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German statism as a political ideology has been the subject of many historical studies. Whereas most of these focus on theoretical texts, cultural works, and vague "traditions", this study understands German statism as a functioning logic of political membership, a logic that has helped to determine who is "in" and who is "out" with regard to the German political community. Tracing statism from the early 19th century through German unification and beyond in the 1990s, the author argues that, with its central concern for a political loyalty that is vetted "from above," it historically served the function of stabilizing the political order and containing democratic mobilization. Beginning in the 1960s, however, a mobilized German democratic consciousness "from below" gradually rejected statism as anachronistic for informing political and policy debate, and German political institutions began to respond to kind.