Presented by Dominic Heinz, Cardiff University. This seminar is part of the Cardiff WISERD Lunchtime Seminar series.
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German regions can be understood as Länder in Germany so that they have state-like structures with any institutional bodies of regular states (except of a federal president). Of course, also vernacular regions exist within Länder in Germany, like the Baden and Francs within the German Land of Bavaria, but this paper denotes regions as Länder in Germany (for the case of this paper the two Länder of Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt) and asks how trust can be established and / or restored? Or is trust in regions or Länder in the German case simply there or not, so that any effort in establishing or restoring trust fails? In so far it is an open question which institutional configuration causes more trust and / or an increase of trust. This paper deals with the so called instrumental region of Saxony-Anhalt and the so called identity region of Hesse, if the wording of the project is used. The paper concludes that as main cause for the (re)establishment of trust is a continuity of the municipal structure. So the internal structure of the Land related to the (re)establishment of trust in political institutions. For the case of Hesse the Land showed an institutional continuity, understood as the municipal structure closest to the citizen. From the Second World War (1945) on in Hesse the municipal structure showed a stable pattern (except of one change in the beginning of the 1970ies). Saxony-Anhalt showed only an institutional continuity from German Unity (1990) on and the municipal structure changed any time except of the year 2000. Hessian cities and municipalities increased in number and size as compared to size and number of municipalities in Saxony-Anhalt. In Saxony-Anhalt, cities and municipalities shrunk in number and size since the year 1990 until today continuously (except of the year 2000). Hence not only, but also the starting dates of institutional continuity towards the German political system differs as compared to Hesse, also it explains the different levels of political trust in Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt as cases in point for the entire Länder in Germany. Those differences between Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt can be seen in the number of inhabitants, but also in number and size of municipalities.