Dr. Dorothee Heisenberg will be a DAAD/AICGS Fellow in February and March 2012. Her project explores the idea of automatic stabilizers in the EU context by comparing the fiscal transfers between the states in the U.S. and the Länder in Germany. In both cases, the rich states of the federation send money to the poorer states. However, in the case of the U.S., those transfers are masked by routing through the federal government, and thus less transparent and less politically volatile than in the German case where Länderfinanzausgleich continues to be controversial. The resulting monograph will explore why redistribution among states, regions, and subregions is a prudent policy choice for statesmen charged with safeguarding the welfare of a political entity, and why European leaders continue to do it despite the political backlash. The examples of Germany and the U.S. provide contrasting ways to redistribute, and what the advantages and disadvantages of each system are.
Prior to joining AICGS, Dr. Dorothee Heisenberg was the Associate Director of the International Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University, and before that she was the S. Richard Hirsch Associate Professor of European Studies, Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), in Washington, DC. Her book, The Mark of the Bundesbank, analyzed why the euro was constructed to look so much like the DM, and she has written on the European Central Bank, the EU Council of Ministers, and European decision-making more broadly.
Made possible by the support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt - AA)