The formulation of public policy is a dynamic process in any political system. It may be less spectacular than contemporary confrontation politics, but it contains many of the same explosive ingredients. This is a case study of the West German legislative process. It focuses on two highly contested bills, the Transportation Finance Act of 1955 and its companion but ill-fated Highway Relief Act, tracing their paths from their inception--to adoption in one instance, and to pigeonholing in the other.
The chief purpose of the study is to shed further light on the complex process of policy making in one country. It seeks to illuminate the interplay and power relationships among political institutions, political parties, interest groups, elites, and the public in the context of West German politics, and more specifically in the area of transportation. It also explores the questions: Were the political actors satisfied with the way the political system performed in terms of their own expectations? Does the process reflect the democratic nature of the political system?
If the two bills are not unusual but are typical of the West German legislative process, the study may serve as additional empirical evidence that may be used to build a comparative model of the legislative process in democratic politics. A determination of their typicality must first consider their timeli