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Reform (formed from the Latin re : back and formare : to form, to shape; composed for example: restoration), also reforming and reformation , describes a systematic reorganization of existing conditions, systems , ideologies or beliefs in politics, religion, economy or society.

The word already appears in the Pauline letters of the Bible , later also in connection with the church Protestant Reformation at the time of Martin Luther .

Religious Reforms

A religious reform is aimed at reforming the doctrine of the faith. A differentiation must be made between a reform of the organization of a religious community, which, however, is often the result of a reform of the doctrine of the faith.

Political and Social Reforms in History

Even during the time of the Roman Republic, radical changes in society are known as reforms. The Gracchian land reform failed in two attempts in 133 and 121 BC. BC, Marius , however, was with his Marian army reform in 107 BC. Successful.

Well-known historical examples of reforms in Germany are the Prussian reforms , the life reform movement, the sexual reform resulting from reform movements, reforms at universities and schools ( educational reforms ), the Bismarckian social reforms (partly related to this, the medical reform ), the various currency reforms in Germany , the 1996 reform of German spelling and the labor market reforms in the context of Agenda 2010 .

In authoritarian regimes, dissidents often call for reforms before governments seek them. Glasnost and perestroika stood as terms for Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union before the upheaval of 1989 and after the reforms of de-Stalinization under Nikita Khrushchev . In the People's Republic of China , the establishment of special economic zones and private property after the death of Mao Zedong meant economic reforms (→  History of China: Economic Modernization (since 1978) ).

In the political discussion in Germany, the political parties often speak of reforms. In doing so, they are expressing their wish to reshape the existing situation in accordance with their party programs. Examples of reform efforts in the recent past relate to labor market policy (→  Hartz concept ) and tax policy (→  ecological tax reform of the red-green coalition of the Schröder government ), or health policy (→  2007 health reform of the grand coalition with the Merkel I cabinet ).

The thesis that politics in Germany is suffering from immobility or the backlog of reforms is controversial . In his Berlin speech in 1997 , the former Federal President Roman Herzog called for a “jolt through Germany” and thus promoted readiness for reform in German society and politics. Thomas Straubhaar and others explain the lack of reforms that are considered necessary with the associated risks and costs, which are offset by open results and positive effects that often remain undetected.

Church reforms

Already early there were movements of constant renewal of deadlocked forms, for example regarding the observance of religious rules in religious communities. They are also known as reforms. An exemplary reform monastery was the Cluny Abbey .

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Reform  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ulrich Linse : Sexual Reform and Sexual Advice. In: Diethart Kerbs, Jürgen Reulecke (Ed.): Handbook of German Reform Movements 1880-1933. Wuppertal 1998, pp. 211-226.
  2. ^ A. Thorbecke: Statutes and Reformations of the University of Heidelberg from the 16th to the 18th century. Heidelberg 1891.
  3. ^ Wilfried Witte: Medical Reform (1848/49). In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1221 f.
  4. ^ Erwin Heinz Ackerknecht : Contributions to the history of the medical reform of 1848. Dissertation Leipzig 1931; also in: (Sudhoffs) Archive for the History of Medicine. Volume 25, 1932, pp. 61-109 and 113-182.
  5. ^ Manfred G. Schmidt: The political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. P. 112 f.
  6. ^ Josef Schmid: Economic Policy for Political Scientists. P. 101.