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Germany

  • Martin Elff
Part of the Asia Today book series (ASIAT)

Abstract

The party system of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) that emerged after its reconstitution in 1949 after the trauma of the Nazi regime and World War II bore only little resemblance with its predecessor. While the Weimar Republic had known many parties and fragile coalitions the party system of the newly established democracy has been characterized by simplicity and stability. After a short phase of consolidation in the 1950s, in which many smaller parties were absorbed by the larger parties of Christian democracy and Social democracy, the political landscape was characterized by a relatively stable “two-and-a half” party system until the early 1980s. There were two larger parties, the so-called Volksparteien (the people’s parties), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on the Left of the Center, and the Christian parties (CDU/CSU) on the Right, with the much smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP) in between. Although formally the CDU and CSU were different organizations, on the federal level they acted as a single political force, because the CSU restricted itself to the state of Bavaria, while the CDU as its larger “sister” competed for votes in all other states of the FRG. The situation was only moderately changed by the entry of the Greens into the federal parliament.

Keywords

Vote Share Grand Coalition Party System German Democratic Republic Federal Election 
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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Notes

  1. 1.
    Oskar Niedermayer, “Das Parteiensystem Deutschlands,” in Oskar Niedermayer, Richard Stöss, and Melanie Haas (eds.), Die Parteiensysteme Westeuropas (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2006), 109–133; Ulrich von Alemann, Das Parteiensystem der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2001); Oskar Niedermayer, “Parties and the Party System,” in Ludger Helms (ed.), Institutions and Institutional Change in the Federal Republic of Germany (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000); Thomas Saalfeld, “The German Party System: Continuity and Change,” German Politics, 11 (3) (2002): 99–130.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Some preliminary evidence for this can be found in Martin Elff, “Disenchanted Workers, Selective Abstention and the Electoral Defeat of Social Democracy in Germany,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington DC, September 2–5, 2010.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Susan E. Scarrow, “Germany: The Mixed-Member System as a Political Compromise,” in eds. Matthew S. Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg (eds.), Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 55–69.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Peter Mair and Ingridvan Biezen, “Party Membership in Twenty European Democracies, 1980–2000,” Party Politics, 7 (1) (2001): 5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 11.
    See, for example, Klaus von Beyme, “Funktionswandel der Parteien in der Entwicklung von der Massenmitgliederpartei zur Partei der Berufspolitiker,” in Oscar W. Gabriel, Oskar Niedermayer, and Richard Stöss (eds.), Parteiendemokratie in Deutschland (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1997), 359–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 12.
    Norbert Lammert, “Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2009,” Bundestagsdrucksache 17/4801 (Berlin: Deutscher Bundestag, 2011)Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Richard Katz and Peter Mair, “Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy: The Emergence of the Cartel Party,” Party Politics 1 (1) (1995): 5–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Takashi Inoguchi and Jean Blondel 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Elff

There are no affiliations available

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