The Moderate Right in the German Party System

  • Gordon Smith


What can broadly be described as the ‘moderate right’ in the German party system is occupied by just two party formations, the CDU-CSU and the FDP. Yet the problem is that neither party can be labelled as definitely belonging to the right of centre, and both the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats have firmly resisted being pushed in that direction. Their resistance has had a significant consequence in creating a wide gap between the established parties, the CDU—CSU and FDP, on the one hand, and non-established, right wing parties such as the German People’s Union (DVU) and the Republicans on the other. These last two are generally regaded as ‘extremist’, although neither has been found to be unconstitutional. They are certainly unacceptable to other parties and are not regarded as coalitionable. What are the reasons for this pronounced party ‘gap’ on the moderate right, and what are the possible implications for German politics?


Federal Republic Party System Liberal Party Conservative Politics Political Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© New York University Press 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Smith

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