” 16. Quoted in Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, p. 290. 17. Quoted in ibid., p. 283. 18. Von Arnim, Dies Buch, p. 456. 19. On these views of poverty, see note 97, chapter 1; and Sassier, Du bon usage, esp. p. 73; Weber, Protestant Ethic, p. 177; and Franklin, “On the Price of Corn” and “On the Laboring Poor.” 20. Although German cameralists had also examined poverty from an economic rather than a moralistic standpoint, their central concern was fiscal, i.e., filling the state coffers. This differed from the emergent social-structural analysis of poverty during the Vormärz. Cf. Peter, Probleme der Armut. 21. On these discussions, see Kuczynski, Geschichte der Lage, vol. 9; Jantke and Hilger, Die Eigentumslosen; Adler, Soziale Romane, ch. 2. 22. Biedermann, Vorlesungen über Socialismus und sociale Fragen, pp. 30–31, 63–65. Conservative writers, including W. F. Riehl, Joseph Maria von Radowitz, and Karl Ludwig von Haller, argued that workers had been more secure and less menacing under traditional corporate arrangements than under laissez-faire capitalism. See Riehl, Natural History, pp. 248–249; Rohr, Origins of Social Liberalism, p. 160; Conze, “From ‘Pöbel’ to ‘Proletariat,’ ” p. 59.



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23. Gotthelf, “Die Armennot,” p. 90. Gotthelf’s text was originally published in Switzerland in 1840; a corrected, slightly longer version of “Die Armennot” appeared in Germany in 1851. It should be noted that Gotthelf himself advocated relief as well as repression, as indicated by his own activities as a poor-relief guardian. 24. On relations among eugenics, euthanasia, and the social question, see Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, pp. 106–118; Weindling, Health, Race; Allen, “German Radical Feminism”; Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung, and “Die Genesis der ‘Endlösung.’” The rise of the women’s question is discussed by Evans, Feminist Movement; Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich. These biologizing interpretations of the social question are treated in chapter 7. 25. I will refer here simply to “revolution” without the adjectives social or political. Marx noted in 1848 that modern revolution is both, and as Reinhart Koselleck has pointed out, the modern concept of revolution (which emerges in the eighteenth century and culminates in the French Revolution) is marked by the “step from political to social revolution. . . . what is new is the idea that the objective of a political revolution should be the social emancipation of all men, transforming the social structure” (Koselleck, “Historical Criteria,” p. 48). 26. Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, p. 282. 27. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 355–356. On the troubles in Germany during the 1790s, see Brunschwig, Enlightenment, pp. 116–118. 28. Berding, Soziale Unruhen. 29. See Koselleck, “Revolution.” On the varying German responses to the revolution, see Gooch, “Germany and the French Revolution”; Träger, Die französische Revolution; Günther, Die französische Revolution; Stammen and Eberle, Deutschland und die französische Revolution; and Brunschwig, Enlightenment, pp. 171–178. 30. “Blüthenstaub” (1798), paragraphs 104–105 (my translation). In an earlier poem, “Am Sonnabend Abend” (ca. 1795–1797) Novalis spoke for a whole generation of Germans disappointed by the French Revolution: Bin ich noch der, der Gestern Morgen Dem Gott des Leichtsinns Hymnen sang ............................... Im Kampf der neuen Elemente Im Geist schon Sieger sang: ça va, Und schon die Schöpfung im Konvente Und Gott, als Präsidenten, sah. ........................ (Am I still the one who yesterday morning Sang hymns to the God of recklessness ............................... [Who] In the struggle of the new elements Already victorious in spirit, sang: ça va, And already saw the Convention as Creation, and God as the President. .................... 31. Quoted in Hirschmann, Rhetoric of Reaction, p. 13. 32. See Harris, “Hegel and the French Revolution”; J. Ritter, Hegel und die französische Revolution.

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33. There were a few exceptions during this period: in Aachen there were machine-smashing riots, and at the Hambacher Fest of 1832 (the “biggest mass event before 1848”) artisanal and peasant demands played “a great role” (Nipperdey, Deutsche Geschichte 1800–1860, p. 370). 34. Quoted in Conze, “From ‘Pöbel’ to ‘Proletariat,’ ” p. 55. 35. Ibid., p. 49. 36. See Conze, “Proletariat, Pöbel,” esp. p. 36. 37. Ibid., p. 29. 38. Riehl, Die deutsche Arbeit (orig. 1848), excerpt in Jantke and Hilger, Die Eigentumslosen, pp. 395–397. 39. “Brief an die Arbeiter,” in Jantke and Hilger, Die Eigentumslosen, pp. 392– 393. See Huber, “Arbeitende Klassen.” 40. On a similar redefinition in the French context during the 1820s, see Sassier, Du bon usage, pp. 203–204. 41. Mohl, “Über die Nachteile,” p. 157. 42. Conze, “Proletariat, Pöbel, Pauperismus,” p. 50. This argument is from an article published in 1848, but Stein articulated similar views in his Der Socialismus und Communismus. 43. Karl Rodbertus and Elberfelder Zeitung from 1844, quoted in Reulecke, “Die Anfänge,” pp. 22, 27. On Rodbertus, see Jantke, Der Vierte Stand, pp. 81–85. 44. Nipperdey, Deutsche Geschichte 1800–1866, p. 604. The conventional assessment of 1848 as a failed revolution is correct insofar as the monarchy was not toppled and the demands of workers in Berlin and elsewhere were not met. The very occurrence of a mass uprising is crucial, however, from the standpoint of the exacerbation of social anxiety. 45. Quoted by Helmolt, Leopold Rankes, p. 102; see also Krieger, Ranke, p. 205; and Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, p. 703. 46. Riehl, Natural History, pp. 229–230. 47. Bensen, “Die Proletarier. Eine historische Denkschrift” (1847), excerpts in Kuczynski, Geschichte der Lage, vol. 9, p. 49, my emphasis. 48. E.g., Fr. A. Lange, Die Arbeiterfrage. Other examples include Levenstein, Die Arbeiterfrage; and Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage, which went through eight editions and numerous revisions between 1894 and 1922. See also Reulecke, “Die Anfänge,” p. 40. Of course the “artisan” (Handwerker) question was not separated from the worker question until late, as Mombert remarks, cf. “Aus der Literatur,” pp. 221–222. 49. Hobsbawm, Age of Empire, p. 9. 50. Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 2, p. 734. 51. See Mayer, “Die Trennung.” The first German socialist organization, the Federation of the Just (Bund der Gerechten), had been formed by German workers living in Paris, Switzerland, and London during 1836–1837. But working-class organizations were still quite frail during the 1848 Revolution. 52. On the discussion of the Paris Commune in the Reichstag and the German press, see Grützner, Pariser Kommune, pp. 22–37. 53. Perry Anderson, “Modernity and Revolution,” p. 325. 54. See Mommsen, “Das deutsche Kaiserreich,” pp. 19–20. By contrast, Theodor Stürmer emphasizes fear of revolution as characteristic of the entire nineteenth century, without stressing differences. See his “Problem der Revolution.”



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55. It is notable in this regard that the terms social question/social policy and worker question/worker policy were often used interchangeably. In 1900, Karl Biedermann wrote of “the social question as worker question.” Biedermann, Vorlesungen über Socialismus und Socialpolitik, p. 9. 56. Cf. Klaus Bergmann, Agrarromantik. 57. R. Tilly, Vom Zollverein, p. 130. The extent of German middle-class antiurbanism is nonetheless often exaggerated; see Lees, “Civic Pride.” The two arguments are of course not incompatible: Germans could associate cities, disorder, and socialism without opposing cities per se. As I will argue in later chapters, many liberal municipal elites tried to integrate the “good” elements of the working class; as an alternative to this strategy, they physically removed the dangerous elements from the city through slum clearance and other schemes. 58. In Hamburg, the SPD did not “exploit” cholera in 1892, although the national party thematized it in Vorwärts. Local socialists used the cholera theme after the epidemic in their agitation for full employment and constitutional reform. Although Hamburg elites were not antiurban, many of them wanted to clear out the inner city “Alley Quarters” in the late 1890s as “centers of moral contagion and social disorder.” Evans, Death in Hamburg, pp. 387, 512. A similar combination of motives had been involved in Hausmann’s slum clearance in Paris during the Second Empire; see Pinkney, Napoleon III. 59. Zimmermann, Die Diebe in Berlin, p. 2. 60. Evans, Death in Hamburg, p. 87. 61. Recall the passage in which Marx posits a sympathetic bond between the poor and the tree’s fallen branches, which are called “alms of nature.” The relation of the “dry, snapped twigs and branches” to the living tree is a “physical representation of the antithesis between poverty and wealth,” which human poverty senses and from which it “deduces its right to property” (“Debates,” p. 234). This passage makes sense within an older corporatist framework in which the poor were at least officially an established social “estate” with a moral claim to alms. 62. Cf. Marx, “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” and “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts,” in Early Writings, pp. 41–219; also Plum, Diskussionen über Massenarmut, pp. 196–197. 63. Wolgast, “Reform, Reformation,” pp. 324, 340. The following discussion of the notion of reform is based largely on Wolgast’s essay. It should be noted that the description of the Protestant movement as “the Reformation” only became common later. 64. Some of these policies are familiar as “mercantilism,” but as Marc Raeff has argued, mercantilism should be understood more narrowly as “the trade and tariff policy of cameralism, which in turn is a more comprehensive system of national economy.” Raeff, “Well-Ordered Police State,” p. 1224, note 9. As Raeff argues, the Polizeiordnungen were the precursors of the eighteenth-century codifications of law (ibid., p. 1241). 65. On the centrality of such concepts in cameralism, see Raeff, Well-Ordered Police State, p. 149; Baum, Zur Geschichte; and Engelhardt, “Zum Begriff.” See also Krieger, Essay; Schultze, Die Polizeigesetzgebung; Small, The Cameralists; and Tribe, Governing Economy. 66. Peter, Die Probleme der Armut. 67. Brunschwig, Enlightenment and Romanticism, pp. 59, 252. 68. Koselleck, Preußen zwischen Reform und Revolution.

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69. See Brunschwig, Enlightenment and Romanticism, esp. p. 97; Cassirer, Philosophy of the Enlightenment; Bruford, Germany in the Eighteenth Century; Putz, Die deutsche Aufklärung; and especially Grimminger, Deutsche Aufklärung. 70. Jakob Friedrich Fries, quoted in Wolgast, “Reform, Reformation,” p. 347, cf. also pp. 341ff. 71. See the essays on Baden, Bavaria, and Prussia in Conze, Staat und Gesellschaft; and Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, vol. 1, pp. 363–485. 72. Stein’s Prussian Municipal Code and the revisions in it after 1808 are discussed in chapter 6; see especially Preuss, Die Entwicklung and “Die kommunale Selbstverwaltung”; and Heffter, Die deutsche Selbstverwaltung. 73. E.g., Rotteck, “Armenwesen.” The continuation of this strand of “economic liberalism” in the 1850s and 1860s is discussed by Sheehan, German Liberalism, pp. 90ff. 74. Sheehan, German Liberalism, pp. 47, 91, 105–106; Gagel, Die Wahlrechtsfrage. Even John Stuart Mill defended multiple votes for the upper and middle classes. On liberalism and the electoral franchise, see Habermas, Structural Transformation, p. 132. Significantly, in no country were liberal or conservative political parties a significant force in the actual extension of the vote to workers and women. Cf. Therborn, “The Rule of Capital.” 75. Poggi, Development of the Modern State, p. 114. 76. On repression, surveillance, and related phenomena in the nineteenth century, see Lüdtke, Police and State, and his articles “Role of State Violence” and “Praxis und Funktion.” Also Berger, Die konstante Repression. 77. Lüdtke, “The Role of State Violence,” p. 213. 78. Ibid., p. 211. 79. Bendix notes that the “gain of legal equality stands side by side with the fact of social and economic equality. . . . The juxtaposition of legal equality and social and economic inequalities inspired the great political debates . . . of nineteenth-century Europe” (Bendix, “Extension of Citizenship,” pp. 235–236). 80. As Friedrich List wrote in the preface to his National System of Political Economy, “It is unfortunate that the evils which in our day accompany industry have been used as an excuse for rejecting industry itself” and added that “there are far greater evils than a class of proletarians” (quoted in Rohr, Origins of Social Liberalism, p. 105). 81. Hegel, Philosophy of Right, pp. 277–278 (paragraph 244, addition). 82. See Tribe, Governing Economy, pp. 187ff., 196; Palyi, “Introduction of Adam Smith”; and Treue, “Adam Smith in Deutschland.” 83. On social liberalism in the Vormärz, see Rohr, Origins of Social Liberalism. As discussed in chapter 7, a positive attitude toward social policy became much more pervasive among all the main German liberal parties at the end of the nineteenth century. 84. On this constellation of issues, see especially Pankoke, Sociale Bewegung; also Reulecke, “Pauperismus”; and Frevert, Krankheit, pp. 95ff. 85. “Gesetz über die Aufnahme neu anziehender Personen, vom 31. Dezember 1842” and “Gesetz über die Verpflichtung zur Armenpflege, vom 31. Dezember 1842.” See chapter 5 for a more detailed discussion. 86. Dawson, Social Insurance, p. 8. 87. Syrup, Hundert Jahre, p. 58. 88. Frevert, Krankheit, p. 167; Volkmann, Die Arbeiterfrage; Offermann, Arbei-



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terbewegung, pp. 188–267. On a similar historical shift in the addressee of social work in nineteenth-century France, see Martin, La fin des mauvais pauvres, p. 150. 89. See Allen, “Mothers,” pp. 429–430. Many feminists, of course, did essentialize the tasks of nurturing children; see ibid, p. 431. See also Allen, Feminism and Motherhood, pp. 183–185. 90. See Brown, “Finding the Man,” p. 19; MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory; and Pateman, The Sexual Contract. 91. Examples include the laws operative in Germany during the nineteenth century that permitted husbands to “punish their wives physically and to determine when children should be weaned,” to control their wives’ property, and the new Civil Code at the end of the century, which gave fathers the right to make most of the important decisions regarding children. See Allen, Feminism and Motherhood, pp. 138–139. 92. Public hygiene, which developed after the 1880s with the rise of bacteriology, also tended to redefine the social question scientifically as a biological one. But although many public hygienists were also eugenicists, the two movements were separate; see S. F. Weiss, Race Hygiene, pp. 114–125; and Nadav, Julius Moses, pp. 25–120. 93. As Weiss shows, mainline eugenic thinking in the Kaiserreich was not antiSemitic; sterilization was to be applied not to whole ethnic groups but to the less “fit” individuals from each group (mentally ill, alcoholics, etc.). See Weiss, “The Race Hygiene Movement.” 94. See Weiss, Race Hygiene, “The Race Hygiene Movement,” and “Wilhelm Schallmeyer”; Weindling, Health, Race; Weingart, Kroll, and Bayertz, Rasse, Blut und Gene. As Weiss points out, “racial hygiene” referred not only to eugenic “attempts aimed at ‘improving’ the hereditary quality of a population, but also measures directed toward an absolute increase in population” (“The Race Hygiene Movement,” p. 8, note 1). In this latter sense, one of the areas where race-hygienic concerns may have contributed indirectly to social policy during the empire was the measures for infant care and maternity insurance. The eugenicist ideology of feminists active in pressing for such reforms is also discussed by Allen, “German Radical Feminism.” A more important source of pro-natalism within the state, however, was the military interest in increasing the population. 95. As Ann Taylor Allen and Sheila Weiss point out, many of the feminists followed a “reform Darwinist” rather than a strict selectionist Social Darwinist line. They viewed the individual as a product of both genotype and environment and argued that altruism and humanitarian impulses represented a higher stage of evolution. One implication of this position was an acceptance of social welfare, in contrast to hard-liners who saw welfare as helping the individual at the expense of the overall gene pool. See Weiss, Race Hygiene, p. 47; and Kelly, The Descent of Darwin, pp. 103–122. Most feminist eugenicists nonetheless supported the sterilization of “asocial” individuals. Given the importance of the category of the “asocial” as a target of their reforming energies, it is ironic that German eugenicists proposed such an “asocial” theory. 96. The social was in this sense a kind of discursive formation. As Foucault argued, discursive formations are defined by the appearance of certain regularities “between objects, types of statement, concepts, or thematic choices,” and not by a constancy of objects, themes, notions, or styles (Foucault, Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 38; see also Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony, pp. 105–106).

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97. It should be noted that the state’s Mittelstandspolitik was also social policy in the older sense: its aim was to defuse the worker “question” by undermining any potential solidarity between industrial proletarians and apparently contiguous social strata. See Kocka, Die Angestellten, pp. 116–141, and “Class Formation”; Haupt, “Les petits commerçants”; Baldwin, Politics of Social Solidarity; and Winkler, “Rückversicherte Mittelstand.” 98. See Sombart, “Ideale der Sozialpolitik,” for a convoluted attempt to justify excluding poor relief (and compulsory social insurance!) from social policy. Social policy is defined by Sombart as a form of economic policy “related to (as a goal or at least as a result) the existence, the promotion, or the elimination of an economic system or its parts,” while poor relief belongs to a category of policies having to do with “the health (das Ergehen) of individual persons, randomly brought together” (pp. 7–8). 99. See Militzer-Schwenger, Armenerziehung durch Arbeit, pp. 42–75; Alt and Lemm, Zur Geschichte der Arbeitserziehung; Linton, Who Has the Youth. 100. See Wehler, “Industrial Growth”; for a critique, see Eley, “Defining Social Imperialism.” 101. In contrast to my argument that social policy is defined through its relationship to the social, recent studies of the French welfare state, drawing on Durkheim, Foucault, and the French literature from the late nineteenth century on “solidarism,” have argued that the social is defined by social policy. The disagreement is related partially to different definitions of “the social.” For Donzelot, Procacci, and Ewald, social policy creates the new sphere of the social, which is characterized by “solidarity” and the notion of duties. This involves the creation of direct bonds of social reciprocity between social classes and individuals and the elimination or socialization of the notion of responsibility through social risk and social insurance. See Donzelot, L’invention du social, pp. 108–110, 175; Ewald, L’état providence, pp. 10, 327; Procacci, “Notes,” p. 14. As I noted in the first chapter, one problem with this is that the actual effects of social policy are deduced from laws and contemporary theoretical statements; moreover, this approach draws attention away from the vast segment of the welfare state that is not based on solidarities and duties. Ewald concentrates rather curiously on the least problematic of the major social programs, worker’s compensation for industrial accidents. On the early articulation of these ideas by Léon Bourgeois and the French “solidarists,” cf. Zeldin, France 1848–1945, pp. 276–318; Hayward, “The Official Social Philosophy” and The Idea of Solidarity; Stone, Search for Social Peace; and Gurvitch, L’idée du droit social, pp. 581–589. See also Procacci, “Social Economy”; and Deleuze, “Rise of the Social.” 102. On the “media” of the welfare state, see Luhmann, Politische Theorie. Although the threat of coercion ultimately underpins social policy, this is not its defining feature, nor does it distinguish welfare from other state policies. 103. The “state” is defined analytically here, mainly following Max Weber, as a continuously operating institution making legally binding decisions and holding a monopoly of force within a given territory. The modern state typically makes these decisions in the name of the common will. A state may contain smaller politicalterritorial entities (quasi states or local states) that are partially autonomous, e.g., cities or Länder. The federal states and cities in Imperial Germany were partially autonomous from the central state, as discussed in chapters 6 and 7. 104. Köhler, Arme und Irre, esp. pp. 109–114. In France, the Schneider foundry



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and mines at Le Creusot established a Caisse de prévoyance in 1838, and the mines at Montceau/Blanzy created compulsory assistance funds (caisse de secours) in 1854 and a retirement fund in 1880; see Martin, La fin des mauvais pauvres, pp. 39, 70, 156. 105. On Krupp’s social programs, see Krupp 1812–1912, pp. 202–215; 385– 393; on Krupp’s industrial relations, cf. Fricke, “Eine Denkschrift”; Teuteberg, Geschichte der Mitbestimmung. 106. Cf. Crew, “ ‘Eine Elternschaft zu Dritt.’ ” 107. Habermas, Structural Transformation, pp. 231, 197. 108. See Lohse, “Die Verbindung,” pp. 112ff.; for the extent of “centralization” of information between public and the diverse private charities, see Huber, “Die Zentralisierung,” table 3. 109. As a leading historian of U.S. charity remarked in the 1950s, “Even in the United States, where the welfare state has been less fully accepted than in many other countries, public expenditures for social services vastly exceed private giving for charitable purposes” (Bremner, “Modern Attitudes,” p. 380). Similarly, a representative in the French Chambre des Députés argued in 1893 with respect to obligatory accident insurance that “only the state. . . . possesses the powers necessary for imposing collective duties on everyone and determining their appropriate obligations” (quoted in Ewald, L’état providence, p. 309). Note that the state’s greater “impact” does not necessarily imply a greater level of redistribution or alleviation of poverty. CHAPTER FOUR 1. See the discussion of realism in chapter 1, and Bhaskar, A Realist Theory and Possibility of Naturalism; and Keat and Urry, Social Theory, pp. 27–45. 2. See Althusser, “Ideology,” and the discussion of this term in chapter 2, note 15. 3. Specifically, my model puts less emphasis than Tilly’s on credit in particular, emphasizing various fiscal sources having more to do with the industrial sectors of the economy. Offe’s work has deemphasized military factors, perhaps due to his focus on postwar Germany. Block’s analyses, finally, seem particularly oriented toward deriving the conditions for a state reaching what he calls the “tipping point” and becoming completely autonomous; the Imperial German state never approached this point. Only Offe systematically theorizes the role of culture in the workings of the state, but he focuses on legitimacy rather than the intra-state workings of culture. See Tilly, Coercion, Capital; Block, “The Ruling Class” and “Beyond Relative Autonomy”; and Offe, Strukturprobleme and Contradictions. The analyses of Michael Mann, Theda Skocpol, and Ann Orloff also resemble the account offered here, but they tend to attribute much more potential autonomy to the state. Skocpol’s writings on the state also downplay the role of culture, even if cultural factors play a role in her narrative accounts of state formation and social–policy-making (as “policy legacies”). See Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions; Orloff and Skocpol, “Why Not Equal Protection?”; Skocpol, “Bringing the State Back”; Mann, Sources of Social Power and States, War, and Capitalism. At the time of writing I have not yet been able to see the second volume of Mann’s Sources of Social Power or Skocpol’s book on the U.S. welfare state. 4. On constraint and selection as distinct causal mechanisms, see Wright, “Methodological Introduction.”

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5. On this and the “Junker state” view, see Bonham, “Beyond Hegel and Marx” and “State Autonomy.” 6. Hegel, Philosophy of Right, pp. 131–132 (paragraphs 202, 204). 7. Beetham, Max Weber, p. 63; see especially Schmoller, “Die soziale Frage.” 8. Rosenberg, Bureaucracy, Aristocracy, pp. 63, 67. 9. Quotation from Mueller, Bureaucracy, Education, p. 57. 10. Kehr’s original argument about the purge of the bureaucracy under Puttkamer as Prussian minister of the interior is in his essay “Das soziale System.” For a devastating critique, see Anderson and Barkin, “The Myth.” 11. On the notion of a Bismarckian “chancellor dictatorship,” see Wehler, German Empire, pp. 56–57. On the personal rule of the kaiser and his court society, see Röhl, Germany Without Bismarck; Röhl and Sombart, Kaiser Wilhelm II; and Röhl, “Kaiser Wilhelm II.” See also the discussion in Eley, “The View from the Throne.” 12. One of the few biographers to break explicitly with this “heroic” mode of depicting Bismarck is Lothar Gall, Bismarck. Gall depicts Bismarck as a captive of inexorable historical trends and social constraints, but also as uniquely able to use such contingencies to his best advantage. 13. Three examples of historical narratives that strongly imply a thesis of Prussian state autonomy in different periods are Raeff, “The Well-Ordered Police State”; Koselleck, Preußen; and Henderson, The State. 14. For this view of the Junker-state relation, see Ullmann, Der Bund der Industriellen. 15. Not all the Sonderweg theorists hold that the state was economically committed to the Junkers, however, as discussed below. See Weber, “The National State”; Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy; Rosenberg, Bureaucracy, Aristocracy; Veblen, Imperial Germany; Gerschenkron, Bread and Democracy; Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship. For an excellent discussion of the broad boundaries of this “school,” see Bonham, “Beyond Hegel and Marx,” “State Autonomy,” and “Bureaucratic Modernizers.” 16. Franz Mehring in Leipziger Volkszeitung Nr. 195, 24 Aug. 1898, quoted in Seeber, “Die Bourgeoisie und das Reich,” p. 133; Michels quoted by Kehr, Battleship Building, p. 277. 17. CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 100 (1905), “Sitzung des Ausschusses” on 5 June 1905, p. 31, also pp. 22–23, 28–29. 18. The Sonderweg thesis is discussed in the introduction. Arno Mayer is perhaps unique in deploying the “Germanic” model of a gentry-controlled state for a general interpretation of all pre-1914 European states; see Mayer, The Persistence. 19. Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy, p. 213. 20. Carsten, “Der preußische Adel,” p. 112. Similarly, John Gillis writes that by the 1870s “the civil service was . . . firmly connected to agrarian interests” (“Aristocracy and Bureaucracy,” p. 127). See also The Prussian Bureaucracy, pp. 209ff. Otto Pflanze claims that for Bismarck “the protection of agrarian interests [was] the highest duty of economic policy”; “the course he followed was agrarian or even anticapitalist.” Pflanze argues that Bismarck attacked one branch of industry after another during the 1870s and 1880s. Cf. Pflanze, “ ‘Sammlungspolitik,’ ” pp. 158, 192. 21. See Segre, “The State and Society,” pp. 332–333, my emphasis. 22. Ibid., p. 332. In another twist on this interpretation, it is sometimes argued that Junker interests triumphed over conservative-agrarian ideologies in one key



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area: the Russian question. Whereas conservatives favored an alliance of the monarchies against the democratic western states, agrarians’ interests were threatened most directly by Russian grain. The German-Russian alliance of course eventually collapsed, and the key domestic factor contributing to this was the new trade treaty that was “extorted” from the Russian government under duress, following the 1905 revolution. Thus agrarians’ economic interests took the upper hand over their political interests. See Kehr, Battleship Building, pp. 273–274, esp. note 3. 23. Berghahn, Germany and the Approach, p. 19 (similar statements are strewn throughout the book); Puhle, Politische Agrarbewegungen, p. 41, quoted in Schissler, “Die Junker,” p. 108, note 77. 24. The derivation of the state’s class character from the background of its officials is equivalent to the collapsing of different fields, in Bourdieu’s sense of the term. There is no reason to assume that an originally “agrarian” position in the economic field, or an originally agrarian habitus, will necessarily assume agrarian ideological positions within the field of intra-state politics. 25. See Herzfeld, Johannes von Miquel, vol. 1, pp. 7–8, vol. 2, pp. 634ff.; Stürmer, Das ruhelose Reich, pp. 176, 278. 26. Schissler, “Die Junker,” p. 91. Although Schissler acknowledges that the Prussian bureaucracy was relatively autonomous from Junker control during the nineteenth century (p. 102, note 53), she conspicuously excludes industry from the “ruling elite coalition” (p. 111). In contrast to other authors discussed here, however, Schissler rejects the notion that Germany was “exceptional” in this regard or that its nobles were peculiarly reactionary. See also Schissler, Preussische Agrargesellschaft. 27. Bonham, “Bureaucratic Modernizers.” 28. The quote is from Weber, “The National State,” pp. 202–203. Poulantzas’s and Engels’s discussions of absolutism attempt to reconcile Marxism with the continued political dominance of an economically declining class. Nonetheless, absolutism for them involves the aristocracy engineering its own class demise, whereas the Junkerstaat thesis suggests that the declining class uses the state to benefit mainly itself. 29. Walther Hoffmann, Das Wachstum; Stürmer, Das ruhelose Reich, p. 68. For a different view see Mayer, Persistence, pp. 26–27. It is important to recognize that East Elbian agriculture was fully capitalist in a “Smithian” sense, being oriented for centuries toward production for the market. The partially feudal elements become visible only from the standpoint of a mode of production analysis, which would emphasize the mingling of political and economic powers in the role of the estate owner (Gutsbesitzer) and the overall importance of coercive elements in agrarian production. Yet this debate is ultimately of little importance in the present context. It would alter nothing in this analysis to categorize the split between agriculture and industry as internal to the capitalist class; what matters is the growing dominance of the industrial faction. 30. Cf. Marx, “Die Lage,” p. 642; Engels, “Die preußische Militärfrage,” pp. 72–74 and “Supplement to the Preface of 1870,” p. 165. 31. New York Daily Tribune, 1 Feb. 1859, cited in Elster, Making Sense, p. 418. 32. Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Program,” p. 27. 33. Anderson, Lineages, p. 277. 34. Engels, “Die ‘Krisis’ in Preußen,” pp. 292–293, and “Supplement to the Preface of 1870,” p. 166.

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35. Engels, “The Role of Force,” p. 417. This essay was written in 1895– 1896. 36. Ibid., 419–421. 37. Engels, “Les chemins de fer,” p. 196. 38. Engels, “Die preußische Militärfrage,” p. 71. 39. Ibid., pp. 71–72. For other discussions by Engels of Bismarckism and Bonapartism, see “The Origin of the Family,” p. 328, and “The Housing Question,” p. 349. 40. Engels, “Supplement to the Preface,” p. 167. Cf. also Marx, “The Eighteenth Brumaire.” Both Lenin and Trotsky also used the concept of Bonapartism; see Trotsky, “German Bonapartism.” 41. Engels, letter to Marx, 13 April 1866, in MEW, vol. 31, p. 208; “Die preußische Militärfrage,” p. 56. 42. In this respect Engels recalls the Sonderweg interpretation of German history, although he diverges in his view of the German state as fundamentally bourgeois. See also his Germany: Revolution and Counter-Revolution. For similar statements, see Engels, “Die Abdankung,” pp. 383–384, “Preface to the Second Edition,” p. 160, “Die ‘Krisis’ in Preußen,” p. 295, “Die preußische Militärfrage,” p. 56, and “The Role of Force,” p. 398. 43. E.g., Engels, “The Origin of the Family,” p. 329. 44. Engels, “Le socialisme,” p. 194. 45. Engels, “The Housing Question,” p. 348. 46. See Poulantzas, Political Power, p. 47. 47. Poulantzas also makes the familiar claim that the German bourgeoisie, traumatized first by the French Revolution and later by the working-class movement, did not break decisively with the nobility and “left to the state the task of establishing its own political domination” (ibid., p. 181). Based on these comments, Eley assimilates Poulantzas to Lukács and Isaac Deutscher as a Marxist proponent of the Sonderweg thesis. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 46. 48. Poulantzas, Political Power, pp. 81, 181. See also p. 161, note 6; p. 167, note 15. 49. Poulantzas, Political Power, pp. 188–189. 50. Poulantzas does provide examples of “premature” transitions to capitalist state forms—the English revolution and the Absolutist state—but nowhere does he theorize “lagging” states. See ibid., pp. 169ff. 51. Ibid., p. 180. 52. Ibid., pp. 249, 338. 53. Anderson, Lineages, p. 236. 54. Ibid., p. 224, my emphasis. 55. Ibid., p. 212. 56. Ibid., p. 18. 57. Ibid., p. 236. Anderson speaks of Germany as “the largest industrialized capitalist State in the continent,” using the word “State” in the more conventional sense of “country.” 58. Ibid., p. 276. “The German State was now a capitalist apparatus, over-determined by its feudal ancestry, but fundamentally homologous with a social formation which by the early twentieth century was massively dominated by the capitalist mode of production” (ibid., p. 278). 59. Ibid., p. 277, my emphasis. 60. I will not deal with East German scholarship on the Imperial German state,



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which during four decades added little to the writings of Marx and Engels. GDR scholarship was of course much more varied than the ritualistic references to the Marxist “classics” (or Western historians’ comments) might lead one to believe. For example, it is impossible to argue that GDR writing on the Wilhelmine state uniformly obeyed the “Stamokap” thesis of a “fusion of state and monopolies.” (Compare Kocka, “Organisierter Kapitalismus,” esp. pp. 25ff.) On the contrary, East German historical work on Imperial Germany seems to express the same hesitations and internal contradictions found in Marx and Engels, and quite frequently reproduces the basic interpretation of the West German “critical” historians. Although the German state was viewed as in some sense capitalist, it is also argued that “the decisive positions within the state apparatus remained in Junker hands” until after 1890. Like the critical Western historians, most GDR historians accepted the model of the state as a case of semiautonomous Bonapartism (both under Bismarck and thereafter), without bothering to explain why the state’s autonomy should remain only partial. To the question why Junkers should have promoted industrial capitalism in apparent violation of their own class interests, the main answer is to ward off the possibility of a liberal parliamentary system that would eliminate the nobility’s special privileges (see Steglich, “Beitrag zur Problematik,” pp. 324, 329, 335; Küttler, “Nochmals zur Klassenposition,” p. 241, and “Zu den Kriterien,” p. 734; Engelberg, “Zur Entstehung”; Seeber, “Preußisch-deutscher Bonapartismus”; Canis, “Der umittelbare Übergang,” pp. 960, 965, 969; Fritz Klein, Deutschland 1897– 1917, pp. 40–41, 64). As on the other side of the border, East Germany’s rivalry with the Federal Republic had a series of disruptive effects on historical writing and theoretical discourse. Germany’s deviation from the West was the focal point of several major historical interpretations published during the early years of the GDR, by writers such as Georg Lukács, Alexander Abusch, and the nondogmatic Marxist Leo Kofler. Yet as Georg Iggers has noted, this reading was rejected in the early 1950s as part of an effort “by the nascent East German state to define itself as the heir of a progressive, democratic tradition” (Iggers, introduction to Dorpalen, German History, p. 17). Another crucial reevaluation occurred later in the 1950s, as the authorial collective of the official Textbook of German History (Lehrbuch der deutschen Geschichte) debated the overall political stance to be assumed toward the Bismarckian empire. At this point, a more critical view of the Kaiserreich triumphed against the interpretation emphasizing the empire’s historically positive contribution to the development of capitalism. The main reason for this turnaround was the confrontation with West Germany, whose “reactionary elites” were perceived as cultivating a positive identification with the empire, using “unification and the Kaiserreich as examples or models for impending political decisions”—West Germany as Prussia, Adenauer as Bismarck, and the borders of 1871 as a “point of departure for West German politics” (Seeber and Wolter, “Neue Tendenzen,” pp. 1072–1073; and Helas, “Revolutionär-demokratische Einigung”). With detente, East German historical writing become somewhat more diverse, but also more conceptually vague. By the early 1980s, it is possible to find side by side the arguments that the German state was principally bourgeois, Bonapartist, dominated by the Junkers, and “fused” with monopoly capital (see Canis, “Kontinuität und Diskontinuität,” pp. 24, 31; Gutsche, “Probleme des Verhältnisses”). 61. See especially Eley, “The British Model,” and Blackbourn, “The Discreet Charm.” See also Eley, Reshaping the German Right, “German History and the Contradictions,” and the essays in From Unification to Nazism, especially chapters

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2–6. Comments on the nature of the Imperial German state and the Wilhelmine system of rule are also found in: Eley, “Defining Social Imperialism,” “In Search of the Bourgeois Revolution,” and “View from the Throne.” 62. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 95; see also Blackbourn, “Discreet Charm,” p. 249. 63. Eley, “Capitalism and the Wilhelmine State,” p. 51. 64. Eley, “In Search of the Bourgeois Revolution,” pp. 118–119. For a similar formulation, see “The British Model,” p. 84. 65. Blackbourn, “Discreet Charm,” pp. 178–193, quotes from pp. 190, 178. 66. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 149; Blackbourn, “Discreet Charm,” pp. 261, 279. 67. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 149. Actually, Eley is unclear about the period of applicability of the Bonapartist concept. His more detailed treatment of state-class relations in Reshaping the German Right suggests that the concept might have continued validity down to 1914–1918. Even after the fall of Bismarck, the state is portrayed as actively constructing shifting coalitions among political parties and classes, and even becoming increasingly autonomous from the new “Sammlung” forces (agrarians + heavy industry + radical nationalists) that form a growing rightwing opposition. Cf. Reshaping, pp. 316–334. 68. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 151. 69. Reshaping is actually somewhat unclear on the relations between landed and industrial interests before 1890. On the one hand, the period following German unification is presented as “bourgeois consolidation” (p. 335); on the other hand, the landowners are said to have been able to dictate government policy before 1890 (p. 353). 70. For convincing expositions of the growing gap between industrial and agricultural interests after 1890, see Eley, “Sammlungspolitik.” On the shift between the periods before and after the 1890s, compare Reshaping, pp. 255, 294–295, 321, 338, 349, and 351, with pp. 242, 263, and 297. 71. Two other useful West German studies of the founding of the empire that treat the state in a similar manner are Machtan and Milles, Die Klassensymbiose; Spohn, Weltmarktkonkurrenz und Industrialisierung. See also Hamerow, Restoration, Revolution; and Mooers, Making of Bourgeois Europe, pp. 103–153. 72. Eley, “State Formation,” p. 67. Yet while making the “non-reductionist, non-economistic” argument that there may not always be “a tidy fit between socioeconomic structures and . . . politico-institutional and ideological forms,” Eley also accepts Therborn’s argument that “the dominance of a ruling class resides in its ability ‘to bring about a particular mode of intervention’ . . . in order to secure the conditions under which ‘the economic, political and ideological conditions of its domination’ in society may be reproduced” (Eley, “The British Model,” pp. 132, 135). 73. The more general framework of this research has been discussed as the thesis of German exceptionalism in the introduction. The major writing includes Wehler, German Empire; Puhle, Agrarische Interessenpolitik; Kocka, White Collar Workers; Berghahn, Rüstung und Machtpolitik and Der Tirpitzplan; Winkler, Mittelstand, Demokratie und Nationalsozialismus and Organiserter Kapitalismus. 74. Eley, “The British Model,” p. 131. 75. Although Thomas Nipperdey has also presented a massive study of the Kaiserreich, he does not properly belong to the theoretically oriented, critical trend in West German historiography. See Deutsche Geschichte 1866–1918. More impor-



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tant in the present context, the first volume deals with politics only indirectly, with the exception of a section on social policy (pp. 335–373); the second volume had not yet appeared at the time of writing. 76. Whatever his prominence, Wehler cannot be said to speak for a whole generation of critical historians, who differ in emphasis and language. The degree to which some historians have distanced themselves from an earlier critical approach is best illustrated by Michael Stürmer’s Das ruhelose Reich. Hans-Jürgen Puhle has objected to the implication that there is a common Kehrite “school”; see Puhle, “Zur Legende.” 77. Wehler, German Empire, p. 242. On the first point, see also pp. 23, 44–45, 55, 58, 131, 178, 197, and 246; on the second see ibid., p. 141 (on the 1909 financial reform) and p. 138 (the state was “able to operate against the specific interests of capitalists”). See also Wehler, “Industrial Growth,” pp. 85–87, and “Wie ‘bürgerlich,’ ” p. 259. 78. German Empire, p. 138. He also approvingly quotes Walther Rathenau on the state as ruled by members of or converts to “military feudalism, the feudalised bureaucracy, or the feudalised, miltarised and bureaucratised plutocracy” (ibid., p. 99). See also Wehler, “Industrial Growth,” p. 46, where he speaks of the “traditional predominance of the noble or feudalized bourgeois landowners.” 79. “Industrial Growth,” pp. 58, 47–48; note also Wehler’s insistence in Bismarck und der Imperialismus (p. 458) that Bismarck “supported the development of the industrial economy.” See also his “Industrial Growth,” “Galls ‘Bismarck,’ ” p. 92, and “Der Aufstieg.” In the latter essay Wehler gives an almost economic functionalist account of state interventions, writing that “new steering tasks are forced upon the state by this economic form” (p. 38, cf. also p. 43). 80. See, e.g., Stürmer, Das ruhelose Reich, pp. 113–114, “Bismarckstaat und Cäsarismus,” Regierung und Reichstag, and the essays in Stürmer, Das kaiserliche Deutschland. 81. Stürmer prefers the related term Caesarism but often uses it synonymously with Bonapartism (see “Bismarckstaat und Cäsarismus”). 82. German Empire, pp. 58, 60. 83. Contrast Wehler’s overall discussions of Bismarck’s rule in German Empire and Bismarck und der Imperialismus with his concise definitions there and in “Kritik und kritische Antikritik,” p. 409. For critiques of the Bonapartism model, see Mitchell, “Bonapartism as a Model” and “Der Bonapartismus”; Fehrenbach, “Bonapartismus und Konservatismus”; Pflanze, “Bismarcks Herrschaftstechnik”; and Gall, “Bismarck und der Bonapartismus.” 84. Plessis, De la fête impériale, pp. 85–90. 85. Wolfgang Mommsen also sees Bonapartism as a “long-term stabilization of a bourgeois system through plebiscitary means” (cf. Mommsen, “Die Verfassung,” p. 196). 86. Thus although Wehler insists that the concept of a “chancellor dictatorship” is “too narrow and personalistic,” his explanation of the polycratic “permanent crisis” after 1890 is rooted in the power vacuum left by the absence of a Bismarck— although he does suggest that “Bonapartism” continued after Bismarck (German Empire, pp. 57, 64). For an excellent discussion, see Mommsen, “Das deutsche Kaiserreich,” pp. 14–17. 87. Consider also Wehler’s argument that one could easily substitute the nobility in the case of German Bonapartism for the bourgeoisie in the French case (“Kritik,” p. 411). As noted earlier, the absolutist state has been construed as a redeployed

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instrument of feudal power, partially autonomous from the social class that it was intended to defend. Wehler’s redefinition of Bonapartism would thus reclassify some of Anderson’s absolutist states as “Bonapartist,” clearly emptying the latter concept of meaning. 88. Gall, “Zu Ausbildung,” p. 558, note 15. 89. W. Mommsen, “Das deutsche Kaiserreich,” pp. 32–33; see also “Die Verfassung.” 90. Literally, “Germany is ruled in German”; or “Germany is ruled à la mode allemande” (Holberg, Nachricht aus meinem Leben, 1727–1742, quoted in Sauer, “Das Problem,” p. 479, note 69). 91. Röhl, “Beamtenpolitik,” p. 302. Morsey calculated that 22 percent of all Imperial Vortragende Räte were noble, a somewhat higher estimate. He also counts five of the thirty-four Vortragende Räte in the Imperial Interior Office as noble. See Morsey, Die oberste Reichsverwaltung, p. 246. On the low percentage of aristocratic representation overall in the civil service, see the statistics in von Schulte, “Adel im deutschen Offizier- u. Beamtenstand.” It should also be recalled that nobles were vastly overrepresented among the state elite in nearly all European countries before 1918. Wolfram Fischer notes that “in 1913 . . . three quarters of the members of the Prussian House of Lords and more than a quarter of the House of Representatives were aristocrats” but gives comparable figures for most other European countries (Fischer, “Wirtschafts- und sozialgeschichtliche,” p. 103). 92. Muncy, The Junker, p. 191. 93. See Knight, German Executive, p. 33; Carsten, “Der preußische Adel,” pp. 120–121. 94. Of course, gentry dominance was even greater among the officers of the Prussian army than within the civilian bureaucracy, although here too things changed under the empire, such that “by 1867 the officer corps was already split evenly between nobles and bourgeois, and by 1913 the proportion of bourgeois officers had risen to 70 per cent” (Eley, “Army, State,” p. 98). See also Demeter, German Officer Corps; Kitchen, German Officer Corps; Craig, Politics of the Prussian Army, pp. 233–238; and Messerschmidt, Die politische Geschichte. On the origins of the social pact between landowning nobility and the Hohenzollern rulers in the seventeenth century, see Rosenberg, Bureaucracy, Aristocracy, chapter 1. On the upper-level imperial bureaucracy, see Hintze, “Der Beamtenstand”; Morsey, “Zur Geschichte,” and Die oberste Reichsverwaltung; Bonham, “Bureaucratic Modernizers”; and Süle, Preußische Bürokratietradition. On the Prussian bureaucracy in the nineteenth century, see especially Muncy, The Junker; Gillis, The Prussian Bureaucracy; and von Preradowich, Die Führungsschichten, part 2. Berdahl treats the first half of the century; see Politics of the Prussian Nobility. 95. Between 1806 and 1918, 41 percent of the Bavarian state ministers and 59 percent of the Regierungspräsidenten were noble, with no clear decline until after 1900. See Schärl, Die Zusammensetzung, pp. 32, 54, 81. In all states, including Prussia and Bavaria, the biggest concentration of traditional elites’ power was in the military, although the Imperial navy was bourgeois. See also Demel, “Der bayerische Adel,” pp. 136–138. 96. Mayer, Persistence, p. 146. 97. On the Poor Law and freedom of movement, see chapter 5; the industrial code is printed in Hirth, Staatshandbuch, vol. 2, pp. 441–476; on economic legislation more generally see Hamerow, Restoration, Revolution, pp. 252–254, and Social



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Foundations, esp. pp. 158–162. On the 1877 patent law, see Sonnemann and Etzold, “Patent und Monopol.” Much of the 1869 Industrial Code was foreshadowed in the 1845 Prussian Code, printed in Preußische Gesetzsammlung 1845 (Gesetzsammlung für die königlichen preußischen Staaten) Nr. 4 (1845–1846). 98. Chancellor Caprivi underscored the centrality of the socialist threat even more openly than his predecessor, Bismarck: “No bill will be introduced here . . . that has not already been considered from the standpoint of its likely influence on the social-democratic question” (Arndt, Die Reden des Grafen von Caprivi, p. 115, quoted in Engelberg, Deutschland von 1871 bis 1897, p. 303). 99. Stürmer, Das ruhelose Reich, p. 113. 100. “Wie ‘bürgerlich,’ ” p. 259. 101. See Sheehan, “Liberalism”; Blackbourn, “Kommentar,” p. 285. 102. See, e.g., Fischer, War of Illusions, pp. 100–101. 103. Theodor Schieder argues that the three-class franchise actually helped the bourgeoisie more than the Junkers; see Schieder, “Vom Norddeutschen Bund,” p. 5. 104. For sharp rejections by Marxists of the assignment of political ideologies to classes, see Laclau, Politics and Ideology; and Hall, “The Problem of Ideology.” 105. See Wehler, German Empire, pp. 50–51, and “Der Aufstieg,” p. 47. The description of German industry as “feudal” was a common polemical tool of liberals and socialists under the empire, and it has been passed on by Eckart Kehr to contemporary writers. Cf. Kehr, “The Genesis,” p. 106; also Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy, pp. 46–60; Mommsen, Britain and Germany, p. 10. 106. Some of the other political processes and policies that Wehler and others have presented as evidence of neo-feudal/agrarian predominance have been convincingly refuted by Eley and Blackbourn, and their critique does not need to be repeated here. The most important of these disputed cases is Wehler’s “social imperialism,” defined as an “old technique of rule, already described by Machiavelli, in which internal tensions and forces of change are diverted outwards in order to preserve the social and political status quo.” Eley has insisted that imperialism is not simply a tool for the defense of a neo-feudal status quo, but as a project which “national capitalism” embarks on at a certain historical moment, involving “vigorous world expansion and a sophisticated effort to incorporate the labour movement by elaborate propaganda, limited recognition and the prospect of reform.” Cf. Wehler, Bismarck und der Imperialismus, p. 115; Eley, “Defining Social Imperialism,” p. 288. 107. Cf. Poulantzas, Political Power. 108. See especially Bourdieu, “What Makes a Class?”; Distinction, pp. 479–481; and “Social Space,” p. 726. See also Przeworski, “Proletariat into a Class”; and Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony. The logic of the state’s role in “classification struggles” is clearly illustrated by Jürgen Kocka’s analyses of the effects of the post-1900 German social-insurance legislation in solidifying distinctions between white-collar and manual workers and Boltanski’s similar treatment of the impact on the solidification of the social category “cadres” by the Vichy administration’s granting of legal status to the “cadres” in the 1941 charte du travail. Cf. Kocka, “Class Formation” and White Collar Workers; Boltanski, “How a Social Group Objectified Itself.” 109. See the discussion in chapter 1 of commodification, and Offe, “Social Policy” and “Theses”; see also Esping-Anderson, Politics Against Markets. The notion that the “tax state” educates “its people toward a spirit of Rechenhaftigkeit” should

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not be regarded as just an analytical construction. German colonial administrators, for example, imposed taxes on Africans in a conscious effort to “socialize” them into a capitalist habitus. See Braun, “Taxation, Sociopolitical Structure,” p. 248; F. K. Mann, “Sociology of Taxation,” p. 227; Smith, German Colonial Empire, p. 101. 110. Cf. Stegmann, Erben Bismarcks and “Wirtschaft und Politik”; also Witt, “Innenpolitik und Imperialismus.” 111. The German agriculture and forestry sectors accounted for an average of roughly 30 percent of the national product and 40 percent of the labor force between 1880 and 1913. Cf. Walther Hoffmann, Das Wachstum, pp. 33, 35. 112. A better comparison in this regard would be the United States during the pre-1914 period. Such a comparison would certainly find an equally striking accommodation of agricultural interests. The stronger antitrust legislation in the U.S. in comparison to Imperial Germany might even make the latter appear to be the more “capitalist” state. 113. Although isolating and undercutting the socialists remained the prevailing strategy at the national level, this was not the case at the local level. On municipal experiments with integration of the SPD, see chapters 6–9. 114. I will use the term Conservatives to refer to the Konservative or Deutschkonservative Partei rather than the smaller Deutsche Reichspartei. See Fricke and Hartwig, “Bund der Landwirte”; Puhle, Agrarische Interessenpolitik and “Der Bund der Landwirte.” 115. Bethmann Hollweg was forced to rely on a coalition of left liberal, Center party, and socialist votes to pass the tax reform in 1913, yet he shied away from dumping the Conservatives (see the discussion below of the finance reforms). See chapter 7 for a discussion of the growing acceptance of social policy and state intervention among the liberal political parties. 116. Crothers, German Elections; Bertram, Die Wahlen; Fricke, “Die Reichstagswahlen.” 117. R. Tilly, “Soll und Haben,” p. 312. See Böhme, “Big-Business Pressure Groups” and Deutschlands Weg; Barkin, The Controversy; and especially Hardach, Die Bedeutung wirtschaftlicher Faktoren. 118. Kehr, Battleship Building, p. 276. Kehr’s uneasy combination of the Junkerstaat and Sammlung theses is characteristic of later writers. Even “without open public demand,” he writes, “German policy was guided . . . according to the desires of capitalistic economy” (ibid., p. 261); elsewhere, however, he throws into question the functionality of the state’s interventions for industry (e.g., p. 277). On the Sammlung, see also Stegmann, Die Erben Bismarcks; Wehler, German Empire, pp. 94–99; Barkin, The Controversy, chapter 6. For criticisms of the model see Pflanze, “ ‘Sammlungspolitik’ 1875–1886,” and Eley “Sammlungspolitik.” 119. Eley, “Sammlungspolitik.” See also Hallgarten, Das Wettrüsten, p. 27. The heavy-industrial Centralverband deutscher Industrieller (CdI) had been instrumental in the creation of the advisory council; see Kaulisch, “Die Bildung”; CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte, Nr. 100 (1905), “Sitzung des Ausschusses” (5 May 1905), p. 31; and Bueck, Der Centralverband, pp. 469–538. 120. Cf., inter alia, Jany, Geschichte der Preußischen Armee, p. 327; Berghahn, Germany and the Approach, pp. 7–8. 121. Geyer, Deutsche Rüstungspolitik; see also “Die Geschichte” and his contribution to the entry “Militarismus” in Brunner, Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, vol. 4, pp. 22–46ff.



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122. As Eley writes, “It is important to remember just how ‘modern’ the phenomenon of the mass conscript army actually was” (“Army, State,” p. 96). 123. Geyer, Deutsche Rüstungspolitik, pp. 29, 38. I will not deal with the question of the army’s demands for autonomy from the parliament, because parliamentarization is not a necessary correlate of a bourgeois state. Eley, “Army, State and Civil Society,” deals extensively with the question of army-parliament relations. 124. Eley, “Army, State,” p. 96. The contemporaneous American civil war should also be mentioned in this context, of course. On the growing industrialization of war throughout this period, see Geyer, “Die Geschichte,” and Ellis, Social History. 125. Kehr, “The Genesis,” p. 103. 126. Ellis, Social History, pp. 61, 115; Morrow, Building German Airpower; Reichsarchiv, Kriegsrüstung, pp. 268–271. 127. Geyer, Deutsche Rüstungspolitik, pp. 62–63; 92, 99. 128. Ibid., p. 65. 129. Messerschmidt, Politische Geschichte, p. 367. On Krupp and the state, cf. ibid., pp. 372–377; Kitchen, Military History, p. 148; and the correspondence between the Krupp firm and the government in Boelcke, Krupp. 130. Böhme, “Big-Business Pressure Groups,” p. 224. See also Groh, “ ‘Je eher, desto besser!’ ” pp. 519–520; and Kehr, “Class Struggle,” pp. 68–69. Similar questions became prominent in discussions of the new navy fleet; see Fischer, War of Illusions, p. 135; Berghahn, Germany and the Approach, pp. 27–28. 131. On the mainly pro-business character of German colonial administration in Africa, and the corresponding neglect of emigrationist goals, see Smith, German Colonial Empire. On “Southwest,” see especially Bley, South-West Africa; Drechsler, ‘Let us Die Fighting’; Voeltz, German Colonialism; Schmokel, “Myth of the White Farmer”; Goldblatt, History of South West; and Sudholt, Die deutsche Eingeborenenpolitik. On German East Africa (Tanganyika/Tanzania), see Iliffe, Tanganyika; Freeman-Grenville, “The German Sphere”; and Austen, Northwest Tanzania; on German Togo, see Cornevin, Histoire du Togo, pp. 167–205; Knoll, Togo; Sebald, Togo 1884–1914; and Erbar, ‘Platz an der Sonne’? On Cameroon, see Hausen, Deutsche Kolonialherrschaft; Rudin, Germans in the Cameroons; Stoecker, Kamerun; Wirz, Vom Sklavenhandel; Austen, “Duala versus Germans” and “The Metamorphoses of Middleman.” On Germany’s colonies in the Pacific and China, see Kennedy and Moses, Germany; Firth, New Guinea; Hempenstall, Pacific Islanders; Hahl, Governer; Weicker, Kiautschou; and Schrecker, Imperialism. The best recent overview of German colonialism is Gründer, Geschichte; see also Knoll and Gann, Germans in the Tropics; Nestvogel and Tetzlaff, Afrika; Gann and Duignan, The Rulers; and Brunschwig, L’expansion allemande. 132. Wehler, German Empire, p. 198. 133. Cf. F. Fischer, War of Illusions, pp. 81, 192, 267, 457; see also Fritz Klein, “Das Heranreifen,” p. 613; and the essays in Holl and List, Liberalismus. 134. Certain commercial capitalists were the partial exception, stressing the need for an understanding with Britain. Yet even Albert Ballin (director of the HamburgAmerika shipping line) and Karl Helfferich (director of the Deutsche Bank and later secretary of state in the treasury department) took a “firmer line.” F. Fischer, War of Illusions, pp. 265–266, 457. 135. Engelberg, Deutschland 1871–1897, p. 323. 136. Führbaum, Entwicklung der Gemeindesteuern, pp. 215–223; Engelberg, Deutschland 1871–1897, pp. 322–323; Gerloff, “Der Staatshaushalt, p. 45.

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137. Local electoral restrictions are discussed in more detail in chapter 7. 138. Wehler, German Empire, p. 141. 139. Witt, Die Finanzpolitik, p. 59, see also pp. 49, 54. Most of the discussion that follows is based on Witt’s superb study, although I offer a different interpretation of his findings. On the finance reforms of 1906 and 1909, see also Eschenburg, Das Kaiserreich. 140. On the “lex Stengel” of 1906 and the inheritance tax, see Linschmann, Die Reichsfinanzreform, here pp. 51–75. 141. Witt, Die Finanzpolitik, p. 266. Eventually, most of the National Liberals voted for the finance bill, however, and in 1913 they supported the idea of a new estate tax (ibid., pp. 296, 367). 142. CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 111 (1908), pp. 12–82 (“Die Reichsfinanzreform”), here pp. 43–45. Unfortunately, Witt quotes only a few prominent industrialists and bankers as supporters of the estate tax without providing a general overview of bourgeois opinion. 143. Witt, Die Finanzpolitik, p. 281. 144. Ibid., pp. 235, 355. 145. Ibid., p. 294. 146. Ibid., p. 272. On the 1907 elections, see Crothers, German Elections; and Fricke, “Die Reichstagswahlen.” 147. Witt, Die Finanzpolitik, pp. 313–314. 148. Ibid., p. 315. 149. CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 111 (1908), pp. 67–68. 150. Witt, Die Finanzpolitik, pp. 130, 370–371. 151. Marburg, “Government and Business,” p. 78. See also Blaich, “Die Anfänge,” pp. 148–149, Kartell- und Monopolpolitik, and “Der ‘Standard-OilFall.’ ” 152. Blaich, “Die Anfänge,” p. 144. 153. See Brack, Deutsche Erdölpolitik; and Blaich, Kartell- und Monopolpolitik, pp. 74–92, 185–206. Before electricity, kerosene was the most widely used fuel for lighting in Germany. 154. The Conservatives had supported the idea of a Reich Oil Monopoly during the discussions of the financial reform but moved into the opposition during the third reading of the bill. This shift was due mainly to a desire to help the Center party and to oppose the SPD, which had switched to support for the Reich monopoly after certain social-political measures were introduced into the draft bill. Brack cites some evidence that the CdI may also have influenced the Conservatives’ change of heart. While some eastern agrarians apparently feared that an imperial monopoly would drive the price of kerosene far below the price of the spirits (Leuchtspiritus) that they marketed as an alternative fuel for lamps, their opponents feared that a Reich monopoly would raise the price of petroleum and allow the agrarians to increase the price for Leuchtspiritus as well. See Brack, Deutsche Erdölpolitik, pp. 285, 490–491, 491 note 99, 331; Blaich, “Der ‘Standard-Oil-Fall,’ ” p. 677, and Kartell- und Monopolpolitik, p. 228. 155. Quotes from the CdI, “Langnamverein,” and Bergbau-Verein, in Brack, Deutsche Erdölpolitik, pp. 424, 423; see also Blaich, Kartell- und Monopolpolitik, pp. 198–199. 156. Patent law was an area in which the German state gave unambiguous preference to the interests of big industry over researchers, inventors, and small employers. Cf. Sonnemann and Etzold, “Patent und Monopol.”



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157. See Medalen, “State Monopoly Capitalism,” p. 93. 158. In addition to Medalen, see Mottek, “Zur Verstaatlichung,” for an excellent discussion of business opposition. 159. See ibid., pp. 25–27; Baudis and Nussbaum, Wirtschaft und Staat, p. 102; Medalen, “State Monopoly Capitalism,” pp. 88, 106; Korrespondenz des Bundes der Landwirte, 30 January 1905, Nr. 8, quoted in Horn, “Die Rolle des Bundes,” p. 353. 160. Medalen, “State Monopoly Capitalism,” p. 97. 161. One case in which the Prussian state does seem to have successfully challenged industrial resistance to nationalization involved the Prussian railroads. Mottek has argued that the difference between this case and the Hibernia affair was that the banks supported the sale of railroads to the state. Cf. Mottek, “Zur Verstaatlichung,” p. 19. 162. The following account is based on Horn, “Die Rolle des Bundes” and Der Kampf; and Bonham, “Bureaucratic Modernizers,” chapter 4. 163. Segre, “State and Society,” p. 334. 164. Of course, every state relies on nonfinancial resources as well, e.g., manpower for armies and for the civil service. The state cannot exploit these resources if it is insolvent, however. The Prussian-German state’s growing reliance on urban workers for manning its army in the immediate pre-1914 period put increasing pressure on the state to adopt a less hostile attitude vis-à-vis the working class. The interval between the big army increases that started with the 1912 bill and the outbreak of the war was too short for this growing pressure to have an effect on peacetime social policy, however. It is also uncertain whether the pressure to propitiate labor would not have been overridden by the countervailing pressure from heavy industry, which at this time was opposing social policy more vigorously than ever. Although the dynamics of social policy are not strictly comparable during wartime and peacetime, the speed with which the government adopted a policy of Burgfrieden with labor points to the extreme pressure that had built up even before the outbreak of the war. On the Burgfrieden, see Feldman, Army, Industry; on social policies during the war, see Preller, Sozialpolitik, part 1. 165. Braun, “Taxation,” p. 274, note 35; cf. also Schmoller, “Historische Betrachtungen,” p. 39. 166. Ibid., p. 44; Braun, “Taxation,” p. 295; Mueller, Bureaucracy, Education, p. 51. 167. Stein, quoted by Schmoller, “Die Epochen,” p. 71. 168. Koselleck, Preußen, pp. 181–185. 169. According to Richard Tilly’s calculations, the percentage of Prussian revenues from sources other than taxes progressed as follows: 1821 (34%); 1829 (35%); 1838 (34%); 1847 (34%); 1849 (35%); 1856 (44%); 1866 (51%); cf. Tilly, “Political Economy,” p. 493. 170. Henderson, State, pp. 59–75, 127–29. 171. Ibid., p. 71. 172. Fremdling, “Freight Rates.” Fremdling argues that the railways would have been cheaper had they been left in private hands, and thus more supportive of the market economy. This does not undermine our argument about the capitalist orientation of the state, however, because there is no assumption that the state is omniscient. It was widely believed at the time that reductions in transportation costs “exceeded the amount that could have been expected with a private railway system” (ibid., p. 29).

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173. Other figures on the percentage of total revenues from the state’s own properties: 1902 (17.3%); 1903 (18.8%); 1904 (17.9%); 1905 (18.5%); 1906 (16.1%); 1907 (11.4%); 1908 (12.5%); 1909 (12.5%); 1910 (15.3%); 1911 (14.7%). All figures are from the Statistisches Jahrbuch für den preußischen Staat, from vol. 1 (1903) through vol. 11 (1913), section “Finanzen.” All are final rather than projected budget figures. 174. In 1913 income taxes brought in 392 million marks, while the railroads’ net earnings were 590 million. Cf. Statistisches Jahrbuch für den preußischen Staat, vol. 13 (1915), p. 318. 175. See Witt, Finanzpolitik, table 13, pp. 378–379. 176. Figures from Statisches Jahrbuch für das deutsche Reich, vol. 34 (1913), p. 334; and Statisches Jahrbuch für den preußischen Staat, vol. 14 (1916), p. 274. The other large item in the imperial budget was the yearly transfers (Matrikularbeiträge) from the federal states. 177. Braun, “Taxation,” p. 314; R. Tilly, “Political Economy,” p. 495. 178. Stern, Gold and Iron, pp. 62–63, 130–131. Of all of the German armies, only Baden was able to pay for its participation in the Franco-Prussian war from regular income. Cf. Lenz, Kosten und Finanzierung, p. 97. 179. Quoted in Stürmer, “Militärkonflikt,” p. 225. 180. The state’s military and general fiscal needs were of course linked, but they were not identical. On the linkages, see Witt, “Reichsfinanzen.” 181. As Fischer and Lundgreen write, “To support armies and navies meant by necessity a strong and modernizing economy, whether achieved by innovative entrepreneurs or by state intervention or by both” (See Fischer and Lundgreen, “The Recruitment,” p. 528). 182. On the mounting scale of pre-1914 arms competition, see Noel-Baker, Private Manufacture, pp. 399–403. 183. Showalter, Railroads and Rifles, p. 213; Engels, “Notes on the War,” pp. 124, 137, also “History of the Rifle,” pp. 62–64. 184. The Krupp firm introduced cast-steel and nickel cannons; cf. Messerschmidt, Politische Geschichte, p. 358; Showalter, Railroads and Rifles, pp. 161– 190; Boelcke, Krupp, pp. 99–106; Hallgarten, Wettrüsten, pp. 58–63. 185. On the introduction of these and other new weapons in the years before 1914, see Osten-Sacken und von Rhein, Kaiser Wilhelm II, pp. 67–91. 186. In the infantry, the decisive shift to private industry for development and procurement occurred with the army’s adoption of the machine gun in 1872; Messerschmidt, Politische Geschichte, p. 355. 187. McNeill, Pursuit of Power, pp. 235, 255. 188. Cf. Schmidt-Richberg, “Die Regierungszeit,” p. 119; and Messerschmidt, Politische Geschichte, p. 370. 189. Boelcke, Krupp, p. 105; Berghahn, Rüstung und Machtpolitik, pp. 47ff., and Der Tirpitzplan. 190. Cf. Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt, Militärluftfahrt; Morrow, Building German Airpower. 191. McNeill, Pursuit of Power, p. 234. This sentence refers to British policy but is equally applicable to Prussia; see, e.g., Morrow, Building German Airpower, p. 39. Already in 1877, Krupp assured the kaiser that his firm had a monthly production capacity of 250 cannon. 192. See Burchardt, Friedenswirtschaft, pp. 206–207. It was also true in Britain



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and France that “international sales were needed to keep gunmaking equipment in continual—or nearly continual—use” (McNeill, Pursuit of Power, p. 271). 193. Showalter, Railroads and Rifles, p. 91. 194. See Reichsarchiv, Kriegsrüstung, pp. 270–273; Showalter, Railroads and Rifles, pp. 171, 174–175; Morrow, Building German Airpower, pp. 76, 120, 123. 195. Armstrong, European Administrative Elite, p. 120. 196. Jarausch, Students, Society, p. 238. 197. Ibid., pp. 321–324, 236. On dueling, see Kiernan, The Duel; and Frevert, “Bourgeois Honour.” 198. Frevert, “Bourgeois Honour,” p. 279. 199. Ibid., p. 282. Neither did the Burschenschaften simply emulate the more noble Corps. It is equally feasible that members understood their own appropriation of aristocratic symbolism as signaling a new openness of the elite, or even the ascent of the bourgeoisie to ruling-class status. There is little evidence one way or the other, because historians have not been interested in such questions. 200. See Hall and Jefferson, Resistance through Ritual. 201. Bonham finds little statistical effect of educational experience on variations in the political views of state officials in the Kaiserreich. Yet it is certainly the case that the overall worldview within which these variations occurred was more favorable to industrialization in terms of its basic assumptions than would have been the case in a different educational-discursive environment. Cf. Bonham, “Bureaucratic Modernizers,” pp. 346ff. 202. Bleek, Von der Kameralausbildung, pp. 47, 54, 80–81; Mueller, Bureaucracy, Education, p. 68; Rosenberg, Bureaucracy, Aristocracy, p. 190; von Delbrück, Die Ausbildung, p. 6. The following discussion also draws upon the following sources: Geib, “Ausbildung des Nachwuchses”; Hoffmann, “Die Ausbildung für Verwaltung”; Wunder, Geschichte der Bürokratie; Henning, Deutsche Beamtenschaft; Süle, Preußische Bürokratietradition; and Finer, Theory and Practice, pp. 794–802. For detailed discussions of the non-Prussian German bureaucracies, see Lotz, Geschichte des deutschen Beamtentums. 203. On cameralism, see chapter 3 and Maier, Die Ältere; Raeff, The WellOrdered Police State; Small, The Cameralists; Zielenziger, Die alten deutschen; Sommer, “Cameralism.” 204. Cf. Tribe, Governing Economy, pp. 8, 19, 54, 153; Brunschwig, La crise de l’état, p. 124. 205. Tribe, Governing Economy, emphasizes the connections between the older cameralism and nineteenth-century national economy. Friedrich Hoffmann refers to the latter as “post-cameralism” (“Die Ausbildung,” p. 179). 206. As the governor of Berlin put it after the Prussian military defeat in 1806, “The king has lost a battle—calm is the citizen’s first duty” (“Rühe ist die erste Bürgerpflicht”) (Sheehan, German History, p. 296). 207. Koselleck, Preußen, p. 245. See also Finer, Theory and Practice, p. 795; Delbrück, Ausbildung, pp. 7–9; Mueller, Bureaucracy, Education, p. 157; Bleek, Von der Kameralausbildung, p. 143; Gillis, Prussian Bureaucracy, p. 37. 208. Geib, “Ausbildung,” p. 322; Gillis, Prussian Bureaucracy, p. 17. 209. Finer, Theory and Practice, pp. 795–802; Geib, “Ausbildung,” pp. 323– 325; Delbrück, Ausbildung, pp. 12–24; Süle, Preußische Bürokratietradition, p. 88. It should also be noted that the cameralistic orientation faded less readily in Baden, Württemberg, and Hessen; see Lexis, “Kameralwissenschaft,” p. 752; Cohn,

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“Ueber die akademische Vorbildung,” p. 72; and Wunder, Geschichte der Bürokratie, p. 40. 210. Geib, “Ausbildung,” p. 320. A permanent exam commission was created; cf. Delbrück, Ausbildung, p. 4; Grünert, Bau- und Finanzdirektion, pp. 91–93. 211. Armstrong, European Administrative Elite, pp. 202–203. 212. This antimodern effect was observed among ministers who made a career in the Prussian departments of agriculture, finance, and the interior, rather than the Reich administration. Bonham, “Bureaucratic Modernizers,” p. 375. The classic example of this tendency was the Prussian finance minister Miquel, discussed earlier, who moved from a left liberal to an agrarian position. 213. Specifically, in the negotiations over the Stock Exchange Law, Wermuth claimed to have “turned the wheel in the other direction” against the agrarians, although he and the other government representative tried to “soothe the wrath of the agrarians as much as possible.” Wermuth claimed to harbor greater sympathies for the agrarians in the tariff issue, but this was much less a struggle between industry and agriculture than is usually thought. See Wermuth, Ein Beamtenleben, p. 206, also pp. 196, 203. 214. In her forthcoming book, Ann Orloff distinguishes between “demand-side” and “supply-side” theories of the state; see Orloff, The Politics of Pensions. CHAPTER FIVE 1. See the discussion in Ritter and Tenfelde, Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich, pp. 681ff., who calculate that prison sentences for Social Democratic militants only started to decline in 1906 (p. 682, note 9). Repression varied regionally as well (p. 688). 2. Dawson, Social Insurance, p. 240; similar comments by employers on pp. 235, 239, 246–247. 3. Typologies for distinguishing quantitatively among types of welfare states are discussed in Esping-Anderson, Three Worlds; and Orloff, O’Connor, and Shaver, “The Gender Regimes.” 4. This chapter will also ask why the proto-corporatist model did not emerge at the central level—or, in other words, why did the German government find it impossible to cooperate with the SPD? The fourth strategy (social work) developed haltingly and indirectly at the central level of the state through state subsidies to local or private institutions. 5. Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim,” p. 235. See also Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality,” and the more detailed discussion below. 6. The most significant recent exceptions are Tennstedt and Sachße, whose work is listed in the bibliography; see also the work of Heide Gerstenberger. A bibliography on poor relief is Münsterberg, Bibliographie des Armenwesens. The process of legislation has been studied for the 1842 Prussian law; see Schinkel, “Armenpflege und Freizügigkeit.” 7. Schmoller, Die soziale Frage, p. 369. 8. Zentrales Staatsarchiv I (Potsdam) (hereafter ZStA I), Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1265, p. 109 (“Votum des Staatsministers Hofmann den Kgl. Staatsministerium vorzulegen,” 5 November 1878). 9. Symptomatic in this respect were the views of Victor Aimeé Huber, the theorist and social politician recommended by Bismarck to Count Heinrich von Itzenplitz



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(the Prussian Handelsminister) in the early 1860s as an expert on social questions. Huber argued that “pauperism is the social illness of the proletariat,” calling for alms and relief. The working class, for Huber, needed to be stimulated to engage in selfhelp. In this respect, of course, Hermann Wagener was closer to Bismarck in advocating social insurance than was Huber. See Hindelang, Konservatismus und soziale Frage, pp. 30, 185, note 37; 188, 233, 275. 10. From the government’s “motivation” in the first unemployment insurance bill; cf. Wolff, Die Stellung der Sozialdemokratie, p. 13. 11. Ibid., p. 13; Baare, “Gesetz-Entwurf,” p. 85; and Brentano, “Die beabsichtigte Alters- und Invaliden-Versicherung,” which works out the connections between the pension law and poor relief in detail. 12. Over 92 million marks were spent on direct relief costs; see Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Statistik der öffentlichen Armenpflege,” p. 50*. During the same year 59 million marks were spent on goods, services, and transfers in social insurance; Andic and Veverka, “Growth of Government Expenditure,” p. 247. 13. Cf. Ostwald, “Armenpflege-Arbeitsbeschaffung,” p. 14; Hohorst, Kocka, and A. Ritter, Sozialgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch, vol. 2, pp. 154–156. The 1912 poor-relief estimate may be exaggerated, and there were no national poor-relief surveys after 1892. The order of magnitude of change in total national relief spending between 1885 and 1912 (over 1,100 percent) is greater than what we might expect from a city like Berlin, whose relief spending during the same period rose by only about 300 percent; in Essen, spending rose by 419 percent; in Bremen only 251 percent. But under the Unterstützungswohnsitzgesetz, spending may have grown even faster in smaller cities and the countryside than in cities, accounting for part of the difference. Statistics from Meinerich, Leistungen der Stadt Berlin, p. 50; Hagenberg, Das Armen- und Fürsorgewesen, p. 154; Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 111. Hage et al. argue that insurance spending surpassed assistance by 1892 in Germany. Judging by the only source that they cite for this claim, their assessment seems to be based on incomplete data that include only municipal expenditures on relief. We know, however, that the regional poor boards (Landarmenverbände) assumed the costs for all paupers without settlement rights in a city or town (see below). See Hage, Hanneman, and Gargan, State Responsiveness, p. 80. 14. Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 270–276. The ambiguous character of poor relief as a partial right is revealed by the case of Charlottenburg, where paupers were said to have a “right” to relief even if they refused to sign a statement promising to reimburse the city later for the costs of their assistance. See Balzer, Die Armenpolitik, p. 125. 15. Jütte, “Poor Relief,” p. 33; Hunecke, “Überlegungen zur Geschichte,” p. 492; Lis and Soly, Poverty and Capitalism, pp. 87ff.; and Mollat, The Poor in the Middle Ages, chapter 12. In a stimulating theoretical synthesis, Abram de Swaan shows why it was probably in the interests of individual cities to provide relief even before central poor laws required them to do so; he also lays out the chief danger facing such localities in the guise of “welfare tourism.” The risk was that a given city would provide care to the poor, especially the vagrant poor, while its neighbors would not. De Swaan uses a game-theoretic approach to model the decisions of localities: If all towns decide to admit vagrants, they all benefit; but it is in the interest of any given town to withdraw from the game by excluding the vagrant poor, and to “free-ride” on the efforts of other towns. The main historical solution to this unstable game was the creation of national poor laws. See De Swaan, In Care of the State, pp. 13–51.

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16. Lis and Soly, Poverty and Capitalism, p. 211; Axtmann, “ ‘Police,’ ” pp. 50– 52; Stekl, Österreichs Zucht- und Arbeitshäuser; Schmäh, “Das Ludwigsburger Arbeitshaus”; Eckel, “Das Kasseler Werkhaus”; Eichler, “Zucht- und Arbeitshäuser.” 17. See Peter, Die Probleme der Armut; Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim”; Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality.” 18. See Stahl, “Armenpflege,” p. 388; Axtmann, “ ‘Police,’ ” p. 51; Böhmert, Das Armenwesen, pp. 42–43. As Stahl pointed out, such proclamations could be traced back to the year 567 in Franconia. 19. Metz, “Staatsraison,” p. 14. 20. See Allgemeines Landrecht für die Preußischen Staaten, part 2, title 19, paragraphs 1–89. See also Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1, p. 196; Koselleck, Preußen, pp. 129–131, 621. 21. Schinkel, “Armenpflege und Freizügigkeit,” p. 465. On the foregoing, see also Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1, p. 196 22. Laws on “The Admission of Newly Arrived Persons” (31 December 1842), “The Duty to Relieve the Poor” (31 December 1842), and “The Punishment of Vagabonds, Beggars, and Malingerers” (6 January 1843). See Gesetz-Sammlung für die Königlichen Preußischen Staaten Nr. 2 (1843), laws Nr. 2317, 2318, and 2320. 23. Those who required poor relief during the first year of residence as a result of “preexisting conditions” could be returned to their earlier place of residence (Law on the Admission of Newly Arrived Persons, paragraph 5). 24. Koselleck, Preußen, p. 633. 25. Ibid., pp. 609ff.; Henderson, State. 26. See Schinkel, “Armenpflege und Freizügigkeit,” p. 472; however, by midcentury there were already complaints that the poor were starting to see relief as a right; Volkmann, Die Arbeiterfrage, p. 82. See also note 14 above. 27. Böhmert, Die Armenpflege, p. 42. 28. Schinkel, “Armenpflege und Freizügigkeit,” pp. 469, 471; Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1, p. 199. 29. See Reulecke, Sozialer Frieden, pp. 37–38. Reulecke also contrasts the liberal motivation of freedom of movement with the supposedly “traditional” motivation of poor law. This judgment overlooks the fact that other forms of poor law were available—the “Heimat” principle in particular—that were much more “traditional” and would have corresponded even less closely with the thrust of the freedom-of-movement laws. 30. Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, p. 270. 31. Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1, p. 203, also pp. 280–281. 32. Volkmann, Die Arbeiterfrage, p. 82. 33. Ibid., pp. 86–87. 34. Quoted in Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 146–147. The passage continues: “It is thus consistent to characterize the relief of the needy as a burden of the state,” although this burden was actually transferred to the local and regional poor boards. 35. Gesetz über die Freizügigkeit (1 November 1867), in Bundes-Gesetzblatt des Norddeutschen Bundes 1867, pp. 55–57, paragraph 1. 36. Gesetz über die Freizügigkeit, paragraph 4, my emphasis. Only if the person became impoverished before obtaining a new “relief residence” (Unterstützungs-



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wohnsitz) for reasons other than temporary inability to work was the town allowed to expel him or her (ibid., paragraph 5). 37. In Bundes-Gesetzblatt des Norddeutschen Bundes 1870, pp. 360–373. 38. The 1870 Relief Residency Law was complemented by a number of implementing statutes (Ausführungsgesetze) in the various federal states. Until 1910 poor relief in Alsace-Lorraine was regulated by the French Laws of 1793 and 1796. Local relief offices (bureaux de bienfaisance) were not required to assist even the “worthy” poor, nor did they have any legal mechanisms for being reimbursed by a pauper’s domicile de secours. See Denkschrift über die Lage des Armenwesen der Stadt Kolmar, pp. 4–5; Böhmert, Das Armenwesen, p. 105; Goltz, Straßburgs Armenpflege; Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 175–176; and the materials in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1266. Until 1916, Bavaria retained a version of the Heimatgesetz, whereby the place of birth was the typical basis of relief residency. There were many exceptions to this principle, however, and the term Heimat in Bavarian poor legislation increasingly functioned as an ideological signifier of stability rather than an accurate description of the relief system. According to a 1868 ruling it was possible to earn a new Heimat by residing uninterruptedly in a town for ten years (or five years if local taxes were paid), and after 1896 the waiting period was shortened to four years. However, people who needed assistance before they were granted a new Heimat could still be sent back to their previous homes. This stood in sharp contrast to the Prussian system, in which local officials were normally required to assist any pauper sur place, and to demand reimbursement from the Unterstützungswohnsitz. See Baron, “Die Entwicklung der Armenpflege,” p. 20; Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 108–112, 115. 39. The operations of the poor law can be followed in the yearly Entscheidungen des Bundesamtes für das Heimatwesen. 40. See also the decision of the Bundesamt für das Heimatwesen, in its Entscheidungen, vol. 7 (1876), p. 31: “The Federal Bureau has repeatedly recognized that healthy able-bodied persons may also have a claim to poor relief in certain cases.” See also Entscheidungen vol. 10 (1879), pp. 67–68. 41. Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Statistik der öffentlichen Armenpflege,” pp. 5*–6*. 42. On this parallel legislation, see Hamerow, Restoration, Revolution, pp. 252– 254, and his Social Foundations, pp. 158–162; also chapter 4. 43. The term active proletarianization is from Offe, “Social Policy.” 44. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1274, pp. 97ff., table (report of 21 January 1892 on costs of relief paid by relief unions of the Province East Prussia for persons impoverished in the west). 45. Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 463–465. 46. Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, “Verhandlungen,” in Archiv des Deutschen Landwirthschaftsraths 4 (1880), p. 446. 47. Reichstag, VA, 4th leg. per., 3d session, 1880, Nr. 183, p. 944. 48. Reichstag, VStB, 4th leg. per., 4th session, 25 May 1881, p. 1300. 49. Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, “Besprechung der Auswanderungsfrage,” in Archiv des Deutschen Landwirthschaftsraths 7 (1883), pp. 485–486; Bade, “ ‘Kulturkampf’ ”; Neubach, Die Ausweisungen von Polen. It is difficult to establish whether the Poor Law actually increased peoples’ willingness to emigrate, but it is interesting that the most significant increases in “internal” (as opposed to overseas)

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migration occurred when industrial jobs were most plentiful—during the early part of the 1870s and especially after 1890. In addition to the references above, see also Langewiesche, “Wanderungsbewegungen”; and Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 194–202. 50. Anderson, Lineages, p. 207. 51. Adickes, “Der erste deutsche Armenpfleger-Kongreß,” p. 633. 52. This characterization of the Conservative program was offered by the journalist Linschmann, in Die Reichsfinanzreform, p. 146. 53. Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, Archiv des Deutschen Landwirthschaftsraths 4 (1880), p. 444. The statement is also signed by H. von Oertzen-Leppin. 54. Steinmetz, “The Myth and the Reality,” p. 256. 55. Gottwalt, “Vereinigung,” p. 360. 56. Fricke and Hartwig, “Bund der Landwirte,” p. 244. 57. Reichstag, VStB, 8th leg. per., 1st session, 1891, pp. 3363, 4966; on further Conservative efforts to limit freedom of movement in 1893 and 1899, see Barkin, Controversy, pp. 65, 216. 58. Under the Heimatwohnsitz a pauper’s birthplace was typically responsible for his or her assistance. A married woman would usually assume her husband’s Heimat. The key difference was that there was no system of reimbursement by the Heimatwohnsitz for the relief of paupers away from “home.” As a result local officials had little choice but simply to evict “foreign” paupers, a practice known as Abschiebung. One of the official justifications for the relief residence system was to combat the phenomenon of Abschiebung. Some southern German conservatives still continued to defend the Heimatswohnsitz after 1870; see the typical argumentation by Baron Karl Gottlob Varnbüler in Reichstag, VStB, 4th leg. per., 4th session, 1881, p. 1292; and Reichstag, VA, 4th leg. per., 4th session, 1881, Nr. 124, pp. 713–714; also by Alfred Franz Rembold of the Center party, in Reichstag, VStB, 9th leg. per., 2d session, 1894, p. 977. 59. The East Prussian Landwirtschaftlicher Centralverein demanded above all lowering the age from twenty-four to twenty: cf. Reichstag, VA, 4th leg. per., 3d session, 1880, Nr. 183, pp. 944–945. Conservatives called for changes throughout the 1880s and 1890s: see Reichstag, VStB, 7th leg. per., 1st session, 1887, p. 61; 7th leg. per., 4th session, 1889, p. 1995; and 8th leg. per., 2d session, 1891, p. 3363. On the Kreisvertretungen, cf. Reichstag, VA, 6th leg. per., 2d session, 1886, Nr. 223, pp. 1045–1046. At its 1876 and 1881 meetings, the Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat called for a lowering of the age at which a new Unterstützungswohnsitz could be obtained and argued that the Regional Poor Law boards should bear the costs of persons with no “relief residency.” The problem was discussed again at the twentieth plenary session of the Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat in 1892: cf. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1285, p.4 (memorandum of Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat concerning the Laws on Settlement and Freedom of Movement, 24 May 1881); and Nr. 1288, pp. 24ff. (printed materials from Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat’s twentieth plenary meeting, 1892, concerning the Law on Settlement); also Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, Archiv des Deutschen Landwirthschaftsraths 4 (1880), pp. 441–463; and ibid., 5 (1881), pp. 36, 239–287. 60. In 1886, the East-Prussian county (Kreisvertretung) of Mohrungen petitioned to have the Relief Residence system introduced in Alsace-Lorraine. Reichstag, VA, 6th leg. per., 1st session, 1885–1886, Nr. 223, pp. 1045–1046. 61. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1275, pp. 192ff. (list of demands from the Prussian



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Haus der Abgeordneten, sent to the kaiser by the Prussian Interior Minister on 3 August 1899, following the debate on the crisis of rural labor). 62. Cf. the statements by the State Secretary of the Interior von Boetticher in the budget debates of 1887 and 1889: Reichstag, VStB, 7th leg. per., 1st session, 1887, p. 61; 7th leg. per., 4th session, 1889, pp. 1995–1996. 63. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1272, pp. 38ff. (Bismarck’s Votum of 28 March 1877, on reforms in the Poor Law). 64. Ibid. 65. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1272, pp. 130ff. (Bismarck’s comments on reform of poor relief, November 1881). 66. On the 1894 revision, see Blätter für das Armenwesen 1894, p. 65; ReichGesetzblatt 1894, Nr. 9, pp. 259–277; Reichstag, VStB, 8th leg. per., 2d session, 1893, pp. 1677–1743; 9th leg. per., 1st session, 1894, pp. 977–997, 1101–1102; and Reichstag, VA, 8th leg. per., 2d session, 1893, Nr. 130, pp. 751–754; 9th leg. per., 1st session, (1894), Nrs. 117 and 142, pp. 727–744 and 807–808. 67. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1274, pp. 97ff. (see note 44). 68. For examples of cases in which local police actually made use of this provision, see Verwaltungsbericht der Armenverwaltung der Stadt Siegen (1909), p. 16. 69. See Reichs-Gesetzblatt 1908, Nr. 35, pp. 377–396. The revised law also raised to twenty-six the number of weeks of illness during which the town in which a nonresident migrant worked had to bear the costs of assistance. 70. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1275, pp. 257ff. (meeting of Staatsministerium, 3 November 1900). As discussed in chapter 4, Miquel had been the strongest Junker ally among the higher Prussian and Reich officials in opposing trade treaty revisions and the Mittellandkanal during the early 1890s. 71. The development of these stations can be followed in the journal Die Arbeiter-Kolonie, which began publication in 1885; see also Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, pp. 407–412. 72. See especially Faust, “Arbeitsmarkt,” “Konjunktur,” “State and Unemployment,” and Arbeitsmarktpolitik. 73. See ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1289. Circular to the Oberpräsidenten from the Prussian minister of the interior von Hammerstein, 15 June 1901, praising the Verpflegungsstationen as limiting the itinerant to specific roads, permitting surveillance (Überwachung), and allowing the good to be distinguished from the “morally depraved” (p. 116). The Oberpräsidenten are also asked to reverse the decline in the number of Verpflegungsstationen (p. 117). 74. See Blätter für das Armenwesen 1896, p. 89; Blätter für das Armenwesen, 24 May 1902, Nr. 21; Troschke, Wanderarbeitsstätten. 75. On the notion of “governmentality,” see Foucault, “Governmentality,” and Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality.” 76. See Gesetz über den Unterstützungswohnsitz, paragraph 30; Münsterberg, Die deutsche Armengesetzgebung, p. 178. 77. Baumstark, Kameralistische Encyclopädie, pp. 653–654. 78. On the Foucauldian and Weberian antecedents of the ideas of governmentinduced habitus or Lebensführung, see Colin Gordon, “The Soul of the Citizen”; also Hennis, “Max Weber’s ‘Central Question’ ” and “Max Webers Thema.” 79. Quoted in Ayçoberry, “Les luttes pour le pouvoir,” p. 84. 80. For an interesting portrait of the state’s efforts to reign in a proletarian “nomad” during the Kaiserreich, see Schuchardt, Sechs Monate Arbeitshaus; con-

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temporary perceptions of Schuchardt by a more sedentary working-class autobiographer can be found in Bromme, Lebensgeschichte eines modernen Fabrikarbeiters, pp. 260–281. For top-level discussions of vagabondage and related disorders see ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 676a (concerning Freedom of Movement, Settlement, Relief, and Vagabondage, 1881–1888) and ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 2343, pp. 164ff. (Votum of Prussian Interior Minister Bethmann Hollweg on a bill on the construction of Wanderarbeitsstätten, 18 March 1906.) Local measures to “cage” and regulate nomads were much more numerous, and are the subject of later chapters; see also Scheffler, “ ‘Weltstadt’ und ‘Unterwelt.’ ” 81. Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality,” p. 20. On liberal governance, see also Burchell, “Civil Society,” esp. pp. 125–127. 82. Deleuze and Guattari, Nomadology, p. 29. Elsewhere they write: One of the fundamental tasks of the State is to striate the space over which it reigns. . . . It is a vital concern of every State not only to vanquish nomadism, but to control migrations and, more generally, to establish a zone of rights over an entire “exterior,” over all of the flows traversing the ecumenon. If it can help it, the State does not dissociate itself from a process of capture of flows of all kinds, populations, commodities or commerce, money or capital, etc. There is still a need for fixed paths in well-defined directions, which restrict speed, regulate circulation, relativize movement, and measure in detail the relative movements of subjects and objects. (Nomadology, pp. 59–60) On the bourgeois equation of proletarians and nomads, see ibid., p. 136 note 59; also Chevalier, Laboring Classes. See also Surin, “ ‘The Undecidable and the Fugitive’ ”; and Virilio, Speed and Politics. I am grateful to Ken Surin for his thoughts on Deleuze and Guattari. 83. See Gesetz über den Unterstützungswohnsitz, paragraphs 15–21, 29. 84. It should be stressed, however, that gender considerations were typically not allowed to interfere with the state’s welfare-policy goals of social order and laborforce mobilization. This is most evident in national labor legislation, where legal reductions of women’s industrial work remained minimal. 85. See, for example, the records of extensive efforts by Köpenick municipal officials to force two sons to pay the city for their estranged father’s poorhouse care, in Stadtarchiv Berlin (hereafter StadtA Berlin), Rep. 46 (Cöpenick), Nr. 58. The official reasons given for this system were “to raise the morality of the poor population and thereby to reduce indirectly the costs of poor relief”; Bericht über die Gemeindeverwaltung der Stadt Altona in den Jahren 1863–1900, vol. 3 (Altona, 1889), p. 197. More generally, see Münsterberg and Ludwig-Wolf, “Erstattung von Unterstützungen”; and Rosenstock, “Die Erstattung von öffentlichen Unterstützungen.” On the state’s construction of the family, see Lenoir, “Politique familiale.” The term construction is used here in the “social constructivist” sense; see Berger and Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality; Zerubavel, The Fine Line. 86. On the white-collar/blue-collar distinction in social insurance see Kocka, White Collar Workers, and “Class Formation.” On the poor-relief versus socialinsurance distinction see Simmel, “Zur Soziologie der Armut,” p. 27. 87. Gerstenberger, “Von der Armenpflege zur Sozialpolitik,” p. 58. This was obviously only true to the extent that the “respectable” workers who were eligible for social insurance deployed it to this exclusionary end. For our purposes here,



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the tendency of the state’s interventions is more important than the actual effects of social policy. 88. Indeed, this metaphor was much more powerful than the one that Bismarck had in mind when he envisioned creating a nation of small pensioners committed to the existing political regime. The idea of social security as an “insurance metaphor” was suggested by Jill Quadagno in a paper on the U.S. welfare state, “Generational Equity.” 89. Proletarian vigilance against cheaters also represents a case of what Keith Baker has identified as a key disciplinary technology invented by the French Revolution—denunciation of the individual in the name of the universal. The technology of denunciation combined the universalizing and individualizing moments of modernity: the individual was judged and found wanting in the name of a universal value, such as solidarity (Baker, “Foucault, the French Revolution.”) 90. Workers who failed to see a doctor as soon as they became sick forfeited part of their benefits. See Karl Fischer, Denkwürdigkeiten und Erinnerungen, pp. 322–333. 91. For general historical overviews of national social policy, see Syrup, Hundert Jahre; Tennstedt, “Sozialgeschichte der Sozialversicherung”; and Ritter, Social Welfare. For details on the provisions of each major law, see Zöllner, “Germany,” pp. 28–30. 92. Finally there is a transitional set of state interventions whose principles roughly resembled those of the Bismarckian paradigm, insofar as they focused on a single socioeconomic group and relied on public or parastatal administrative bodies. These programs, often discussed together under the rubric “Mittelstandspolitik,” were directed toward categories such as white-collar employees or the self-employed, which were explicitly defined as different from the working class. I would argue that it is anachronistic to refer to these as social policies, given the particular definition of the social question. At the limit, Mittelstandspolitik was indirect social policy, because it attempted to resolve the social question by working on parallel questions. 93. On this development see Verhein, Die Stellung der Sozialdemokratie, p. 5; Umlauf, Die deutsche Arbeiterschutzgesetzgebung, p. 28; Kleeis, Die Geschichte der sozialen Versicherung, p. 68; and Tennstedt, Vom Proleten zum Industriearbeiter, pp. 94, 244–247. After a law of 1869, compulsory funds were created in nearly all Bavarian towns; see Witham, “German Workers Insurance,” p. 18. 94. Cf. Witham, “German Workers Insurance,” pp. 13–16; Umlauf, Die deutsche Arbeiterschutzgesetzgebung, p. 27. All male workers in Berlin were required by a 1853 statute to join, and women workers were included in 1859; Tennstedt, Vom Proleten zum Industriearbeiter, pp. 94, 244–247. On Nürnberg, see Eckert, Liberal-oder Sozialdemokratie, p. 49. 95. See Frevert, “Arbeiterkrankheit und Arbeiterkrankenkassen,” p. 296. 96. Grünspecht, Die Entlastung, p. 13. 97. As Daniel Defert writes, the great difference between social insurance and workers’ mutualism is that in the former, “the insured do not constitute a social community among themselves” (Defert, “ ‘Popular Life,’ ” p. 213). 98. In addition to the freie Hilfskassen and local funds, the requirements of the 1883 law were fulfilled by membership in the factory-based funds (Betriebskrankenkassen), the semidemocratic Ortskrankenkassen funds supervised by local government (see below), or in the compulsory local funds (Gemeindekrankenkassen), which fared worst. Cf. Göckenjan, “Verrechtlichung und Selbstverantwort-

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lichkeit.” Some free funds were occupation-wide (e.g., printers); others were local (e.g., bakers). 99. Kleeis, Die Geschichte, pp. 65–70. 100. Cf. Tennstedt, Soziale Selbstverwaltung, pp. 51–66. After 1892 some workers continued to join Hilfskassen as supplements to public funds. 101. Von Saldern, Auf dem Weg, p. 102. 102. Peschke, Geschichte der deutschen Sozialversicherung, p. 322. 103. Kleeis, Der Aus- und Umbau, pp. 51–52. The best-known attack on the supposed socialist domination of the funds was Möller, Die Herrschaft der Sozialdemokratie. 104. The relevant changes introduced with the 1911 Insurance Code, which also unified the major social insurance systems, will be discussed under the appropriate rubrics below. For a short account of the Reichsversicherungsordnung, see Born, Staat und Sozialpolitik, pp. 239–242; the legislative history can be followed in Rassow and Born, Akten zur staatlichen Sozialpolitik, pp. 412–438. 105. CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 117 (1910), pp. 122– 123. 106. E.g., Karl Fischer, Denkwürdigkeiten und Erinnerungen, pp. 318–323; Bromme, Lebensgeschichte eines Fabrikarbeiters, pp. 293–350. 107. Cf. Hackett, “The Politics of Feminism,” p. 338. Women’s representation among sickness-insurance members seems to have been only slightly lower than their relative importance in the wage labor force: Year

Percent of Women among Sickness Fund Members

Percent of Women in the Labor Force

1882 1888 1895 1900 1905 1907 1910

– 22 – 30 33 – 38

31 – 32 – – 36 –

Source: Sickness-insurance figures from Statistik des deutschen Reiches, various years; labor-force figures from Hohorst, Kocka, and Ritter, Sozialgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch, vol. 2, p. 66.

108. On the development of notions of liability before 1884, see Wickenhagen, Geschichte der gewerblichen Unfallversicherung, pp. 21–27. 109. Machtan, “Risikoversicherung statt Gesundheitsschutz.” 110. Baare, “Gesetz-Entwurf,” p. 83. For a similar defense of the “law of social peace,” see van der Borght, “Zur Frage der Bewährung,” p. 346. 111. Cited in Quandt, Die Anfänge der Bismarckschen Sozialgesetzgebung, p. 39; see also Vogel, Bismarcks Arbeiterversicherung, p. 54. 112. In contrast to sickness insurance, accident insurance included workers in naval and military establishments, agriculture, and forestry after 1886. Between 1888 and 1913, membership in accident-insurance was approximately double that of the sickness-insurance funds. Cf. Hohorst et al., Sozialgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch, pp. 154–155. 113. See Ewald, “Présentation,” “Insurance and Risk,” and L’état providence.



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114. Ewald, “Présentation,” p. 977. 115. See Witham, “German Workers Insurance,” for a detailed description of the proceedings within the Imperial Insurance Office; also Tennstedt, “Sozialgeschichte der Sozialversicherung.” 116. Van der Borght, “Zur Frage der Bewährung,” p. 347. On the home visitor as domestic colonial missionary, see Dießenbacher, “Der Armenbesucher.” 117. Kleeis, Der Aus- und Umbau, p. 70. 118. Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 58; Syrup, Hundert Jahre, p. 130. 119. Cf. von Kondratowitz, “Das Alter—eine Last”; Conrad, “Die Entstehung,” p. 423. 120. Conrad, “Die Entstehung,” pp. 432, 431. 121. Born, Henning, and Schick, Quellensammlung, pp. 152–153. 122. See Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 86; Quataert, “Workers’ Reactions.” 123. Calculations in Hennock, “Public Provision for Old Age,” p. 93. 124. Witham, “German Workers Insurance,” p. 175. 125. On tuberculosis campaigns in Germany, see Göckenjan, “TuberkulosePrävention und Spuckverhalten,” and Kurieren und Staat machen, pp. 49–58. 126. Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 55. 127. Only 8.6 percent of married women worked for wages in the empire, and another 17.4 percent were unpaid “family helpers.” Cf. Ritter and Tenfelde, Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich, p. 218, note 152. 128. Hentschel, Geschichte der deutschen Sozialpolitik, p. 27; Dreier, Die Entstehung der Arbeiterwitwenversicherung; Kocka, White Collar Workers, pp. 27, 57–61. Able-bodied widows were accorded a partial pension if they had children. Disabled widows were allowed to claim a widow’s pension only if they were not receiving a pension from their own work. 129. Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 94. 130. Schneider, “Die Entlastung des Armenwesens,” pp. 88, 92; Edmund Fischer, “Das Armenwesen”; Benöhr, “Soziale Frage,” p. 146; and Brentano, “Die beabsichtigte Alters- und Invaliden-Versicherung,” esp. p. 34. For a recent assessment of the redistributive effect of state and employer contributions in the pension scheme, e.g. Hockerts, “Sicherung in Alter,” p. 300. 131. See especially Hennock, “Public Provision,” p. 93; Gudrun Hofmann, “Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie.” 132. Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 125, citing Prussian ministerial orders from 1894 and statement of Commerce Minister Delbrück in 1908. 133. There is no direct evidence of such restrictions in the emergency works that were administered directly by state governments, although they certainly may have existed. On municipal eligibility rules, see Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, Die Regelung der Notstandsarbeiten, pp. 131–181. These local public-works programs are discussed in more detail in chapter 6. 134. Koselleck, Preußen, p. 130; Henning, “Preußische Sozialpolitik im Vormärz?” pp. 487ff. 135. Zentrales Staatsarchiv Merseburg (hereafter ZStA II), Rep. 120, BB, VII, 1, Nr. 3a, vol. 1–2, pp. 250ff. (report of 30 December 1894 by Landeshauptmann of Province Westphalia on measures to combat unemployment in the province). 136. Bramstedt, Das Problem der Beschaffung von Arbeit, p. 65. 137. ZStA I, Rep. 21.01, (Imperial Finance Ministry), Nr. 112, p. 68 (report from Prussian ambassador in Stuttgart, 10 February 1914).

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138. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 998, p. 104 (state secretary, Imperial Post Office, 3 January 1902); p. 105 (state secretary, Imperial Navy Office, 5 January 1902); p. 106 (head of Imperial Railroad Administration). 139. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1006, p. 45ff. (report by Referent Landmann of the Imperial Interior Ministry, on unemployment, 15 November 1908). Indeed, the Prussian rail administration pursued an anticyclical spending policy from 1903 on; see Fremdling, “Freight Rates.” 140. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ pp. 15, 85; Schöttler, “Französische Arbeitsgerichte.” On the Gewerbegerichte before 1890 see Globig, Gerichtsbarkeit; for the empire see especially Von Saldern, “Gewerbegerichte.” See also Ritter and Tenfelde, Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich, pp. 395–397. This section is also based on the discussions of Gewerbegerichte in various cities’ administrative reports (Verwaltungsberichte). 141. In 1896, the percentage of all claims made by employers against workers in medium-sized and large cities ranged from 0.8 (in Kiel) to 43.3 percent (in Plauen). Jastrow, “Die Erfahrungen,” pp. 350, 374. 142. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ pp. 110–114, 124. The best evidence for acceptance by the rank and file is the large numbers of cases that they brought to the courts (see table 5.1). 143. Jastrow, “Die Erfahrungen,” p. 322. 144. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 90; Von Saldern, “Gewerbegerichte.” 145. Stadthagen, Das Arbeiterrecht, p. 539. 146. In Rixdorf, for example, employers triumphed in one-third of their cases, whereas workers won only 8.3 percent of theirs. Cf. Verwaltungsbericht der Stadt Rixdorf (1908–1909), p. 151; also von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 115. 147. Teuteberg, Geschichte der industrielle Mitbestimming, pp. 384–385; Meyer, “Die revisionistische Gesundheitspolitik,” p. 64. Factory codes had been obligatory in many states before 1869, but the Industrial Code eliminated these provisions; cf. Ritter and Tenfelde, Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich, p. 398. For an account of the discussion of a factory code by the assembly at the Siemens factory, see Hansjoachim Henning, Die Sozialpolitik in den letzten Friedensjahren, vol. 2, pp. 206–210. A number of codes are reprinted in Flohr, Arbeiter nach Maß. 148. Syrup, Hundert Jahre, pp. 53, 204. 149. CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 100 (1905), p. 48 (discussion of the 1905 miners’ strike and social policy). 150. Teuteberg, Geschichte der industrielle Mitbestimming, pp. 229, 302–304, 312, 314, 380–381. Teuteberg traces the development of West Germany’s codetermination policies back to the nineteenth-century Arbeitsausschüsse. 151. See CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 114 (1909), pp. 46–85. Bueck predicted that elections to the Arbeitskammer would result in “feverish agitation,” “hatred, excitement, and provocation,” and further socialist gains (p. 52). See also Grabherr, “Die Arbeitskammervorlagen.” The government’s first draft bill and motivation (1906) is printed in Henning, Die Sozialpolitik in den letzten Friedensjahren, vol. 2, pp. 256–263; the key policy documents from 1907– 1909 are printed in Rassow and Born, Akten zur staatlichen Sozialpolitik, pp. 343– 411. 152. See Benöhr, “Rechtshistorische Bemerkungen,” p. 329; this section relies heavily on Machtan, “Risikoversicherung,” pp. 420–441; Machtan and von Berlepsch, “Vorsorge oder Ausgleich”; and von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs.’



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153. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 289. 154. See Erdbrügger, “Kinder im Fabriksystem,” p. 436. 155. Anon., “Die Frauenarbeit,” pp. 462, 461. 156. From 1878 and 1891 Reichstag discussions, quoted in von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ pp. 250, 259. 157. Anon., “Die Frauenarbeit,” p. 462. 158. See Alfred Weber, “Die Entwickelung”; and Hitze, “Zur Vorgeschichte.” 159. Ritter and Tenfelde, Arbeiter im Deutschen Kaiserreich, p. 382. 160. On such employer resistance, see, for example, CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 101 (1905), p. 11: Reports from chambers of commerce, industrial associations, and 102 large firms, all refusing the Center party’s proposal to limit women’s factory work. 161. Syrup, Hundert Jahre, pp. 58, 66, 89, 103. 162. Quataert, “A Source Analysis,” pp. 106–110. 163. Cf. Born, Staat und Sozialpolitik, pp. 7–9; von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ pp. 151ff., esp. pp. 170–173. Other aspects of the revision included the requirement that factories issue a “work code,” mentioned above, and provisions for local police to order factories to implement safety measures. 164. Under the 1883 law, sickness funds had been permitted to grant women up to six weeks of childbirth sick pay; four weeks became obligatory in 1891; six weeks became permissible in 1903; and eight weeks only became obligatory with the 1911 Imperial Insurance Code. Cf. Allen, “Mothers,” p. 423. 165. See chapter 1 for the fuller discussion of these theoretical tendencies. 166. Thun, “Die Fabrikinspektoren,” p. 58. 167. Prussian Gewerberäte were created in 1849 in partial response to artisanal agitation, but they were unable to carry out their projected functions, some of which resembled the later inspectors. Saxony created its first state inspectors in 1872. See Volkmann, Die Arbeiterfrage, pp. 39–41; Teuteberg, Geschichte der industrielle Mitbestimming, pp. 326ff.; Anton, Geschichte der Preußischen Fabrikgesetzgebung, pp. 99–132; and Simons, Staatliche Gewerbeaufsicht, part 1 (pp. 11–194). 168. See Thun, “Die Fabrikinspektoren,” p. 56. 169. Syrup, Hundert Jahre, pp. 90ff.; von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ pp. 277–278. 170. See Fuchs, “Die Gewerbeinspektion,” p. 138 (these figures do not include assistants, whose numbers had also risen sharply during the 1890s). See also Thun, “Die Fabrikinspektoren,” pp. 63–64, 75. 171. Poerschke, Die Entwicklung, p. 214; von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 285. 172. Pohl, “Sozialdemokratie und Gewerbeinspektion,” pp. 460, 476. 173. See the incidents reported in Fritz Pauk’s autobiography, included in Kelly, The German Worker, p. 421; and Bromme, Lebensgeschichte eines modernen Fabrikarbeiters, pp. 228ff. 174. Moritz Bromme was fired for this reason; see ibid., p. 230; see also the references in von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 288, note 116. 175. Von Berlpesch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 289. Relations between workers and inspectors were better in Baden; see Jahresbericht pro 1906 vom Arbeiter-Sekretariat Mannheim und Gewerkschafts-Kartell Mannheim, p. 38: “Our relationship to the grand-ducal factory inspectorate is the best that could be imagined . . . all of the reported abuses were found to be well-grounded and were promptly remedied. Annually an employee of the grand-ducal factory inspectorate holds consultation hours in the Secretariat’s office, which are . . . very well attended.”

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176. Fuchs, “Die Gewerbeinspektion,” p. 117. Fuchs continues somewhat contradictorily that the inspector “should mediate between the interests of employers and their workers and thereby earn a position of trust which permits him . . . to contribute to the preservation and furtherance of good relations between workers and industrialists.” 177. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 253; Freier, Reich der Freiheit. 178. Von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs,’ p. 188; on the enforcement of sexual morality at work, see Quataert, “A Source Analysis,” pp. 106–110. 179. Thun, “Die Fabrikinspektoren.” 180. See Baldwin, Politics of Social Solidarity, which traces the involvement of various self-employed groups in constructing the welfare state. 181. See Esping-Anderson, Politics Against Markets; Korpi, Democratic Class Struggle and The Working Class in Welfare Capitalism; Shalev, “The Social Democratic Model”; and Stephens, Transition from Capitalism. 182. Pontusson, “Behind and Beyond,” p. 73. 183. Esping-Anderson, Three Worlds and “Power and Distributional Regimes.” 184. The quote is from Esping-Anderson, “Power and Distributional Regimes,” p. 235. 185. For examples of such opposition, see Baldwin, Politics of Social Solidarity. 186. See Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 74. 187. After 1898, social policy was the major theme discussed at meetings of the Social Democratic parliamentary group. Cf. Matthias and Pikart, Die Reichstagsfraktion. 188. Vogel, Bismarcks Arbeiterversicherung, pp. 39–40, 98; Rothfels, “Bismarck’s Social Policy,” p. 298. Baare was also a member of the Prussian Volkswirtschaftsrat in the 1880s. 189. See Deutscher Handelstag, Verhandlungen des Deutschen Handelstages. Stenographischer Bericht (1889), p. 1; Bueck, Der Centralverband, vol. 2. 190. Baron, “Weder Zuckerbrot noch Peitsche.” 191. Ullmann, “Industrielle Interessen.” 192. Breger, Die Haltung der industriellen Unternehmer. 193. Baare, “Gesetz-Entwurf,” p. 84. 194. The CdI’s opposition to new social policy can be followed in its Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte, e.g., Nr. 100 (1905), pp. 84ff.; Nr. 101 (1905), p. 11; Nr. 106 (1907), pp. 11ff.; Nr. 107 (1907), pp. 38–80, esp. p. 77 (opposition to the social political plans of the new Reichstag); Nr. 108 (1908), pp. 9–55, and Nr. 115 (1909), pp. 62–63 (against Arbeitskammer and Ausschüsse); also CdI, Geschäftsbericht erstattet in der Delegierten-Versammlung des Centralverbandes deutscher Industrieller am 7 November 1911 vom Geschäftsführer Dr. Schweighoffer (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag, 1911), pp. 17–18 (against wage-setting agencies or Lohnämter), pp. 18–19 (against white-collar insurance), p. 23 (against unemployment insurance); and Bueck, Centralverband Deutscher Industrieller, vols. 1–2. The only novel program that the CdI supported was survivors’ insurance (and the rest of the 1911 Imperial Insurance Code): Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 118 (1910), p. 145. 195. From a brochure against unemployment insurance by the Furniture Makers of the Brandenburg Province, 8 July 1904, in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1029, pp. 40–41. For similar statements see Deutsche Arbeitgeber-Zeitung, vol. 11, Nr. 31 (4 August 1912), p. 2; Deutsche Industrie-Zeitung, vol. 30, Nr. 48 (2 December 1911),



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p. 842; Schleswig-Holsteinische Arbeitgeber-Zeitung, vol. 4 (1914), pp. 2–3, 89–92, 243; and Der Arbeitgeber (1911), Nr. 21, pp. 275–276 (this newspaper ran a frequent column on the “social burdens on German industry”). Employer objections to unemployment insurance are discussed in chapter 7. The employers’ claims about Germany’s international disadvantage were also discussed in contemporary socialscientific journals; see Friedrich Lenz, “Zur Frage”; Zahn, “Belastung.” 196. Hohberg, “Bund der Industriellen,” p. 223; Mielke, Der Hansa-Bund, p. 202; Hansa-Bund, Bürger Heraus!, pp. 25, 93, 133, 243, 249. 197. See the minutes of the Handelstag’s annual meetings and its permanent commission, e.g., Deutscher Handelstag, Verhandlungen des Deutschen Handelstages. Stenographischer Bericht, Anlage I (1881), p. 2; for the permanent commission’s discussion of the accident-insurance bill. See also the articles in its Deutsche Wirtschafts-Zeitung, e.g., “Die Belastung der Betriebe durch die Arbeiterversicherung” (1906, pp. 870ff. and 919ff.), and “Die deutsche Sozialpolitik im Jahre 1906” (1907, p. 163). 198. On the “New Course” and its demise, see Stadelmann, “Der Neue Kurs.” 199. This starting point is perhaps the main similarity between the approach followed here and that of conventional histories of the welfare state. Compare, e.g., Vogel, Bismarcks Arbeiterversicherung; Rothfels, Theodor Lohmann and “Prinzipienfragen.” 200. See Deutscher Landwirtschaftsrat, Archiv des Deutschen Landwirthschaftsraths 7 (1883), pp. 54ff.; Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 46. Rural workers were included in sickness insurance as part of the 1911 law, which was not implemented until 1914. Accident insurance was extended to rural laborers in 1886, although it was implemented at different times in each federal state and organized differently than industrial accident insurance. See Kleeis, Die Geschichte, p. 132. 201. Social-class distinctions were drawn in the legal texts and reinforced by the Reichs-Versicherungsamt’s rulings on eligibility for social insurance. Cf. Steinmetz, “Workers and the Welfare State.” 202. British old-age pensions as enacted in 1908, for example, were universal for people in need above the age of seventy, including women who were not employed. See Ritter, Social Welfare, pp. 152–155. More generally, the “solidaristic” Scandinavian welfare states have tried to appeal to the entirety of the population, blurring class boundaries; see Esping-Anderson, Politics Against Markets. 203. As Adam Przeworski writes, “Any definition of people as workers—or individuals, Catholics, French-speakers, Southerners, and the like—is necessarily immanent to the practice of political forces engaged in struggles” (Przeworski, “Proletariat into a Class,” p. 70). 204. The weakness of parliamentary democracy indirectly increased the salience of class. Given the apparently limited opportunities for workers to improve their own conditions through parliamentary activity, especially during the period of the Anti-Socialist Law (1878–1890), class struggle could convincingly be presented to the propertyless as the only viable means of “self-improvement.” A comparison of working-class politics in Imperial Germany with the French Third Republic points to the effects of electoral parliamentary reform on class formation; see Aminzade, Class, Politics. 205. See Gall, Bismarck. The weakness of Bismarck’s efforts to construct a new German national identity has been attributed to his residual Prussianism; another reason is the non-Prussian states’ efforts to retain their old identities.

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206. The literature on Bismarck’s corporatist goals, discussed below, is relevant here. Of course, Bismarck and other conservatives typically used the terminology of estates (Stände) rather than class. Although this imparted a distinctly conservative tone to social analysis, the terminology of estates could obviously no longer be used in reference to hermetically sealed hereditary status groups. 207. For contemporary and more recent examples of the familiar contrast between the “good” German bureaucracy and the “bad” bureaucracy elsewhere, compare the comments of a German industrialist: “Unfortunately, in Germany . . . each law that is issued is also strictly implemented . . . we cannot count on it being applied with the same considerateness [i.e., to employers] as in other countries.” CdI, Verhandlungen, Mitteilungen und Berichte Nr. 114 (1909), p. 80; and Schefter, “Party and Patronage.” CHAPTER SIX 1. Even the all-encompassing redescriptions sought by world-system theory— probably the most global historical-sociological perspective—can be best achieved, according to one of its proponents, through the “comparative analysis of ‘parts’ as moments in a self-forming whole” (McMichael, “Incorporating Comparison,” p. 386). 2. Duncan and Goodwin, “The Local State,” pp. 228–229. 3. Although private social initiatives such as charities also existed, they were nowhere near as important as public welfare during the empire. In most cities, private charities were gradually brought under the sway of public authorities during the nineteenth century. In Duisburg, for example, the city council decided to place the private charitable foundations (Stiftungen) under the control of the municipality in 1863; see Wolf, “Die Entwicklung des Armenwesens,” p. 79. Nonetheless, certain novel social programs originated with private organizations. This is especially true of the scientific social-work programs discussed in chapter 7, many of which were pioneered by women’s charitable organizations before being adopted by city or state governments. 4. Two landmarks in this interpretation of Stein’s 1808 municipal code are Preuss, Entwicklung des deutschen Städtewesens; and Heffter, Die deutsche Selbstverwaltung. 5. Preuss, “Staat und Stadt,” p. 90. 6. On the municipal codes in place during the empire, see von Unruh, “Die Städte im Kaiserreich,” appendix; also the documents in Engeli and Haus, Quellen zum modernen Gemeindeverfassungsrecht; and Naunin, Städteordnungen des 19. Jahrhunderts. 7. The phrase is from Schinkel, “Polizei und Stadtverfassung,” p. 333. Schinkel emphasizes the ways in which the city magistrate was assigned specific roles, especially those involving police functions, as a branch of the central state. 8. Walker, German Home Towns, pp. 264–265, 310; von Unruh, “Die Städte im Kaiserreich.” Nonetheless, the efforts to define the municipality as the lowest branch of government were not fully successful, and in Bavaria they “failed thoroughly”; see Langewiesche, “ ‘Staat’ und ‘Kommune,’ ” p. 626. 9. See Walker, German Home Towns, pp. 201ff.; Unruh, “Die Städte im Kaiserreich,” p. 12. 10. Preuss, “Die kommunale Selbstverwaltung.”



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11. Dawson, Municipal Life and Government, p. 41; Walker, German Home Towns, pp. 322, 361. 12. Hardtwig, “Großstadt und Bürgerlichkeit,” p. 57. In Baden after 1831 the mayor was also to be confirmed by the state, but if approved by three ballots he was elected; Walker, German Home Towns, p. 318. 13. Schinkel, “Polizei und Stadtverfassung.” 14. See Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, pp. 11ff. and Die deutsche Stadt, p. 126; also Dawson, Municipal Life, p. 38. Krabbe distinguishes between cities’ Pflichtaufgaben (obligatory duties) and their Auftragsaufgaben (delegated duties). 15. It should be emphasized that such local autonomy was variable not only across regions (states) due to the extremely heterogeneous municipal codes, but also among cities within a given state. One rough measure of municipal autonomy was size. Larger cities typically had greater financial resources and tended to not be subsumed under larger administrative units. Attaining the status of “city” was also a crucial precondition for municipal autonomy in the parts of Prussia where municipal codes clearly differentiated between Stadt and Land. (The French system of granting the same rights to town and country lasted in the Rheinland until 1856; in Württemberg and Bavarian Palatinate cities and rural villages had roughly the same rights.) In Prussia, autonomy tended to be greatest among the so-called kreisfreie cities, those whose administration was independent of the surrounding county (Kreis). But larger cities did not automatically become kreisfrei, although the Prussian Kreisordnung of 1872 stipulated that cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants could become kreisfrei. And in some respects, such as control over the police force, larger cities were less autonomous. See Schücking, Die Reaktion in der inneren Verwaltung, pp. 40, 50, 62; Preuss, “Die kommunale Selbstverwaltung,” pp. 205, 212–213; and Lenger, “Bürgertum und Stadtverwaltung, p. 113. 16. Kocka, “La bourgeoisie,” p. 27. 17. Von Unruh, “Die Städte im Kaiserreich,” p. 18. The municipal code of 1869 introduced local self-government in Bavaria (ibid, p. 19). 18. Ibid., p. 14. Also Dawson, Municipal Life and Government, pp. 44ff.; and Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, pp. 198–199. 19. Igersheim, “Strasbourg capitale du Reichsland,” cited in Ayçoberry, “Les luttes pour le pouvoir,” p. 88. 20. On the Forckenbeck affair in 1890, see Röhl, Germany without Bismarck, pp. 70–71; also Haller, Aus dem Leben, p. 122. Forckenbeck had been a founder of the Fortschrittspartei, switched in 1866 to the National Liberals, and broke with them in 1880, moving first into the secessionist Liberale Vereinigung and then into the Deutsche Freisinnige Partei. 21. On the state supervision of local schools, see Krabbe, Die deutsche Stadt, p. 108. 22. The states defined legitimate sources of municipal income, however. Prussian cities also had to get the approval of state authorities to take out loans. Cf. Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 123, on Prussian authorities’ resistance to cities taking out loans to finance emergency public works. 23. Dawson, Municipal Life and Government, p. 32. 24. Von Unruh, “Die Städte im Kaiserreich,” p. 24. On the changes in cities’ revenue composition after the 1893 communal tax law, see Führbaum, Die Entwicklung der Gemeindesteuern.

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25. Ashford, “The Structural Comparison,” p. 376. 26. These estimates are from Andic and Veverka, “The Growth of Government Expenditure,” p. 270. Their category of social services includes assistance, health, housing, and education and is thus slightly broader than the concept of social policy used here, which would include only part of the education category (such as occupational training). During the same year, social services—broadly defined—accounted for roughly 49 percent of municipal expenditures (or 17.6 percent without any education spending). See ibid., p. 267. Slightly lower figures are given by Jürgen Bolenz, Wachstum und Strukturwandlungen, p. 165. 27. Langewiesche, “ ‘Staat’ und ‘Kommune,’ ” p. 634; Krabbe, Die deutsche Stadt, p. 124. 28. Reulecke, “Stadtbürgertum und bürgerliche Sozialreform,” p. 196. 29. See for example Jastrow, “Die Erfahrungen,” p. 325. 30. See Gall’s comments on the shift among elites in Mannheim during the 1850s: “One can speak of only a very limited opposition to industry remaining at this time” (Gall, Bürgertum in Deutschland, p. 362). On similar trends in Cologne and elsewhere, see Ayçoberry, “Les luttes pour le pouvoir.” 31. See Kocka, “Bürgertum und Bürgerlichkeit,” p. 39; Gall, Stadt und Bürgertum; Croon, “Das Vordringen,” “Die Stadtvertretungen,” and Die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen; Wolfgang Hofmann, “Preußische Stadtverordnetenversammlungen.” 32. It is often inappropriate to speak of distinct political parties at the municipal level before the turn of the century, but in ideological and social terms, most city fathers were definitely liberal. See Sheehan, “Liberalism and the City.” 33. A few cities like Berlin were traditionally governed by progressive or left liberals. The SPD had a majority in only three large city councils in 1911 (Offenbach, Mühlhausen, and Fürth) and controlled half the seats in two other towns (Kaiserslautern and Ludwigshafen), whereas the Catholic Center party was dominant in eleven large cities (in 1912, it gained the majority in Mönchengladbach as well). Calculations are from a variety of sources, listed in Steinmetz, “Social Policy and the Local State,” appendix 4. The most important single source of data on the political composition of town councils is an unpublished table compiled and kindly sent to me by Professor James Sheehan. 34. Nolan, Social Democracy and Society, p. 27. The literature on National Liberalism is enormous; see Sheehan, German Liberalism; Langewiesche, Liberalismus im 19. Jahrhundert; Gall, “Liberalismus und ‘bürgerliche Gesellschaft’”; Gustav Schmidt, “Die Nationalliberalen”; and Seeber and Hohberg, “Nationalliberale Partei.” 35. Figures calculated from Mühlhausen Verwaltungsbericht (1887–1888), pp. 200–201. 36. I.e., ten councilors (out of twenty); see Jaeger, Unternehmer, p. 87. 37. Löhr, “Honoratioren und Kommunalpolitik,” pp. 12–14. 38. Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, p. 147. 39. Mogs, “Die sozialgeschichtliche Entwicklung,” p. 58. 40. Wolfgang Hofmann, Bielefelder Stadtverordneten, pp. 119–126. According to Hofmann, even after the linen manufacturers lost their predominance in the town council, they continued to hold three of the executive Stadtrat positions until the war. 41. Gall, Bürgertum in Deutschland. The SPD challenged the liberals’ hegemony in Mannheim at the end of the empire, capturing forty of the ninety-six seats in the



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1911 local election and forty-five seats in 1913. Cf. Schadt, Alles für das Volk, p. 130; Verwaltungsbericht Mannheim, 1911; Kommunale Praxis 11 (1911), p. 1510; Sozialdemokratische Partei-Correspondenz 6 (1911), p. 458. 42. See Croon, Die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen. 43. Figures and information from Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung , pp. 143, 172. 44. See Walker, Home Towns, pp. 259–260. 45. On class voting, see Ayçoberry, “Les luttes pour le pouvoir,” and Droz, “L’origine de la loi.” 46. See Croon, Die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen; Hirsch and Lindemann, Das kommunale Wahlrecht; Apolant, Das kommunale Wahlrecht; and Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauen-Verein, Politisches Handbuch, pp. 85–88. 47. These suffrage estimates actually refer to either 1911 or to the most recent municipal election before that year. Based on figures from the SJdS, various years. 48. See Walker, Home Towns, p. 407; Croon, “Die Stadtvertretungen,” p. 297; Croon, “Bürgertum und Verwaltung,” p. 32; Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse der Arbeiterschaft, pp. 404–405; and Steinmetz, “Social Policy and the Local State,” appendix 2. 49. Quoted in Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit,” p. 181. 50. See Wolfgang Hofmann, Zwischen Rathaus und Reichskanzlei, pp. 26–56; and the comments by Nürnberger, “Städtische Selbstverwaltung,” p. 239. 51. In Bavaria, mayors were elected for life, after a qualifying period. See Wolfgang Hofmann, “Oberbürgermeister als politische Elite,” p. 21. 52. See statistics in Hofmann, Zwischen Rathaus und Reichskanzlei, p. 41. 53. Hofmann, “Oberbürgermeister als politische Elite,” p. 28. 54. Of course, such “volunteerism” was not purely optional. Even middle-class citizens could be penalized if they failed to accept the municipality’s “invitation.” Consider the example of a Berlin man who refused to take over the care of municipal orphans and who was forced to pay extra taxes. As one municipal councilor (Horwitz) argued, to general agreement from those in attendance: If one could raise any objection to the magistrate’s bill, it is that in a case that actually calls for a stricter punishment, the magistrate is satisfied with the minimal legal fine. Among ourselves and in the citizenry there are thousands of men working actively for the communal administration of Berlin, making extraordinarily heavy sacrifices in time, effort, etc., and here is a man who, having made not a single contribution to the burdens and efforts during the whole time that he has had the honor of belonging to the city of Berlin, refuses to accept the smallest . . . voluntary office. . . . I believe that such behavior deserves to be publicly castigated. (Berlin, Amtlicher stenographischer Bericht über die Sitzung der Stadtverordneten-Versammlung, 1877, Nr. 24, p. 194). See also Blätter für das Armenwesen (1894), p. 5, on the three-year loss of voting rights for such refusal in Alsace-Lorraine. Increasing rates of refusal were attributed to the rising time demands of modern employment; see Feuss, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte der Armenpflege, p. 24. 55. Löhr, “Honoratioren,” p. 17; discussing the town of Mönchengladbach. 56. On the strikes of the early 1870s, see Machtan, “ ‘Im Vertrauen” and Streiks. On unemployed workers’ protests in the 1870s, see pp. 181–182 below. 57. Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage, 2d ed., p. 408.

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58. The single most important source of municipal revenues was the income tax or, more precisely, the supplement that cities in Prussia and other states were allowed to levy on the state income tax. In 1911, 49 percent of the local revenues in the cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants came from income taxes. Data from the SJdS and from the Zeitschrift des Preußischen Statistischen Bureaus vol. 57 (1911 municipal finance survey). See also Führbaum, “Die Entwicklung der Gemeindesteuern,” pp. 76–97. 59. According to the fifteen mayors, businesses also feared that they would have to make disproportionate contributions to unemployment insurance should it be funded directly rather than through taxes. ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 2330, pp. 26ff. (letter of 18 November 1913 to Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg). On the effects on British liberalism of such structural constraints on local social policy, see Gustav Schmidt, “Liberalismus und soziale Reform,” p. 229. 60. The most prominent example of such intercity mobility is Emil Münsterberg, who reorganized public assistance in Hamburg before taking over the direction of poor relief in Berlin; see Sachße and Tennstedt, Bettler, Gauner, p. 294. On the DVAW, see Muthesius, Beiträge zur Entwicklung; and Orthband, Der Deutsche Verein. 61. “Aus der pflegerischen Praxis,” Blätter für die Berliner Armen- und Waisenpflege 3:9 (November 1913), p. 71. 62. On the reimbursement of aid by paupers and their family members, see the references in chapter 5, especially the essays in SDVAW, vols. 41 (1899) and 93 (1910). 63. Balzer, “Die Armenpolitik der Stadt Charlottenburg,” p. 125. Balzer also notes that paupers never refused to sign this statement. 64. Geschäftsanweisung für die Armen-Kommissionen zu Charlottenburg, p. 7. 65. Quoted in Wolf, “Die Entwicklung des Armenwesens,” pp. 80–81. 66. Armen-Verwaltung der Stadt Münster (n.p.: n.d. [1895]), p. 22. 67. “Instruktion für die Armenpfleger” (1865), reprinted in Bericht über die Gemeindeverwaltung der Stadt Altona in den Jahren 1863 bis 1900, vol. 3, p. 216. 68. There is a vast nineteenth-century literature on the Elberfeld system, beginning with the overview by Berthold, Die offene Armenpflege der Stadt Elberfeld; see also the excellent study by Böhmert, Das Armenwesen in 77 deutschen Städten; Münsterberg, “Das Elberfelder System”; Schlaudraff, “Ein Vergleich”; Köllmann et al., Hilfe von Mensch zu Mensch; and other volumes of the SDVAW, esp. vols. 18 and 49. Most recently, see Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 1; and Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit.” 69. Tennstedt, “Fürsorgegeschichte und Vereinsgeschichte,” p. 77. 70. Quoted in Lube, “Mythos und Wirklichkeit,” p. 175. 71. For an account of one particularly overbearing guardian’s disciplinary visit to a poor family during the first half of the century, see Köhler, Arme und Irre, pp. 111–112. 72. On this distinction see Die Ergebnisse der am 1.12.1900, p. 5. 73. The Münster Code, for example, insisted that paupers had to be visited at home at least every fourteen days. Armen-Verwaltung der Stadt Münster, p. 41. 74. Report to Berlin Poor Relief Commissions from Director Münsterberg, September 1901 in StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 352, p. 54 (blue pagination). The Freiburg poor-relief agency provided temporary relief for the unemployed in the construction industry in 1908–1909; see Hartmann, Freiburg 1900, p. 102.



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75. The debates continue to rage over the actual extent of workhouse “confinement” following the 1834 reforms. The original argument is presented in Polanyi, The Great Transformation; and Webb and Webb, English Local Government. The revisionist view is aptly summarized by Fraser, who argues that “most paupers were relieved outside the workhouse” and that “the able-bodied adult male, the very object of the whole Poor Law reformation, was the least likely to see the inside of a workhouse” (Fraser, “The English Poor Law, p. 22). The essay by Rose in the same volume (pp. 50–70) sees the ideals of the 1834 reform as finally being realized after 1870, yet his claims are based mainly on a study of London. Karel Williams defends the traditional view in From Pauperism to Poverty. The crucial point is not whether the workhouse system was in fact implemented but that the “Elberfeld” ideology of individualized out-relief did not take root in England. Indoor relief was the dominant ideology in Britain, and home relief was officially disparaged. 76. Simmel, “Zur Soziologie der Armut,” p. 18. 77. Although the mean percentage of spending given as home relief was only 32 percent, this figure reflects the inclusion in total poor-relief budgets of items like hospital and orphanage costs, which were classified as “indoor” relief. The crucial theoretical issue, however, was whether officials tended to put people who were in principle capable of working into institutions like workhouses. 78. From a letter written to another working-class autobiographer, Moritz Bromme, quoted in the latter’s Lebensgeschichte eines modernen Fabrikarbeiters, p. 279. Ernst Schuchart’s account was published as Sechs Monate Arbeitshaus. 79. Krille, Unter dem Joch, pp. 4–5. 80. There were frequent legislative efforts on the part of local officials to send people to the workhouse. See Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte, p. 246; ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1324 (documents on poor relief in the federal states, 1906–1926), pp. 151–155 (report from the Imperial Justice Office to the Prussian and Imperial Departments of the Interior on the possibility of forced labor); ZStA I, Rep. 150.01, Nr. 1289 (documents on the revision of the Law of Settlement, 1895– 1904), p. 129 verso (in memorandum of 19 August 1901 Wanderarbeitsstätten); also StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 206 (documents on criminal proceedings concerning negligence of responsibility to dependents and the application of the law against shirking). 81. Stadtverordnetenversammlung Berlin, Vorlagen (1876), item no. 436 (meeting of the preliminary commission on the bill for the construction of a new workhouse). 82. Stadtverordnetenversammlung Berlin, Vorlagen (1878), item no. 325 (on construction of Rummelsberg workhouse). 83. Certainly this relationship only holds in an ideal-typical world devoid of politics. Where popular social movements threaten to divert funds for subversive ends, in-kind relief would be preferred. Women also tend to be excluded from this rule of commodification; see below. 84. Schmoller, Die soziale Frage, p. 338. 85. Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 116. 86. See Buehl, “Die Reorganisation des Hamburger Armenwesens,” p. 272. The 1901 Armenordnung in Kassel also called for more reliance on cash and stressed the “pedagogic moment, that the pauper should retain his independence and the feeling of his own responsibility.” 87. This calculation is based on figures from SJdS 20 (1914), chapters 21 and 33;

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and from Preußische Statistik 243 (1914), parts 1–10. All figures refer to 1911. The range of all home aid provided in cash form was between 19 and 100 percent. 88. Kollmann, “Das Armenwesen,” p. 76. Stuttgart was one of the few larger cities in which in-kind relief was the rule and cash the exception; Seible, “Die Armenpolitik der Stadt Stuttgart,” p. 40. Other southern cities, including Fürth, Nürnberg, Würzburg, München, and Kaiserslautern, provided less than a quarter of their home relief in kind by 1906. Figures from Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Nürnberg (1909), p. 200; and Zeitschrift des Königlichen Bayerischen Statistischen Landesamts (1908), pp. 280–289. 89. Simmel, “The Poor,” p. 178, my emphasis. 90. Police repression was the other response, of course, and was never lacking. Indeed, the data on civil disorder used in the statistical analysis below come from a survey that only counted incidents involving the “mobilization and/or application of unusual repressive force by the authorities” (R. Tilly, “Popular Disorders,” p. 4). 91. See the comments by Marcel Mauss on the way in which social benefits inspire “men” to become “attached” to their employers; these comments, focused vaguely on employers’ funds and social insurance, should apply with even greater force to noncontributory forms such as poor relief. (Mauss does not consider the possibility that the contributory nature of social insurance might undermine its qualities as gift). Mauss, The Gift, pp. 65–67. 92. See the discussion of feminist theories of the welfare state in chapter 1. 93. Other figures were 1.46 in Mainz; 1.08 in Freiburg; 1.60 in Frankfurt am Main; 1.19 in Altona; and 1.54 in Darmstadt; calculated from Klumker, Armenstatistik. 94. See Die Ergebnisse der am 1.12.1900, p. 27; Silbergleit, Magdeburger Armenstatistik, p. 3; Meyer-Renschhausen, Weibliche Kultur, p. 57. 95. From Elberfeld Verwaltungsbericht, annual table “Uebersicht der im Jahre . . . erfolgten Veränderungen der Zahl und Natur der Unterstützungs-Positionen in der Aussenarmenpflege.” 96. See especially the results of the national enquêtes on poor relief of 1881 and 1885: the results of the 1881 inquest were not publicly released but can be found in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nrs. 1305–1306; the results of the 1885 study were published in the Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, n.f., vol. 28; see also Neefe, “Armen- und Krankenpflege,” p. 174; and Schumann, “Die Armenlast.” The poor population was much more likely to be widowed or divorced than the rest of the population: see Steinbacher, “Eingige Ergebnisse,” p. 287. 97. In Bremen, male household heads outnumbered female household heads among the temporary poor-relief recipients between 1901 and 1910 (average 71 percent male), while women only slightly outnumbered men among permanent recipients (57 percent female). Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 90. 98. The Polikliniken were an exception, with more female than male patients; see Berlin, Statistisches Jahrbuch (1904), pp. 285–285. There were exceptions—Elberfeld’s homeless shelter took in more women than men, for example, and the orphanages in Barmen often had more girls than boys. Cf. Elberfeld Verwaltungsbericht (1891–1902), p. 153; Barmen Verwaltungsbericht (1911), p. 63. 99. Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 109. Silbergleit, Magdeburger Armenstatistik, p. 8. 100. Jahresbericht des Statistischen Bureaus der Stadt Altona für das Jahr (1898, 1899, 1901); Statistische Jahresübersichten der Stadt Altona (1910); Leipzig Verwaltungsbericht (1893, 1894, 1895, 1898, 1899).



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101. Halle Verwaltungsbericht (1879–1880), p. 54; (1881–1882), p. 51; (1882– 1883), p. 48; (1883–1884), p. 50; (1884–1885), p. 52; (1885–1886), p. 55; (1886– 1887), p. 67; (1887–1888), p. 73. 102. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 55, p. 208 (report by Seeger, 10 April 1880, on procedures in thirteen poor-relief districts in Berlin). 103. Britta Schmidt, “Offene Armenpflege in Kiel,” pp. 27–28. 104. Robert Moeller has shown that the nuclear family was postulated as the norm in the social–policy-making of the postwar German Federal Republic, even though nearly one-third of German households were headed by divorced women or widows. See Moeller, “Reconstructing the Family,” p. 140. 105. Recalculated from Dresden, Statistisches Jahrbuch (1911), pp. 109–110. 106. The 1896 figures are calculated from table 11 in Klumker, Armenstatistik einiger deutscher Städte. Although I am unable to discuss private charities, it is interesting that the Armenverein in Frankfurt am Main actually granted women more aid than men, on the average, regardless of whether they were alone or heading households. This may reflect the fact that the principal base of social work for the bourgeois women’s movement was still the private charity at this time (see below). 107. Riedmüller, “Armutspolitik und Familienpolitik.” See also the discussion of the 1870 national framing legislation in the previous chapter. 108. Steinbacher, “Eingige Ergebnisse,” p. 280. 109. Funk, Geschichte und Statistik, p. 108. 110. See Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich; Sachße, Mütterlichkeit als Beruf; Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 2. 111. Prelinger, Charity, Challenge and “Prelude to Consciousness.” Among Protestant women in the first half of the nineteenth century, the “Christian spirit” rather than women’s nature was the central construct motivating and legitimating women’s entry into the office of deaconess and their admission as benevolent charitable visitors. The women’s clubs emerging at mid-century were nonconfessional, even if their practices were tied directly to those of the denominational welfare, and emphasized women’s nature (Prelinger, Charity, Challenge, p. 82). The early feminists and, during the Wilhelmine period, the “radical” wing, defended the idea of the sexes’ essential similarity. 112. See Joeres, Die Anfänge. 113. See Salomon, “Die Frau,” p. 5; Hackett, “The Politics of Feminism,” p. 473; Lange, Die Frauen; Clemens, ‘Menschenrechte,’ pp. 31–34; Meyer-Renschhausen, “Das radikal traditionelle Selbstbild”; Anne Klein, “Zur Ideologie des weiblichen Charakters,” pp. 73–94; Brick, “Die Mütter der Nation”; and Stoehr, “ ‘Organisierte Mütterlichkeit.’ ” The bourgeois movement’s radical wing, developing at the end of the century and represented by figures such as Hedwig Dohm, adopted the language of “equality” and natural rights, rather than “difference” and “motherhood,” and focused its efforts on suffrage rather than welfare. This branch of the movement remained in the minority, however. See Clemens, ‘Menschenrechte’; Mayreder, “Zur Kultur der Geschlechter.” 114. Jahrbuch der Bund deutscher Frauenvereine (1921), p. 18; Jahrbuch der Frauenbewegung (1913), p. 132; also Evans, The Feminist Movement, chapter 2. 115. Freier, Dem Reich der Freiheit, pp. 29–30. Socialist women such as Marie Juchacz and Klara Weyl were involved in municipal social-reform activities such as organizing Kinderschutzkommissionen and vacations for working-class children. See Frevert, Frauen-Geschichte, pp. 140–145; Quataert, Reluctant Feminists, p. 82; Tollmien, Geschichte der Arbeiterwohlfahrt, p. 15. Some within the SPD questioned

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this equation; Lily Braun warned that “social welfare of all types had nothing to do with the women’s question” (quoted in Quataert, Reluctant Feminists, p. 80). 116. Von Stein, Die Frau. 117. Leipzig, Plenarverhandlungen der Stadtverordneten zu Leipzig (1901), p. 90. 118. Stenographischer Bericht über die Verhandlungen des DVAWs am 11 und 12 November 1881 zu Berlin nebst den für diese Verhandlungen erstatteten Berichten von den Satzungen des Vereins, p. 214. 119. Ibid., p. 216. 120. Münsterberg, “Generalbericht,” p. 96. 121. Ibid., p. 95. 122. Sachße, Mütterlichkeit als Beruf, p. 146. 123. Apolant, “Beteiligung,” pp. 89ff.; Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich, p. 243. 124. Moll-Weisse, “La femme,” p. 385. 125. Münsterberg, “Generalbericht,” p. 178; Salomon, “Die Frau,” pp. 41–42. 126. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 351, p. 69 (letter of 15 December 1896). Sentence crossed out in the original handwritten copy of the petition: “We are firmly convinced that if the present bill were to be accepted most of the men currently active in poor relief administration would take offense and give up their office.” In a second letter, the same group complained that “the so-called women’s movement is assuming a form which calls upon us to oppose it energetically, and especially not to permit its ugly outgrowths to occur unopposed” (StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 351, p. 75, [letter of 21 December 1896]). 127. Berliner Damen-Zeitung, 20 December 1896. In StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 351, p. 76. 128. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 03, Nr. 353, p. 24b (letter of resignation of members of Poor Relief Commission no. 81A, 19 October 1908). The letter continues: We demonstrated that we could overlook the political tendencies of the men who were suggested for our district by city councillor Hoffmann [SPD] by working together for the good of the city with three such men during the past year. Even today, the politics of a given relief guardian would be fully irrelevant to us, if it were possible to work together as human beings. 129. Münsterberg, “Generalbericht,” p. 98; Moll-Weisse, “La femme,” p. 394; Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich, pp. 207–211. 130. It is worth noting here that the male reformers who were demanding that women be permitted as guardians tended to come from higher social classes than the bulk of the male Armenpfleger. Among the latter, master artisans, shopkeepers, and the rest of the “old” petty bourgeoisie (alter Mittelstand) were represented in excess of their numbers and economic and political strength. Class, status, and gender anxieties were thus combined in a potent brew. See Jacobsohn, Die Arbeiter, pp. 53–58. In Breslau, the largest category of relief guardians in 1896 was artisans and industrialists (419), followed by Volksschule rectors and schoolteachers (291) and merchants/shopkeepers (202); in 1900 artisans and industrialists were still in the lead (515), followed by merchants (256) and then schoolteachers (177). Similar statistics are given for Hamburg, Leipzig, Elberfeld, Posen, Charlottenburg, Kassel, Colmar, Mannheim, Siegen, and Bonn. See Blätter für das Breslauer Armenwesen 1 (1895), p. 52; 6 (1900), p. 34; 7 (1901), p. 132; and 8 (1902), pp. 250–251.



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131. Meyer-Renschhausen, Weibliche Kultur, pp. 122, 125. On the acceptance of women as relief officials in specific cities, see Gundlach, Geschichte der Stadt, vol. 1, p. 617; Blätter für die städtische Armen- und Waisenpflege (Düsseldorf), vol. 5, Nr. 1 (March 1911), pp. 2ff.; Hagenberg, “Das Armen-und Fürsorgewesen,” p. 21; Siegen, Die Städtische Armenpflege, pp. 41–43; Seible, “Armenpolitik der Stadt Stuttgart,” p. 51; StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1489, pp. 22–23 (petition from 24 November 1896 asking that women be allowed as relief workers), and Nr. 1506, no pagination (8 January 1909 [letter from “Girls’ and Women’s Group for Social Work” to Berlin city council]). 132. This figure refers to the eighty-eight cities for which data are available in 1911, from the survey of the SJdS. Other statistics in Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich, pp. 220–243. 133. See, e.g., Die Stadt Danzig (1904), article on “Armenpflege und Wohltätigkeit,” pp. 92–106. 134. See most recently, Meyer-Renschhausen, Weibliche Kultur; Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich. 135. Cross-sectional analysis was conducted due to the lack of standardized data across time for a large number of cities. 136. Descriptions of the data used and the estimation of missing values for the variables are given in Steinmetz, “Social Policy and the Local State,” appendix 2. 137. Poor relief is analyzed for 1911, a year for which standardized data are available for all large cities. The year 1911 also has the advantage of being a nonrecession year for which data are plentiful, as well as the midpoint of the period during which German cities introduced the Ghent system of unemployment insurance (1907–1914), analyzed in chapter 7. The fact that this year comes after the decline of direct bourgeois control of the city should make no difference, because older reform paradigms continued to function in the same way even after the original conditions of their emergence had disappeared. 138. See Hage, Hanneman, and Gargan, State Responsiveness, pp. 13, 101; Musgrave, Fiscal Systems. Of course this view glosses over important intervening factors: (1) industrial firms may be generally easier to tax than other productive units, but states vary in their ability to extract these revenues. Extracted resources are best considered from the standpoint of state capacities. (2) Dependence upon specific kinds of taxes, such as those extracted from businesses and industrialists’ incomes, may increase government vulnerability to individual and collective mobilization against welfare-state growth. These factors are best considered from the standpoint of constraints on state managers. 139. See R. Tilly, “Popular Disorders” and “Sozialer Protest.” The dataset is distributed by the Zentrum für historische Sozialforschung in Cologne, West Germany. 140. As noted in table 6.6, several other measures of capitalist power were used in all the analyses, but none of them were effective. It was impossible to reconstruct the number of industrialists or capitalists in each city council. The closest approximation is the proportion of seats belonging to one of the liberal parties, but as noted in chapter 7, the liberals became much less homogeneously bourgeois in the 1890s. 141. The local Gewerbesteuer tax on firms was more directly related to business confidence, but it made up only a small proportion of cities’ revenues—an average of 12 percent in 1912, as compared to 53 percent for income tax. See Mendelson, “Gemeindesteuern,” p. 310.

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142. I also used a variety of other measures of state capacities, including the proportion of professionals (as opposed to volunteers) in the overall city administration and in poor relief, and the existence of a statistical office, public labor exchange, or municipal social commission. Because these variables were not significant predictors of social policy and were only weakly linked to the concept of local state capacities, they are excluded from the presentation. 143. To ensure that the effect of bureaucratic strength does not simply reflect city size, I also included the population variable. 144. Heclo, Modern Social Politics; Weir and Skocpol, “State Structures.” 145. Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, p. 175. 146. A final variable that was included in these analysis is religion. As discussed in chapter 1, both Protestantism and Catholicism have been related to the secularization of welfare and the expansion of the welfare state. 147. The number of cases for which the relevant data were available differs for the two poor-relief dependent variables. The final poor-relief regressions were repeated using a common sample including only the cases with values on both dependent variables, yielding virtually the same results. 148. Given the construction of the unemployment variable, it is also possible that the more socially active cities had both higher poor-relief spending and better job exchanges—and hence larger numbers of registered job seekers. 149. In regressions not shown here, membership in the free trade unions was substituted for local SPD membership with equivalent results. Because of the high correlation between membership in the SPD and membership in the free trade unions, the latter variable was omitted from the final equation. 150. On efforts by the Berlin socialists to increase poor-relief spending, see StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1433 (documents on “measures taken to relieve extraordinary emergencies of the poor”); for Bielefeld, cf. Ditt, Industrialisierung, Arbeiterschaft, p. 255; for Leipzig and Saxony, see Czok, “Zur Kommunalpolitik”; on Social Democratic poor-relief politics in general, see “Armut und Sozialdemokratie”; and Ludwig, Kommunalpolitk und Sozialdemokratie, p. 225. 151. See Reichstag, VA , 5th leg. per., 4th session, 1884, Nr. 79, p. 734. 152. Reichstag, VStB , 8th leg. per., 2d session, 16 March 1893, p. 1684. 153. Reichstag, VStB, 8th leg. per., 2d session, 16 March 1893, p. 1702; ibid., 9th leg. per., 2d session, 4 December 1893, p. 261. 154. Reichstag, VStB, 9th leg. per., 4th session, 28 January 1896, p. 587. 155. Karl Liebknecht worked in the Berlin poor-relief administration; Matthias John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” pp. 72–74; August Dreesbach was a member of the Armenkommission in Mannheim (Reichstag, VStB, 8th leg. per., 2d session, 16 March 1893, pp. 1684, 1714); Friedrich Brühne in Frankfurt (Reichstag, VStB, 9th leg. per., 2d session, 4 December 1893, p. 252); Arthur Stadthagen in Berlin (Reichstag, VStB, 9th leg. per., 4th session, 28 January 1896, p. 589). 156. Size of the bureaucracy is not related to spending among the “no protest” cities when the “large bureaucracy” category is coded to include those bureaucracies above the mean (1,139 bureaucrats), rather than the median. 157. Many of the municipal interventions that swept the cities between the 1850s and the end of the century, such as public slaughterhouses, transportation and sewage systems, and the provision of gas, water, and electricity, were only partially “social” policies according to the working definition advanced in chapter 3— i.e., they were not conceptualized as responses to the “social” question. These



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interventions were nonetheless closely attuned to the needs of the local bourgeoisie, in the sense of contributing to the reproduction of the urban industrial labor force and providing infrastructural preconditions for industry. On these policies, see Wolfgang Hofmann, “Kommunale Daseinsvorsorge”; Krabbe, Die deutsche Stadt, pp. 114–121. 158. Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 113, note 19. Other recent treatments of emergency public works include Faust, “Konjunktur, Arbeitsmarkstruktur” and “State and Unemployment”; Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, esp. pp. 210–215; Winkel, “Zur historischen Entwicklung”; and Krabbe, “Die Gründung.” Older writings include: “Die Einrichtung von Notstandsarbeiten”; Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Die Regelung der Notstandsarbeiten”; Bernhard, Die Vergebung der öffentlichen Arbeiten; Vorstand des Deutschen MetallarbeiterVerbandes, Arbeitslosenfürsorge; and Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, Die bestehenden Einrichtungen. 159. The Württemberg charity office instructed cities to provide employment for the poor as early as the 1820s. See Militzer-Schwenger, Armenerziehung durch Arbeit, p. 29. In 1894 and 1908, the Prussian government called upon cities to combat unemployment by carefully distributing their planned public works. Winkel, “Zur historischen Entwicklung,” p. 323; Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 125. 160. Militzer-Schwenger, Armenerziehung durch Arbeit, pp. 77–79, 155. 161. C.F.G., “Der Pauperismus und dessen Bekämpfung durch eine bessere Regelung der Arbeitsverhältnisse” (1844), quoted in Winkel, “Zur historischen Entwicklung,” p. 320; Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 47. 162. See Rosenbaum, “Sozialgeschichte der Stadt Barmen,” p. 305. 163. Bramstedt, “Das Problem der Beschaffung,” p. 48. 164. Faust, “Konjunktur,” p. 157. Statistics on local emergency works are given in the SJdS beginning in 1893. 165. SJdS 18 (1912), p. 201, and Kommunales Jahrbuch, vol. 2 (1909), p. 386. 166. Kommunales Jahrbuch, vol. 2 (1909), p. 383; Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 118. 167. See Verwaltungsbericht Flensburg 1910, p. 479; Rosenbaum, Sozialgeschichte der Stadt Barmen, p. 307; Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Die Regelung der Notstandsarbeiten,” pp. 42–61, 131–174, esp. pp. 51, 55–61; more generally, Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, pp. 115–117. In Munich, the city council decided not to publicize a decision to create jobs in the 1905–1906 winter, to avoid attracting unemployed from other cities. Cf. Kraus, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge, p. 46. A few cities offered emergency employment to both men and women, including Kolmar; see Denkschrift über die Lage des Armenwesen, p. 8. 168. Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage, 2d ed., pp. 438–439, note 10. Of course there were differences between municipal works and Bismarckian social policy. The former were often only available during the winter and usually involved hard physical labor. 169. Report on 6 December 1901 session in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 998, pp. 94–95, from Prussian diplomatic minister in Dresden. 170. Gewerkschaftsverein München, Denkschrift. 171. There are no adequate nationwide figures on unemployment for the empire, so these assessments are based on indirect estimates and on contemporary perceptions. Perceived unemployment is in any case probably more important for politics than actual unemployment. On fluctuations in unemployment during this period see

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Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, pp. 234–235; Kuczynski, Geschichte der Lage, vol. 4, p. 315, and vol. 12, pp. 145–160. 172. I also tried including the measure of average unemployment rates in a city for the eight previous years, because cities might have been more likely to create emergency works where unemployment rates were typically higher. These were much worse predictors of the incidence of emergency works than unemployment rates in the same year. So-called incrementalist theories of the welfare state suggest that the best predictor of the level of social welfare is past levels of social provision. Although logit analysis showed that the presence of emergency works in a given year was the best predictor of their presence in the following year, this does not explain why some cities were more likely than others to provide such works to begin with. Indicators of past-year provision were therefore not included in the analysis. 173. The other explanatory variables listed in table 6.6 above were also tested, in results not shown here, but were not significant. 174. Because there are no agreed-upon rules for testing the significance of individual coefficients in logistic regression, t-tests can only serve as general guidelines, in contrast to OLS regression analysis. 175. Unemployed workers protested in Bremen in 1877, Königsberg in 1880, and Berlin in 1877 and 1884; see Paulmann, Die Sozialdemokratie in Bremen, p. 55; Nordwest (Bremen), vol. 8 (1885), pp. 154–155; and Stadtverordnetenversammlung Berlin, Vorlagen (1877), item no. 160, petition no. 21; StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1393, no pagination (worker petitions from 5 February 1877 and 7 March 1884). See also the petition signed by 1,500 workers calling on Bismarck to create public works in 1877, reprinted in Kuczynski, Die Geschichte der Lage, vol. 3, p. 259. 176. In the Cologne region in 1893–1894, unemployed workers’ meetings had an average of 1,666 in attendance. Bers and Klöckner, Die sozialistische Arbeiterbewegung, p. 87*. In Berlin, a meeting of unemployed workers on 14 January 1891 demanded work and the distribution of warm soup to schoolchildren. On 28 January, another meeting called for a three-month moratorium on rent taxes for apartments with rents of less than 300 marks annually. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1393. On Elberfeld: Blätter für das Armenwesen (Stuttgart), 1893, p. 41; Frankfurt: Eichler, Sozialistische Arbeiterbewegung, p. 299; and Weitensteiner, Karl Flesch, pp. 86– 89; Stübling, Die Sozialdemokratie, p. 116. On Kiel: Osterroth, Hundert Jahre Sozialdemokratie, p. 30; Nürnberg: Gärtner, Die Nürnberger Arbeiterbewegung, p. 143; Bremen: Moring, Die Sozialdemokratische Partei, p. 27; Neukölln (Rixdorf): ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1008, p. 2 (demonstration in Neukölln on 23 January 1893). 177. See, for example, Verband sozialdemokratischer Wahlvereine Berlins und Umgegend, Die Arbeitslosigkeit. 178. Eight unemployed workers’ meetings occurred in Berlin on 18 November 1901, and called on the chancellor, the city council, and the Prussian state immediately to begin all public works; see ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 600, p. 57 (petition, 13 March 1902), and Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1028, pp. 141–143 (petition, 29 November 1901). On demonstrations in Nürnberg, cf. Gärtner, Die Nürnberger Arbeiterbewegung, p. 184; On Frankfurt am Main in January 1902, see ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1028, pp. 305–306 (letter from Klumker, of Frankfurt centrale für private Fürsorge, 15 September 1902); and Weitensteiner, Karl Flesch, p. 90; and on demands for unemployment relief by the Leipzig Labor Union Cartel, see Leipzig, Plenarverhandlungen der Stadtverordneten zu Leipzig (1901), pp. 392, 445–449. Other



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cities in which protests were held in 1900–1901 to call for job relief are listed in Bramstedt, Das Problem der Beschaffung, pp. 58–59. 179. On 1905: Kraus, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge, pp. 45–46. On the 1908–1909 demonstrations in Potsdam, Spandau, Bielefeld, Brandenburg, Offenbach, and other cities, see Rückert, Zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, p. 150; Ditt, Industrialisierung, Arbeiterschaft, p. 256; Zeitz, Zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, p. 35; Müller, “Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge,” p. 84. On 1913, see Humanité (Paris), 31 May 1913 (reports on demonstrations of unemployed workers and violent incidents at the town hall in Breslau). The Munich unions also demanded work again in 1913; see Gewerkschaftsverein München, Denkschrift, pp. 108–109. 180. See Stübling, Die Sozialdemokratie, p. 116; Kraus, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge, p. 45. 181. Bramstedt, Das Problem der Beschaffung, pp. 48, 51. 182. See ZStA II, Rep. 120 (commerce and industry), BB, VII, 1, Nr. 3a, vols. 1–4 and Slg ll; Rep. 120, BB, VII, 1, Nr. 3b, vols. 1–3; Rep. 77 (minister of the interior), Tit. 235, Nr. 35, vol. 2. 183. The report of the “Berlin political police” on the general situation of the Social Democratic and anarchist movements from 12 December 1879 notes that the continuing economic disturbances are causing “normally very tranquil and moderate segments of the population” to “doubt the correctness of the contemporary economic and social order” and to consider whether “perhaps an improvement of conditions could be achieved through a realization of the socialist theory” (Fricke and Knaack, Dokumente, vol. 1, p. 39). 184. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1393, 15 February 1877 (letter from BezirksVerein-Gesundbrunnen). 185. ZStA II, Rep. 120, BB, VII, 1, Nr. 3b, vol. 1, p. 56 (report of 29 March 1892 [dated 14 April 1892]). 186. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1393 (petitions of 14 and 30 January 1891 generated by two separate demonstrations). 187. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1008, p. 10. 188. ZStA II, Rep. 120, BB, VII, 1, Nr. 3b, vol. 1, p. 189. 189. Krabbe, “Die Gründung,” p. 434. 190. The SPD Reichstag group introduced work bills in 1894 and 1901 (ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1028, pp. 277–279: [petition from Berlin unions, 14 March 1902]); again in 1908 (Reichstag, VA, 12th leg. per., 1901, Nr. 1004); and in 1913 (the interpellation of 10 December 1913 is in ZStA I, Rep. 21.01, Nr. 112, p. 35). The SPD group in the Saxony 2d chamber introduced similar bills for emergency works in 1901. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 998, pp. 94–95 (6 December 1901 report). 191. In Berlin in 1891–1894, 1901–1902, 1908–1909, and 1914, and in the Hamburg Senate in 1908. See StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nrs. 1433 and 1486; Schult, Geschichte der Hamburger Arbeiterbewegung, p. 252. 192. Article of 30 September 1913, cited in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1001, p. 192. 193. The SPD controlled the Offenbach city council between 1901 and 1904, and again after 1910. Croon, “Das Vordringen,” p. 52; Ludwig, Kommunalpolitik und Sozialdemokratie, pp. 265–267; Protokoll SPD Parteitag (1905), p. 30; (1908), p. 46; (1911), p. 37; and Kommunale Praxis 10 (1911), p. 1640. On the special character of Offenbach’s employment-relief program, see Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Die Regelung der Notstandsarbeiten,” p. 18.

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194. The city of Düsseldorf, for example, had engaged in emergency works fairly systematically since the early 1890s, even though there were no SPD councilors. Balkenhol, Armut und Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 70. The Düsseldorf SPD had called for emergency works but was not very interested in local politics; see Nolan, Social Democracy and Society, esp. p. 207. 195. As an analysis of emergency public-works spending in Düsseldorf found, “The [spending] curves do not take the expected upswing in years of proven greater unemployment. . . . it is impossible to speak of a meaningful, conjuncturally-driven municipal employment policy” (Balkenhol, Armut und Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 70). More specifically, Balkenhol compares municipal spending on emergency public works and on overall construction between 1850 and 1900 and finds that the former increased more rapidly than the latter in only two years (pp. 69–70). Although there are no reliable unemployment statistics for the 1870s, economic historians agree that unemployment was worse during the Gründerkrise than at any other time before World War I. See Mottek, “Die Gründerkrise”; Rosenberg, Grosse Depression; Rössler, “Die Arbeitslosigkeit”; and Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, pp. 232–234. 196. Fear of the organized working class had been a central factor stimulating Bismarck to introduce social insurance during the 1880s, despite the SPD’s rather meager parliamentary presence at that time. The SPD won an average of eleven seats in the seven Reichstag elections before 1890, although they gained steadily thereafter. 197. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1028, pp. 139–140 (letter from Borsig and other Berlin manufacturers, 14 November 1901). 198. StadtA Berlin, Rep. 00, Nr. 1433 (letter to Berlin city councilor Nelke, from the Berlin “Arbeitgeber-Verband,” April 1908). 199. On the tremendous rates of internal migration in this period, see Langewiesche, “Wanderungsbewegungen.” 200. See, e.g., Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, pp. 234–235. 201. The Social Democrats’ capacity to domesticate street politics was widely recognized. One contemporary writer noted that even unemployed workers’ demonstrations were more orderly and attracted a “relatively well off stratum of industrial workers” when they were organized by the Social Democrats (Weidner, Aus den Tiefen, p. 30). 202. Using cities as units of analysis allows us to increase the size of the sample beyond the number of cases for which data are available in cross-national research on the early welfare state; it also allows us to avoid having to use techniques for increasing sample size, such as grouping all forms of social policy or including all laws passed in a given policy area as separate cases. Looking for social processes at the local level minimizes problems of ecological inference that plague cross-national research, even if it does not eliminate them. This is true when social spending at local, regional, and central levels of government is aggregated and related to independent variables that are national averages—for example, strike rates. One is also able to obtain a dependent variable that is considered by the actors in question to be a uniform social-policy event. This is not always the case in cross-national research. A final advantage concerns data: the urban statistics available for Germany in this period are surprisingly rich even by current standards and are more standardized than the national-level data used in cross-national research on the welfare state.



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203. See especially Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, “Die Regelung der Notstandsarbeiten,” esp. pp. 111–121. Cf. also the discussion in the next chapter of opposition to municipal unemployment insurance based on its costs; e.g., ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 2330, pp. 26ff. (minutes of a conference of city administrators from Berlin suburbs and surrounding cities on the question of unemployment insurance in November 1913). 204. See the conclusion for a discussion of the question of “proximity” to the social question. CHAPTER SEVEN 1. There are no good quantitative indicators of the degree to which cities engaged in scientific social work, and thus no statistical analysis for this particular section. 2. Other writers have noted the shifts in municipal politics during this period, e.g., Ayçoberry, “Les luttes pour le pouvoir,” p. 91; H. Mommsen, “Die Auflösung.” 3. In Krefeld, for instance, only a single silk manufacturer remained in the city council in 1918; Jaeger, Unternehmer, p. 87. See also Croon, “Bürgertum und Verwaltung,” p. 41. 4. Hardtwig, “Großstadt und Bürgerlichkeit,” pp. 30–31, 49; Lenger, “Bürgertum,” pp. 121–124; Hein, “Badisches Bürgertum,” pp. 80, 93. In some large cities, like Aachen, the bourgeoisie had never even held a majority of seats in the city council; Lenger, “Bürgertum,” p. 123. 5. H. Mommsen, “Die Auflösung,” p. 289. 6. Kaelble, “Französisches und deutsches Bürgertum,” p. 125. 7. See Croon, Die gesellschaftliche Auswirkungen, p. 38, and “Die Stadtvertretungen,” p. 305. 8. Croon, “Das Vordringen,” p. 16. 9. Verfassung und Verwaltung der Städte, part 5 (1907), p. 17. 10. Rosenbaum, “Sozialgeschichte der Stadt,” p. 87; Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse der Arbeiterschaft, p. 252. 11. Croon, “Die Stadtvertretungen,” p. 300. 12. Ernst Basserman, the National Liberal leader, was a member of the Mannheim city council; Karl Flesch, the mayor of Frankfurt am Main, was a representative in the Prussian Diet and an active participant in congresses of the Progressive People’s party. See Gall, Bürgertum; and Der Zweite Parteitag der Fortschrittlichen Volkspartei zu Mannheim, 5.–7. Okt. 1912. Ignaz Jastrow, another progressive liberal active in national party politics and longtime editor of the social reform journal Soziale Praxis, was also engaged in a campaign for municipal unemployment insurance in Charlottenberg. See Jastrow, Denkschrift; and Jastrow and Badtke, Kommunale Arbeitslosenversicherung. 13. See Sheehan, Career of Lujo Brentano, pp. 115, 137ff. See also Blackbourn, “Discreet Charm,” pp. 267–268; Sheehan, “Deutscher Liberalismus”; Koch, “Liberalismus und soziale Frage”; Trautmann, “Die industriegesellschaftliche Herausforderung”; and Wegner, “Linksliberalismus.” A helpful visual overview of the complicated splits among German liberal parties from 1871 to 1914 can be found in Elm, Zwischen Fortschritt, p. 1. Treatments of the full spectrum of liberal parties are in Sheehan, German Liberalism, and Fricke et al., Lexikon zur Parteiengeschichte.

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14. Düding, Der Nationalsoziale Verein, p. 175. Basserman was first party leader and then chairman. See Eschenburg, Das Kaiserreich; Heckart, From Basserman to Bebel; Gall, Bürgertum, pp. 402–442; and Basserman, Ernst Basserman. The 1884 Heidelberg program of the National Liberals was already strongly supportive of Bismarck’s social policy, although it also committed them to his anti-socialist legislation. See also Röhl, Germany Without Bismarck, p. 62. 15. White, The Splintered Party, p. 169. 16. See Wegner, Theodor Barth, pp. 14–16; Düding, Der Nationalsoziale Verein, p. 163; Shanahan, “Friedrich Naumann,” p. 296. The Freisinnige Vereinigung was one of two parties that came out of the Deutsche Freisinnige Partei (1884–1893); the other was the Freisinnige Volkspartei. In 1908, the left wing of the Freisinnige Vereinigung split off to form the Demokratische Vereinigung, which defended more farreaching social-policy goals. See Elm, “Demokratische Vereinigung”; Nadav, Julius Moses, pp. 131–132. 17. Wegner, Theodor Barth, p. 114; Elm, Zwischen Fortschritt und Reaktion, pp. 40, 117. 18. Wegner, Theodor Barth, p. 27, note 76; cf. also Elm, Zwischen Fortschritt und Reaktion, p. 34. 19. Wegner, Theodor Barth, p. 127. The Vereinigung also agitated against antiSemitism and against a section of the Law on Associations requiring that German be spoken at public meetings. Heckart, From Basserman to Bebel, pp. 59–61; Wegner, Theodor Barth, p. 53. 20. Gustav Schmidt, “Liberalismus und soziale Reform,” p. 225. Max Weber was a founding, though not an active, member of the Nationalsozialer Verein. See Düding, Der Nationalsoziale Verein; Theiner, Sozialer Liberalismus and “Friedrich Naumann”; Sponsel, “Friedrich Naumann”; Conze, “Friedrich Naumann”; and Shanahan, “Friedrich Naumann.” 21. Düding, Der Nationalsoziale Verein, p. 114. 22. Ibid., pp. 60, 104, 109–110, 114. Support for Arbeiterschutz was much less common than pro-welfare opinions, even among reform groups and parties, and was more vigorously opposed by employers. See Machtan, “Zur Entstehungsund Wirkungsgeschichte.” The Verein merged with the Freisinnige Vereinigung just after electing its first representative (Helmut von Gerlach) to the Reichstag in 1903. 23. See Der Zweite Parteitag der Fortschrittlichen Volkspartei zu Mannheim, 5.– 7. Okt. 1912, pp. 55–75. Met by “lively applause,” Naumann described the Fortschrittliche Volkspartei as a party “that recognizes no class contradictions: In the countryside and the city, industrialist and worker, brothers with one another!” (ibid., p. 62). 24. The title of a book by Carl Jentsch, Weder Kommunismus noch Kapitalismus. See Vom Bruch, “Bürgerliche Sozialreform.” 25. See Lindenlaub, Richtungskämpfe; Conrad, “Verein für Sozialpolitik”; Plessen, Die Wirksamkeit des Vereins; and Boese, Geschichte des Vereins. 26. See Ritter, Social Welfare, pp. 19, 27–28; Reulecke, Sozialer Frieden. 27. Krabbe, “Munizipalsozialismus,” p. 267. 28. Quoted in ibid., p. 266. 29. Geschäftsbericht erstattet in der Delegierten-Versammlung des Centralverbandes deutscher Industrieller in München am 21 Mai 1912 vom Geschäftsführer Dr. Schweighoffer (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag, 1912), p. 8.



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30. Sell, Die Tragödie, pp. 256ff. 31. By 1910, the organizational members of the GfSR(mainly white-collar organizations and labor unions) represented more than 1,600,000 members; Ratz, Sozialreform, p. 49; see also Vom Bruch, “Bürgerliche Sozialreform.” 32. Its chair was Freiherr Hans Hermann von Berlepsch, who had been appointed Prussian minister of commerce in 1890 to guide Caprivi’s new social-policy program but was forced out by conservatives and representatives of heavy industry in 1896. G. Schulze, “Zentralverband Deutscher Industrieller”; Röhl, Germany without Bismarck, p. 138; On von Berlepsch’s activities as minister of commerce, see von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs.’ Other prominent members included Gustav Schmoller and Ignaz Jastrow. 33. Ratz, Sozialreform, pp. 20ff. 34. Ibid., pp. 32, 34–35, 82, 85. 35. Ibid., pp. 75–76. 36. Ibid., p. 85. See also Wegner, “Linksliberalismus im wilhelminischen Deutschland,” p. 134, who writes of “the very influential group of upper municipal politicians in the DDP” during the Weimar Republic who were ready to work together with the Social Democrats “due to their experiences in the municipal realm.” Other liberal groups called for cooperation with the SPD within the state, including the Hansa-Bund; see chapter 5; and Hansa-Bund, Bürger Heraus!, p. 111. 37. Rohls, Theoretiker, pp. 129ff., and Großstädtische. 38. For example, between 1900 and 1914 the number of paid municipal employees in Munich rose from 1,821 to 5,223. Steinborn, Grundlagen und Grundzüge, p. 40. 39. The term Expertenverwaltung is from Hardtwig, “Großstadt und Bürgerlichkeit,” p. 46. See also Lenger, “Bürgertum,” pp. 130–131, 161. 40. See Nadav, Julius Moses. 41. See Süle, “Kommunale Handels- und Verwaltungshochschulen.” 42. See the essays in Schwabe, Oberbürgermeister; Wolfgang Hofmann, Zwischen Rathaus; Krabbe, “Die Oberbürgermeister.” 43. Indeed, Bavarian municipal law had stipulated as early as 1818 that at least one mayor (Bürgermeister) should have “legal expertise.” Hardtwig, “Großstadt und Bürgerlichkeit,” p. 44. 44. See Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 2, pp. 19ff. 45. See the discussion below and Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, esp. pp. 93–96; Weindling, Health, Race and “Hygienepolitik”; Weingart, Kroll, and Bayertz, Rasse, Blut; Weiss, “The Race Hygiene Movement”; Schneck, “Die Entwicklung der Eugenik”; Mann, “Rassenhygiene”; Labisch, “ ‘Hygiene ist Moral”; and Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung. For an example of the insinuation of eugenics into Social Democratic thought, see Grotjahn, Soziale Pathologie; on Grotjahn’s activities in the Wilhelmine period, see Nadav, Julius Moses, esp. pp. 62–88; Tutzke, Alfred Grotjahn. 46. Hardtwig, “Großstadt und Bürgerlichkeit,” pp. 44ff.; Lenger, “Bürgertum,” pp. 129, 161ff. In Essen, for example, the mining association (bergbaulicher Verein) criticized the city council for allowing a meeting of workers to take place. Henning, “Geschichte der Stadtverordnetenversammlung,” p. 44. 47. See the discussion of women and poor relief in chapter 6; and Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich, pp. 220–245, 298–302, 368–374, 416–417.

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48. See Zaretsky, “The Place of the Family,” p. 212; Stritt, Der Internationale Frauen-Kongress, p. 470; Hackett, “The Politics of Feminism,” pp. 347, 591–593; Clemens, ‘Menschenrechte,’ pp. 98ff. 49. Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauen-Verein, Politisches Handbuch, pp. 85–88. 50. See the discussion of the SPD’s views of local politics below; and von Saldern, “Die Gemeinde.” 51. For further discussion of these issues, see chapter 6. 52. Von Saldern, “SPD und Kommunalpolitik,” p. 199. 53. Ibid., p. 200. 54. E.g., Hofmann, Bielefelder Stadtverordneten, p. 90. 55. Dawson, Municipal Life, p. 77. 56. Rohls, Theoretiker, pp. 146–147; Paulmann, Die Sozialdemokratie, pp. 72– 73. On the socialists’ municipal activities in Berlin, see Hirsch, 25 Jahre sozialdemokratischer Arbeit; Bernstein, Geschichte der Berliner Arbeiterbewegung; Gemkow, “Die Ersten Sozialdemokraten”; Matthias John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit in Ausschüssen” and “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner.” 57. See Drogmann, “Grundlagen und Anfänge,” p. 573. 58. Elm, Zwischen Fortschritt, pp. 53–54; Czok, “Ausgangspositionen”; Schachner, “Gemeinde und Sozialdemokratie.” 59. See Hugo, “Sozialdemokratie und Kommunalverwaltung”; McElligott, “Municipal Politics,” pp. 38–46. 60. For one Social Democrat’s very positive assessment of the benefits of participating in municipal politics, see Kampffmeyer, “Die Stellung,” p. 302. 61. Figures from John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” table 1, p. 12; and von Saldern, “Sozialdemokratische Kommunalpolitik,” p. 29. 62. See “Sozialdemokratische Gemeindemehrheiten,” special issue of Kommunale Praxis 13, Nrs. 38/39 (20 September 1913); Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, p. 92. In Kiel, the SPD won half of the city council seats in 1912– 1913, but because this did not affect the composition of the magistrate, the SPD was not able to take control of the city. See Osterroth, Hundert Jahre Sozialdemokratie, p. 47; Croon, “Vordringen,” p. 50; Dähnhardt, Revolution in Kiel, p. 30. The SPD also held half of the seats in the Ludwigshafen city council from 1909 on but was disempowered by the votes of the mayor and the Rechtsrat; see Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, p. 342, and the discussion below. 63. See, e.g., Kommunale Praxis (1906), column 948. 64. Indeed, socialists’ views of local government as lying outside of politics were strangely reminiscent of traditional liberal ideas. As von Saldern notes, the Social Democrats also began to accept the liberal conception of local self-government as implying autonomy from the state rather than self-determination of the people; cf. “SPD und Kommunalpolitik,” pp. 200–201. See Sheehan, “Liberalism and the City.” 65. Quoted in von Saldern, “Die Gemeinde,” p. 313. 66. Karl Kautsky, “Unser neuestes Programm,” Die neue Zeit 13:2 (1894–1895), p. 588. 67. Quoted in John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” p. 18. A year later Kautsky expressed the same idea in a somewhat more nuanced form: “The city in the capitalist state can only function on the basis of the extant relations of domination and exploitation. . . . Nonetheless it is possible to work even today within the municipal framework against the moral and physical misery that capitalism continually



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strives to increase for the masses of working people and to contribute to the physical and spiritual regeneration of the working class” (quoted in von Saldern, “Die Gemeinde,” p. 314). 68. Elm, Zwischen Fortschritt, p. 54. On Singer and the Berlin socialist councilors see also Gemkow, Paul Singer; and Hirsch, 25 Jahre sozialdemokratische Arbeit. 69. See John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” and “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit in Ausschüssen.” 70. Roughly, “one to goad the others on.” See Protokoll SPD Parteitag, 1904, p. 22: “Genosse Quark, der als ‘Hecht im Karpfenteich’ im Frankfurter Stadtparlement sitzt.” See also Severing, Mein Lebensweg, vol. 1, p. 133. 71. Protokoll SPD Parteitag, 1906, p. 42–43. 72. Protokoll SPD Parteitag, 1912, p. 38. 73. Protokoll SPD Parteitag, 1913, p. 26. One Social Democratic councilor later recalled that “I wanted to cooperate, even though I was aware that our influence on the formation of municipal affairs was narrowly limited” (Severing, Mein Lebensweg, vol. 1, p. 133). 74. Stadtsyndikus Landmann, in Verfassung und Verwaltung der Städte, part 4:3 (1906), p. 95. 75. Verfassung und Verwaltung der Städte, part 4:2 (1905), in Schriften des Vereins der Sozialpolitik (1906), p. 61. 76. Quoted in von Saldern, Vom Einwohner zum Bürger, p. 227. City officials in Essen held similar views: “We generally approve when SPD members engage in positive work rather than mere critique” (Henning, “Geschichte der Stadtverordnetenversammlung,” p. 56). 77. Von Saldern, “SPD und Kommunalpolitik,” p. 200, note 32; Paulmann, Die Sozialdemokratie, p. 88. Other local SPD chapters were simply uninterested in municipal politics; see Nolan, Social Democracy and Society, p. 64; and von Saldern, Vom Einwohner zum Bürger. 78. See Rosa Luxemburg’s attacks on Lindemann and the reformist Stuttgart Social Democrats, in Luxemburg, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 2, pp. 505–515. 79. John, “Karl Liebknechts Tätigkeit als Berliner,” p. 27. 80. This was the case in Halle, according to its Mayor Richard R. Rive. See Nürnberger, “Städtische Selbstverwaltung,” p. 240; also Rive, Lebenserinnerungen. 81. Krabbe, Kommunalpolitik und Industrialisierung, p. 85. 82. On the SPD and municipal social policy, see Ludwig, Kommunalpolitik und Sozialdemokratie; Von Saldern, Vom Einwohner zum Bürger, pp. 227–310; Tennstedt, Vom Proleten; Rebentisch, “Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie”; “Armut und Sozialdemokratie vor 1914.” For an exemplary study of the activities of one SPD municipal fraction, see Lehnert and Rossmeissl, 75 Jahre kommunales Verhältniswahlrecht. 83. According to the SPD leader Severing, the Bielefeld socialists were less able to influence municipal policy after the council membership of the left liberals declined. Severing, Mein Lebensweg, vol. 1, p. 152. The left liberals occasionally even offered to enter a formal electoral coalition with the socialists and relied on socialist votes when trying to pass legislation. The first case of liberals and socialists governing together was in Fürth during the 1870s. Liberals proposed electoral alliances with the SPD in Bielefeld in 1889 and in Mühlhausen/Alsace during the second round of voting in 1891. On SPD–left liberal cooperation, see Oberlé and Livet, L’Histoire de

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Mulhouse, p. 285; Hofmann, Bielefelder Stadtverordneten, p. 90; Heckart, From Basserman to Bebel, p. 32; Soell, “Die Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterbewegung,” pp. 125–126; Bartelmeß, “Die sozialdemokratische Rathausfraktion.” 84. See the analysis of the Ghent system below. 85. As one observer noted, municipal social policy “was actually just discovered” during this period: the city was less identified with the state than before. See Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage, 2d ed., p. 406. 86. Sachße and Tennstedt employ the contemporary phrase “social elaboration of assistance” (soziale Ausgestaltung der Fürsorge) to describe the changes during this period. This phrase originally was meant to underscore the shortcomings of conventional poor relief, which was considered insufficiently “social” in comparison to the new social policy. I prefer the term scientific social work because it is less linked to the specific agenda of late-nineteenth-century reformers. See Sachße and Tennstedt, Geschichte der Armenfürsorge, vol. 2; Flesch, “Sociale Ausgestaltung der Armenpflege”; Polligkeit, “Armenwesen,” p. 106; Wolfram, Vom Armenwesen; and Boettcher, Fürsorge in Lübeck, pp. 5–15. I also disagree with Sachße and Tennstedt’s inclusion of unemployment policy under the rubric of soziale Ausgestaltung der Fürsorge, a decision that is apparently based on the fact that unemployment policy was still conducted at the municipal level. Yet other branches of Fürsorge that they discuss, including youth care, operated at both municipal and state levels. 87. Sachße and Tennstedt refer to the “scientifization of the social,” which signifies the growing importance of both the national economy and the natural, especially biological, sciences. I would like to keep these two tendencies separate, even if both reflect in part the growing prestige and sophistication of “the sciences” in general. 88. See Peters, Mütterlichkeit im Kaiserreich; Weindling, Health, Race; Göckenjan, “Tuberkulose-Prävention und Spuckverhalten” and Kurieren und Staat machen; Meyer-Renschhausen, Weibliche Kultur; Stürzbecher, “Die medizinische Versorgung,” pp. 246–249. 89. See Hofmann, “Kommunale Daseinsvorsorge”; Krabbe, Die deutsche Stadt, pp. 114–116; Frevert, Krankheit. 90. Nadav, Julius Moses, p. 108. 91. Labisch, “Kommunale Gesundheitssicherung,” p. 1082. 92. Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol. 1, pp. 104–105, 116, 139. 93. In another respect, social work represented an extension of the frontier of the “civilizing process,” discussed by Norbert Elias, from the upper classes into the lower regions of society. Elias also mentions the extension of “civility” into the lower classes, suggesting that it inadvertantly produces a relative loss of distinction among the upper social echelons. See Elias, Power and Civility, pp. 252–256. Unlike Elias, we can no longer understand “civilization” as a form of “progress” in which the earlier stage is defined simply by its lack of civilization. Instead, the civilizing process should be viewed as a massive, multifaceted Überformung and replacement of one cultural system by another. (Compare Elias’s classist, Eurocentric, imperialist tone, in ibid., pp. 255, 301.) See chapter 1 for a more detailed discussion of Foucault. 94. Certainly, some of the social hygienists were also interested in the effects of improving health on work productivity. But work and workers were not at the center of hygienic discourse or practice. The phrase “homo hygienicus” is from Labisch, “Die soziale Konstruktion.” 95. Krabbe, “Von der Armenpflege,” p. 197. 96. See Schlaudraff, “Ein Vergleich”; Sachße, Mütterlichkeit als Beruf, chapter 2.



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97. One historian who seems perhaps too strongly identified with these reformers argues that most German bourgeois were too narrow-minded to develop these innovative forms of communal social policy. Weitensteiner, Karl Flesch, p. 12. 98. See Sachße and Tennstedt, Bettler, Gauner, p. 294; Peters, Mütterlichkeit, pp. 190–191. 99. Nadav, Julius Moses, pp. 64, 78; on the social hygienists see also Tennstedt, Vom Proleten, pp. 555–569; Tutzke, Grotjahn. Exemplary texts of social hygiene include Gottstein, Geschichte der Hygiene; Grotjahn, Geburten-Rückgang; Mosse and Tugendreich, Krankheit. 100. See Weindling, Health, Race, pp. 241–269; Bergmann, “Frauen, Männer, Sexualität.” 101. See Allen, Feminism and Motherhood, pp. 173–187. 102. Riemann, “Zur Diskrepanz.” 103. Bund deutscher Frauenvereine, Jahrbuch der Frauenbewegung (1913), p. 137. 104. Sachße, Mütterlichkeit als Beruf; Stoehr, “ ‘Organisierte Mütterlichkeit’ ”; Riemann and Simmel, “Bildung zur Weiblichkeit”; and Riemann, “Zur Diskrepanz.” A related area was youth policy, but this was as much the work of state as local government. The 1900 Prussian law on correctional education allowed the special youth courts to place minors in “reform schools” (Fürsorgeerziehungsanstalten) even against the wishes of the parents and in the absence of “culpable behavior” on their part. In 1911, the Prussian government allocated one million marks for municipal youth “salvation” programs. See Linton, Who Has the Youth and “Between Household”; and Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung. 105. Peters, Mütterlichkeit; Quataert, “Women’s Work,” p. 12. There were 252 child-labor commissions by 1914; see Freier, Dem Reich der Freiheit, p. 70. By 1914, most large cities had programs for infant care staffed by women. See for example Nürnberg, Statistisches Jahrbuch (1911), p. 141; Keller and Klumker, Säuglingsfürsorge. 106. See Frevert, “The Civilizing Tendency,” p. 335; Weindling, Health, Race, pp. 196–200. Of course, many working-class mothers were already breast-feeding their infants simply because it was cheaper. 107. Allen, Feminism and Motherhood, p. 178. 108. See Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus. On early German eugenics see also Proctor, Racial Hygiene; Weindling, Health, Race; Allen, “German Radical Feminism”; Weiss, “The Race Hygiene Movement” and Race Hygiene; Byer, Rassenhygiene und Wohlfahrtspflege; Rissom, Fritz Lenz. Eugenicists could not prove the existence of degeneration empirically but arrived at this conclusion deductively; see Weingart, Kroll, and Bayertz, Rasse, Blut und Gene, pp. 73–79. 109. See Weiss, Race Hygiene, p. 47; Weingart, Kroll, and Bayertz, Rasse, Blut und Gene, pp. 124–125; Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, p. 40. 110. Allen, “German Radical Feminism,” p. 45. 111. Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, pp. 31, 34, 40, 43. 112. See Mann, “Biologie und der ‘Neue Mensch.’ ” 113. Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, p. 35; Mann, “Biologie und der ‘Neue Mensch,’ ” p. 174. 114. Seen as an articulation of ideological elements, biologizing policies were drawn toward social policy in the Kaiserreich, giving rise to the paradox of social reforms partially inspired by a theory that denied the very value of social policy; in

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the Nazi era, by contrast, social policies were articulated with the more central biological signifiers. On the total biologization of the social under Nazism, see Lifton, The Nazi Doctors. 115. Peukert speaks of the “genesis of the ‘final solution’ in the spirit of science” (Peukert, “Die Genesis der ‘Endlösung’ ”). 116. Proctor, Racial Hygiene; Ludmerer, “Genetics, Eugenics.” 117. The founding German eugenicist Wilhelm Schallmeyer even rejected the term race hygiene because of the conservative interpretation of the term as referring to multiple races rather than the unitary human race. Weiss, Race Hygiene. 118. Weindling, Health, Race, pp. 166–167, 172. On the older socialist approach to health care, see Labisch, “Workingmen’s Samaritan Federation.” 119. Grotjahn, Soziale Pathologie, pp. 477–479; Weindling, Health, Race, pp. 249–250; Weingart, Kroll, and Bayertz, Rasse, Blut und Gene, p. 110; Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, p. 45. 120. Ann Taylor Allen shows that the German women’s movement was hardly exceptional in embracing eugenics, and she distinguishes between their version of eugenics and the mainline version. Nonetheless, she seems to feel compelled to defend the eugenic turn in the Wilhelmine women’s movement. She makes the correct but ethically immaterial point that eugenic sterilization was not identified as a rightwing idea at this time, and seems unwilling to acknowledge the social anxieties and class hatred that lay behind feminist calls for sterilization and other restrictions on births. See Taylor, “German Radical Feminism.” 121. See Schmitter, “Still the Century of Corporatism?”; and Panitch, “Theories of Corporatism.” Some of the policies discussed here are best described as protocorporatist rather than fully corporatist because they involved only two of the three normal partners in that relation: workers and politicians (“the state”), but not employer organizations. Some of them did involve employers, however. 122. These commissions are actually located somewhere between worker policy and proto-corporatism, because some cities excluded union members and Social Democrats from them (Adelheid von Saldern, personal communication). 123. Lindemann, Arbeiterpolitik und Wirtschaftspflege, 2d ed., pp. 1–6. Lindemann also noted that one of the commissions’ ultimate goals was to prevent workers from joining the SPD. But by accepting union and socialist representatives in some social commissions, the cities were at least accepting the Social Democrats’ right to exist. 124. See Henning, “Geschichte der Stadtverordnetenversammlung,” p. 124. 125. Wermel and Urban, “Arbeitslosenfürsorge und Arbeitslosenversicherung,” p. 83. 126. Cited in Fröba and Nitsche, “. . . ein bißchen Radau . . . ,” pp. 34–35. 127. See Mottek, “Die Gründerkrise”; Rössler, “Die Arbeitslosigkeit”; and Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, pp. 232–234. The statistics for some cities on per capita relief spending show a rise beginning in the mid-1870s: in Erfurt, Dortmund, and Krefeld, for example, per capita spending increased steadily after 1874 (Erfurt: 132 marks per capita in 1874, 276 in 1877, 479 in 1881; Dortmund: 134 in 1873, 292 in 1877, and 374 in 1880; Krefeld: 237 in 1875, 390 in 1878, and 465 in 1887). In other cities such as Breslau and Berlin, however, there is no comparable rise until the 1890s. Figures from Mitteilungen aus der Armen- und Wohlfahrtspflege der Stadt Dortmund (various years) and from the cities’ Verwaltungsberichte.



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128. An internal report on the comparability of British and German unemployment statistics in 1905 suggested that the lower rates in Germany reflected the fact that the trade union of the metal workers, who were hardest hit by the crisis of 1901–1903, was left out of the statistics at that time, and that in the industries represented, reduced work days were more common responses to recession than layoffs. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 998, pp. 225–226. For a further discussion of German unemployment statistics, see Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, pp. 74–87. 129. Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 234. 130. The problem with these statistics is that individuals could make more than one job application, while many unemployed did not even use the labor exchanges. Statistics on labor exchanges are from the SJdS, the Kommunales Jahrbuch, and Silbergleit, Preußens Städte, pp. 292–297. “Larger” cities are those with at least 50,000 inhabitants by 1914. 131. A similar rise in interest occurred during the depression at the end of the 1840s but does not appear to have resulted in a durable implantation of unemployment in working-class discourse. 132. Dubois, Le vocabulaire politique, p. 245. 133. Faust, “Funktion und soziale Bedeutung,” p. 395. 134. France, Office du Travail, Documents. 135. Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 153. 136. Ritter, Social Welfare, p. 98. 137. Alber, Vom Armenhaus, p. 168. 138. Preller, Sozialpolitik, pp. 363–376. Of course, unemployment policy was always “different” from the other major forms of public social intervention. In twothirds of Western European countries, unemployment insurance was the last of the four major insurance forms to be introduced, and in no country was it the first. Alber, Vom Armenhaus, p. 49. 139. See Jay, “L’Assurance obligatoire” and “Un projet d’assurance”; Hofman, Die Arbeitslosenversicherung; and a series of articles by Emil Hofmann in Archiv für soziale Gesetzgebung und Statistik between 1895 and 1908, e.g., “Die Arbeitslosenversicherung.” On French municipalities’ subsidies for labor union unemployment insurance during the same period, see Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt, Die bestehenden Einrichtungen, vol. 2, pp. 248–254. 140. See Wermel and Urban, “Arbeitslosenfürsorge und Arbeitslosenversicherung,” pp. 80–88; Henning, “Arbeitslosenversicherung vor 1914”; Niess, Geschichte der Arbeitslosigkeit; Faust, “State and Unemployment” and Arbeitsmarktpolitik, pp. 131–190. 141. Cologne began subsidizing a voluntary unemployment insurance fund in 1896 and switched to the Ghent system in 1911. Leipzig also started funding an independent fund in 1905. A common variant on the Ghent system involved the creation of subsidized savings accounts for unorganized workers; Leidig, Die Arbeitslosenunterstützung, pp. 29, 35–39. 142. The cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants in which municipal unemployment-insurance funds had been created (or voted, in the case of Frankfurt) by August 1914 were Strassburg (1907), Mülhausen in Alsace (1909), Freiburg (1910), Cologne (1911), Schöneberg (1911), Mannheim (1911), Kaiserslautern (1912), Stuttgart (1912), Offenbach (1913), Heidelberg (1913), Frankfurt am Main (1914). See: ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1001, pp. 175–179 (report by Referent Landmann on unemployment insurance in Germany); Bulletin Trimestriel de l’Association Inter-

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nationale pour la Lutte contre le Chômage; Morgenroth, “Städtische Arbeitslosenversicherung”; Weiß, “Der Stand der Arbeitslosenversicherung”; and the Verwaltungsberichte and Chamber of Commerce reports of the various cities, e.g., Offenbach, Jahresbericht der Großherzoglichen Handelskammer (1913), pp. 89–95. The other, smaller cities that introduced the Ghent scheme before World War I were Schiltigheim, Bischheim, and Illkirch in Alsace, Erlangen, Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Esslingen, Grafenstaden, Feuerbach, Friedrichshaide bei Ronneberg, Eupen, and Frankenthal. See Bernhard, Der gegenwärtige Stand, p. 143; Herkner, Die Arbeiterfrage, vol. 1, 8th ed., p. 397; and the annual reports entitled “Arbeitslosenversicherung” in the Kommunales Jahrbuch. Kleeis also includes Augsburg as having introduced the system, and Henning mentions Magdeburg, but there is no evidence in the primary sources or secondary literature on these cities to support these claims. See Kleeis, Die Geschichte, p. 178; and Henning, “Arbeitslosenversicherung vor 1914,” p. 279. Faust overlooks Eupen, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Cologne. 143. Müller, “Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge,” pp. 84–86. For other descriptions of Social Democratic agitation for municipal unemployment insurance, see Ilse Fischer, Industrialisierung, sozialer Konflikt, pp. 387ff.; Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, p. 401, on Ludwigshafen; and Stadtrat Heidelberg, Chronik der Stadt (1913), pp. 31ff. 144. Tennstedt, Vom Proleten, p. 595. 145. Danziger Neuste Nachrichten, 22 April 1910, Nr. 93. The union federation of Strassburg initiated the successful call for a Ghent-type system. Correspondezblatt der Generalkommission der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands vol. 17, Nr. 3 (1907), p. 33; Soell, “Die Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterbewegung,” p. 130. On the unions’ agitation for unemployment-insurance subsidies in Mannheim see the Mannheim Verwaltungsbericht for 1910 and 1911; on Breslau, the Jahresbericht des Breslauer Arbeitersekretariats, 1908, pp. 20–21; on Barmen, see Rosenbaum, “Sozialgeschichte der Stadt Barmen,” p. 307; on Bielefeld, Ditt, Industrialisierung, Arbeiterschaft, p. 256; on Bremen, Moring, Die Sozialdemokratische Partei, p. 29; on Hamburg, Schult, Geschichte der Hamburger Arbeiterbewegung, p. 114; on Ludwigshafen, where the SPD councilors first demanded it, see: Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, p. 401. 146. Weiß, “Der Stand der Arbeitslosenversicherung.” 147. Wermel and Urban, Arbeitslosenfürsorge, p. 55. 148. Weitensteiner, Karl Flesch, p. 17; Troeltsch, Problem der Arbeitslosigkeit; Jastrow and Badtke, Kommunale Arbeitslosenversicherung; Jastrow, Denkschrift. On left liberal support, see Ratz, Sozialreform, p. 82; Trautmann, “Die industriegesellschaftliche Herausforderung,” p. 53; Jastrow, Das Problem der ArbeitslosenVersicherung. On the idea that unemployment had to be “invented” rather than simply discovered, see Topalov, “Invention du chômage.” 149. See Kreitmeier, “Zur Entwicklung der Kommunalpolitik,” p. 122; Nolan, Social Democracy and Society, pp. 200–224. Other organizations supported the local unemployment-insurance funds. The German branch of the International Association for the Struggle Against Unemployment, founded in 1910, promoted research and provided a forum for all forms of jobless relief. 150. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1001, pp. 127–128 (report from Magistrat Schöneberg, 2 February 1912). 151. Jastrow, Problem der Arbeitslosen-Versicherung, quoted in Statistisches Amt der Stadt Nürnberg, Die Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 47.



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152. Statistisches Amt der Stadt Nürnberg, Die Arbeitslosigkeit, p. 46. 153. Ritter, Sozialversicherung in Deutschland, p. 61. 154. Hagenberg, “Das Armen- und Fürsorgewesen,” p. 57. 155. ZStA I, Rep. 07.01, Nr. 2330, pp. 26ff. 156. On the German Städtetag and the discussions about unemployment insurance, see ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1001, pp. 109–110; for an exemplary municipal commission, see Kassel Verwaltungsbericht, 1908–1911, p. 387. 157. Louis Varlez, “Die Bekämpfung der unfreiwilligen Arbeitslosigkeit (1907– 1909)” Soziale Kultur 29 (July 1909), p. 415. 158. Wermel and Urban, Arbeitslosenfürsorge, p. 83. 159. Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, pp. 170–175; Saul, Staat, Industrie, p. 369. 160. Bueck, Centralverband, vol. 3, pp. 414–418, 559; CdI, Geschäftsbericht— Delegierten-Versammlung, 7.11.1911 (Berlin, 1911), p. 23; Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 172. 161. E.g., Handelskammer für den Kreis Heidelberg, Gutachtliche Äußerung; Handelskammer zu Kiel, Fünfzig Jahre, p. 66; Mitteilungen der Handelskammer Ludwigshafen, Nr. 23 (31 December 1913). 162. Deutsche Arbeitgeber-Zeitung, vol. 11, Nr. 31 (4 August 1912), p. 2, col. 3; also Faust, Arbeitsmarktpolitik, p. 172. 163. Nationalliberale Partei, Mittheilungen für die Vertrauensmänner, vol. 14, p. 106; also Nationalliberale Partei, Programmatische Kundgebungen, which noticeably lacks any discussion of unemployment insurance. 164. Ilse Fischer, Industrialisierung, sozialer Konflikt, p. 387. 165. See Kraus, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitslosenfürsorge, p. 53. 166. Kommunale Praxis, vol. 13, Nrs. 38/39 (20 September 1913), p. 1221. 167. From a brochure against unemployment insurance by the Furniture Makers of the Brandenburg Province, in ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1029, pp. 40–41. By the same logic, the German consul to Australia argued that Germany should recommend the implementation of unemployment insurance to Australia; this, he claimed, would increase the price of Australia’s products on the world market and thus help Germany’s position. ZStA I, Rep. 15.01, Nr. 1001, p. 84 (report of 21 March 1910). 168. Handelskammer für den Kreis Heidelberg, Gutachtliche Äußerung, p. 2. 169. Because the industrial bourgeoisie was no longer in control of most city councils by the time unemployment insurance became a serious possibility, direct opposition was not usually a problem. We do not have data on the class composition of each city council, it is unfortunately impossible to test statistically for the direct “capitalist power” effect. 170. Catholics represented 48 percent of the population in Ludwigshafen and 43 percent in Mannheim in 1910. 171. More precisely: thirty-two to thirty-five of the ninety-six seats between 1881 and 1910; forty in 1911, and forty-five in 1913. See Schadt, Alles für das Volk, pp. 124–130; Verfassung und Verwaltung der Städte, part 4:3 (1906), p. 93; Sozialdemokratische Partei-Correspondenz 6 (1911), p. 458; Verwaltungsbericht Mannheim 1911; Kommunale Praxis 11 (1911), p. 1510. 172. Specifically, thirteen of the twenty-six council seats. Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, pp. 208, 335, 337–338, 342; Zeitschrift des Bayerischen Statistischen Bureaus (1910), p. 265; Kommunale Praxis 10 (1910), pp. 83–84; Croon, “Die Auswirkungen”; Weidner, Wahlen und soziale Strukturen, p. 260.

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173. Union members in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen: Year

Mannheim

Ludwigshafen

1893 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913

1,800 – – – – – – 9,335 10,108 11,185 14,102 14,513 18,953 – –

– 2,272 2,321 1,717 1,965 3,362 3,412 8,003 8,090 6,956 6,030 6,509 7,704 7,708 7,778

Sources: For Ludwigshafen, Weidner, Wahlen und soziale Strukturen, p. 215; for Mannheim: Schadt, Zur Geschichte der Sozialdemokratischen Partei, p. 21; Mannheim Verwaltungsbericht for the years 1906–1911.

174. SPD members in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen: Year 1889 1890 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1909 1910 1911 1912 1914

Mannheim – – ca. 1,000 – – – – – 3,350 – – 7,208 8,237 ca. 6,000

Ludwigshafen 525 300 733 700 904 1,800 1,820 2,000 1,900 2,248 2,223 2,197 2,502 –

Sources: For Mannheim—Schadt, Alles für das Volk, p. 149, and Zur Geschichte der Sozialdemokratischen Partei, p. 20; Protokoll SPD Parteitag (1912), p. 85. For Ludwigshafen—Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, pp. 199, 789; Weidner, Wahlen und soziale Strukturen, p. 193.

175. In the 1912 election, the SPD got 58 percent of the votes in Mannheim. Cf. SJdS 18 (1912), pp. 629–630; Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, vol. 250, pp. 122– 123. 176. In 1905 and 1906, 17 percent of the strikes in Ludwigshafen and 24 percent



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in Mannheim won all of their demands. In both cities, about half of the strike demands referred to nonwage issues. From Statistik des Deutschen Reiches, vols. 178 (1905) and 188 (1906). 177. Breunig, Soziale Verhältnisse, pp. 400ff. 178. Ibid., pp. 404–405. 179. Ibid., p. 335. 180. Mannheim, Verwaltungsbericht, 1911, pp. 231–232, and 1912, p. 234. 181. It is also interesting that the SPD electorate in Ludwigshafen was dominated by unskilled workers, in contrast to the situation in most cities. Weidner, Wahlen und soziale Strukturen, p. 657. In most parts of the country, the SPD was a party of skilled workers. Michels, “Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie.” 182. Mannheim, Verwaltungsbericht, 1912, p. 241. 183. This is more appropriate than spending levels, because in contrast to poor relief, cities could choose whether or not to implement the Ghent system. Futhermore, most of the local unemployment funds were just starting to operate when the war broke out, changing the parameters of local social policy. 184. The reason that Alsace drops out here but not in the poor-relief analysis is that there were no historical precursors for state-level unemployment insurance. 185. Unfortunately we cannot distinguish reliably for all cities between left liberal and National Liberal governments. 186. This positive effect also holds within a subsample of cities in which the Social Democrats held only a minority of council seats, in regressions not shown here. It should be noted that the correlation between the liberal and socialist city council variables is only –.31. This reflects the presence on city councils of Catholic, Conservative, and various smaller parties such as home-owners associations, in addition to the liberals and SPD. 187. The chi-square test for the difference between this model and model 2 is also not significant. 188. Similarly, in results not shown here, large bureaucracies were associated with higher relief spending in cities that experienced collective violence, but not in tranquil cities. This interpretation of state structure as mediating other variables accords with the findings of a recent cross-national study of social policy; see Hage, Hanneman, and Gargan, State Responsiveness. 189. Roth, The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany. 190. Wehler, “Wie ‘bürgerlich.’ ” 191. The occasional local impact of the SPD also contradicts the common view among Imperial German historians that “Social-Democratic municipal politics remained . . . primarily . . . on an agitational-programmatic literary level” (Tennstedt, Vom Proleten, p. 574). 192. The statistical findings do not prove that violent demonstrations and extraparliamentary action are unable to influence unemployment policy in general. Although local elites in Imperial Germany did not respond to collective disruptions by granting the most “advanced” reforms, one reason for this is probably that the level of class struggle in Imperial German cities was simply too low, i.e., it fell below the threshold level at which governments would be pushed into action. The relative social stability that characterized the last decade of the empire was shattered in 1918, giving way to a situation in which the parties that tenuously held the reins of state power were forced to be more sensitive to “the street.” My tentative explorations of urban unemployment policy during the German revolution of 1918 and early 1919

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suggest that cities with the most active councils and unemployed-workers’ commissions appear to have been more generous in their jobless relief spending than others. Not only was the overall level of disruption higher at this point, but once the socialists gained political power—as they did both nationally and in many cities in 1918– 1919—they also extended the blanket of integration that they inherited from prewar elites’ social policy to encompass even unruly and nonparliamentary actors. See the dossiers on unemployment of the German Städtetag in the West Berlin Landesarchiv (Rep. 142, Nrs. 4971–4972); and Dettmer, “Die Arbeitslosigkeit.” 193. On tripartite arrangements among labor, capital, and the military during World War I, see Feldman, Army, Industry; for the later period, see Maier, Recasting Bourgeois Europe; Berghahn, Modern Germany, pp. 68, 243, and “Corporatism in Germany.” My definition of corporatism does not include so-called state corporatist forms which exclude labor. Government consultation committees with industrial, commercial, and agrarian representatives but no labor representatives existed in Germany throughout the 1880–1914 period. Such official efforts to organize politically and incorporate dominant economic interests are by no means unusual. Indeed, they should be seen as part of the even more ubiquitous and overarching category of hegemonic projects led by states. The more unusual and tenuous form of corporatism, closer to Schmitter’s “societal corporatism,” involves labor organizations. See Schmitter, “Still the Century.” As Jessop has argued, Social Democracy is the key element of any corporatism that is neither fascist nor of the authoritarian “strong state” variety, because “social democracy . . . secures the support of the largest and most powerful of the dominated classes.” The corporatist welfare state involved not just the “accommodation of organized labour and its direct or virtual representation in parliament” but also “its full integration into executive decision-making and administration so that the labour movement becomes a virtual arm of the state itself” (Jessop, “Corporatism, Parliamentarism,” pp. 207–208). 194. Weindling, Health, Race, pp. 489–564; Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, p. 150. 195. It is estimated that 360,000 Germans were sterilized between 1934 and 1945, almost 1 percent of the population. See Weindling, Health, Race, p. 533. During the first year, social workers forwarded nearly 100,000 cases for sterilization to the eugenics courts. Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, p. 189. 196. During the Nazi regime, for example, some eugenicists (e.g., Karl Bonhoeffer) supported sterilization but opposed medical killing. Weindling, Health, Race, p. 547. CONCLUSION 1. Why didn’t capitalists continue to oppose new social programs tooth and nail after the 1890s at the local level, as they did nationally? First of all, in some cities they did veto social programs, as we showed in the discussion of Ludwigshafen in chapter 7. A case-by-case investigation of the cities that rejected the Ghent system would probably show that bourgeois opposition was another negative factor. But it also appears that the kinds of bourgeois who were most important in local society were less vehemently opposed to mild social innovations and integrative gestures toward the SPD than the huge capitalists who mattered most to the central government. 2. One of the more interesting careers in this respect is that of Adolf Wermuth, who was both an upper-level bureaucrat in the Imperial Interior Ministry and later



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lord mayor of Berlin. In the section of his autobiography describing the earlier phase of his career as a state bureaucrat, there is little sense of being part of a wider society outside of the state machinery. Wermuth, Ein Beamtenleben, pp. 137–138. 3. One question that this raises is why national elites decided to rely so heavily upon local governments. One reason had to do with the financial laws, which made it nearly impossible for the national state to increase its revenues. Things seem more complex if we consider the intermediate level of the federal states such as Prussia. It will be recalled that Prussia granted local governments more municipal fiscal autonomy in the 1890s. Another possibility at this stage would have been for the Prussian state to begin assuming more of the social tasks that had been delegated to municipalities, along with the financing of these tasks. This would have required assuming a greater portion of the total revenue sources rather than relinquishing some of them. The barriers to this course recall the constraints faced by the Imperial state in trying to increase its revenues. Both the bourgeois and Junker classes were striving to increase their power within the state. Because both classes believed that they were blocked from decisive power over the state, they saw their optimal course as holding on to local government and keeping resources at the local level. 4. See chapter 5; and von Berlepsch, ‘Neuer Kurs.’ 5. See Born, Staat und Sozialpolitik, pp. 163–209. 6. Fischer, Historians’ Fallacies, p. 154. 7. Even the defenders of the exceptionalism thesis have rarely extended their diagnosis to the municipal level. Many simply ignore the uncomfortable existence of a thriving bourgeois local political culture and policy, whereas others downgrade the material impact and independence of local politics. See chapter 6 for a critique of these arguments. 8. Nipperdey, “War die Wilhelminische Gesellschaft eine Untertanen-Gesellschaft?” pp. 184–185. Cf. also Wie modern war das Kaiserreich? for a “balanced” assignment of modern and traditional labels to the empire. 9. For two exemplary studies of this sort, see Peukert, Grenzen der Sozialdisziplinierung; and Weindling, Health, Race.



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