- September 09, 2020
On September 9, 2020, Aspen Germany hosted the first event of its series “Virtual Road to the Laboratories of Democracy Initiative.” The webinar series brings together German and American state legislators as part of the Laboratories of Democracy Initiative. The first session addressed governance in the United States at the federal, state, and local level. It gave all German participants the opportunity to learn more about the U.S. government system as well as the distribution of power and responsibilities. What are the origins of federalism in the United States and how has it developed until today? How are federal, state, and local governments structured? What are the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments and their respective government branches? How do the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions allocate power among the state and national governments? What are the concurrent powers and how are they exercised in the federal system? How do all three levels of government work together? Which control mechanisms exist? How are parties as institutions? What are the similarities and differences in how elections are conducted, direct elections, districting and campaign finance? What geographical elements are present in the U.S. election system?
This webinar series is part of the “Laboratories of Democracy Initiative” which brings together German and American state legislators to facilitate a values-based discussion and an exchange of ideas about how to tackle current international policy challenges on a subnational level. In 2020 due to COVID-19, Aspen Germany holds a series of webinars as part of a “Virtual Road to the Laboratories of Democracy Initiative” providing a virtual platform for exchange for the 2020 cohort. The webinar series explores subnational governance in the United States and Germany amid COVID-19, leadership in times of crisis, the role of tech in the COVID-19 response, and prospects for German-American cooperation. The project is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany, funded by the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).