Investing in Early Crisis Relief or Reelection?

Comparing German Party Responses to the Euro Crisis

in German Politics and Society
Alexandra Hennessy University of Essex

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How do political parties respond to a major economic shock? This article studies this question in the context of the eurozone crisis. Specifically, I analyze the partisan appeals made by German politicians in the run-up to the 2013 federal election in Germany. Contrary to existing models of party responsiveness, I argue that enacting quick crisis resolution mechanisms is not always the main concern of reelection-seeking politicians. Instead, officials may have incentives to deliberately withhold emergency measures in an effort to win a mandate for more comprehensive policy solutions later. The findings have implications for notions of democratic accountability.

Contributor Notes

Alexandra Hennessy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. Her book, The Europeanization of Workplace Pensions, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. Her articles on the euro crisis have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, and International Interactions.

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