Digitalisation is like a second skin which forms above the skeleton of the physical world and develops decisive powers of control over it. These controlling powers form a considerable challenge to all public institutions especially in combination with the tendency of digital markets to Winner-Takes-All mechanisms and the underlying technologies’ exponential speed of change. While the legislative responsibilities are rather clearly structured across the federal, state and city levels, the challenges posed by the digital transformation to the executive tasks of government still require more coordination. In order to achieve the necessary speed and scale for a successful digital transformation the federal partners must urgently decide who is to take the lead for which aspect of this transformation for the whole federal system. The article offers a concise introduction to four of the main areas which require governmental attention and argues for a federal convention in Germany to assign these responsibilities across the federal partners.
Hopf, Gregor (2016): Digitalisierung im föderalen Kontext: Was erwartet die einzelnen föderalen Ebenen durch die Digitalisierung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft?; in Europäisches Zentrum für Föderalismus-Forschung Tübingen: Jahrbuch des Föderalismus 2016; Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden.