Insolvent Local Government: German Approaches to Prevention

  • Thomas Duve
  • Wolfgang Drechsler
Keywords: local government, local finances, financial crisis, municipal insolvency, prevention


The global financial crisis is affecting local governments particularly strongly. The threat of insolvency looms large for many local governments, and therefore, it is unfortunately very timely to examine this issue. Can genuine bankruptcy occur, should it be allowed to occur, can it be prevented, and if it cannot be, how can it be managed well? In order to do so, the current essay sets out to investigate, on an empirical basis, how Germany has so far (i.e., before the crash) dealt with the issue of municipal insolvency. This pre-crisis approach also underlines the importance of the topic, because it shows that even in more or less financially solid times, municipalities were already exposed to high financial pressure. Now, the crisis has increased the number of municipalities facing a budget crisis. The results of the present investigation can assist in dealing with the consequences of the crisis. On account of its high and indeed paradigm-setting level of municipal autonomy, the possibility of drawing lessons from Germany should be particularly interesting.

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How to Cite
Duve, T., & Drechsler, W. (2014). Insolvent Local Government: German Approaches to Prevention. Central European Public Administration Review, 9(2).