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The Context of German Politics

  • M. Donald Hancock
  • David P. Conradt
  • B. Guy Peters
  • William Safran
  • Raphael Zariski
Chapter

Abstract

In any study of modern Western European politics an examination of Germany must occupy a prominent place. Germans are the most numerous people in Western and Central Europe. From 1945 to 1990, Germany was divided into two states: the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), or West Germany, and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany. The unified Federal Republic, which was formed in 1989-90, unlike France, Britain, Italy, or Sweden, must now integrate 16 million new citizens into its economy, society, and polity. The vast majority of these former East Germans have had little or no experience in democratic citizenship.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Most respondents over age 45 in 1951 considered the imperial years, 1900–14, to be the best Germany had experienced in this century. Institut für Demoskopie Survey No. 0044, October 1951.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Helmut Schmidt, “Erklärung der Bundesregierung zur Lage der Nation vor dem deutschen Bundestag,” 17 May 1979, printed in Bulletin, no. 64 (Bonn, 18 May 1979): 596.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners (New York: Knopf, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    About 60,000 Jews live in the Federal Republic. Seventy-three Jewish congregations receive state financial support. The largest (over 5,000 members) Jewish communities are in West Berlin and Frankfurt. There are also about 2.5 million Moslems living in the Federal Republic, most of whom are Turkish nationals. About 1,600 Moslem organizations, including mosques, have been established. They generally do not receive state financial support.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Der Spiegel, Special Edition, no. 1 (1991): 73–74.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    1988 Socio-Economic Panel, German Institute for Economic Research, Berlin. I am grateful to Dr. Detlef Landua of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung for making these data available.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cited in Russell J. Dalton, Politics in West Germany (Glenview, 111.: Scott, Foresman, 1989), 138.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Der Spiegel 37 (9 September 1991): 119.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Max Kaase, “Bewusstseinslagen und Leitbilder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,” in Deutschland-Handbuch. Eine doppelte Bilanz, 1949–1989, ed. Werner Weidenfeld and Hartmut Zimmermann (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 1989), 205.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    For an analysis of these changes, see David P. Conradt, “Changing German Political Culture,” in The Civic Culture Revisited, ed. Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), 312–72.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ursula Feist, “Zur politischen Akkulturation der vereinten Deutschen. Eine Analyse aus Anlaß der ersten gesamtdeutschen Bundestagswahl,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, nos. 11–12 (March 1991): 21–32. For more recent data, see Oskar Niedermayer and Klaus von Beyme, eds., Politische Kultur in Ost- und Westdeutschland (Leverkusen: Leske und Budrich, 1994).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Donald Hancock
    • 1
  • David P. Conradt
    • 2
  • B. Guy Peters
    • 3
  • William Safran
    • 4
  • Raphael Zariski
    • 5
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityUSA
  3. 3.University of PittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  5. 5.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA

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