Germany continues to face an inter-regional political divide between the East and the West three decades after unification. Most strikingly, this divide is expressed in different party systems. The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany and the left-wing populist Left Party are considerably more successful in the eastern regions, while German centrist parties perform worse (and shrink faster at the ballot-box) than in the West. The article discusses empirical evidence of this resilient yet puzzling political divide and explores three main clusters of explanatory factors: The after-effects of the German Democratic Republic’s authoritarian past and its politico-cultural legacies, translating into distinct value cleavage configurations alongside significantly weaker institutional trust and more wide-spread skepticism towards democracy in the East; continuous, even if partly reduced inter-regional socioeconomic divisions and varying economic, social and political opportunities; and populist parties and movements acting as political entrepreneurs who construct and politically reinforce the East-West divide. It is argued that only the combination of these factors helps understand the depth and origins of the lasting divide.
An Analysis of the Enduring Political East-West Divide in Germany Thirty Years After the Wall's Fall
Post-Wall Memory Politics Surrounding the Neo-Nazi Riots in Rostock and Hoyerswerda
This paper examines antiforeigner violence in the former East German towns of Hoyerswerda (1991) and Rostock-Lichtenhagen (1992) as a case study for both the heightened presence of neo-Nazi/skinhead groups in Germany following 1989/in the Wende period, and the memory politics employed by German politicians in the Bundestag, as well as in media discourse, with regards to the problems entailed in uniting two Germanys which had experienced entirely difference processes of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. My analysis of the riots focuses mainly on the mnemonic discourses surrounding them, in particular the work that the image of “the East German skinhead” does within the broader context of German memory politics. This paper is also situated within the context of present-day German politics with regards to shifting cultures of memory and the electoral success of Alternative for Germany.
Dieter K. Buse
Historians and political sciences have begun to discuss how and when postwar Germany overcame its authoritarian past and reestablished democracy and a tolerant civil society. This article argues that the national and regional Offices for Political Education have contributed significantly to the recivilizing process. The article provides the first preliminary academic attempt to outline the offices' historical background, their changing institutional structure, and their place in the civic education context since the mid 1950s. A series of case studies examine the historical literature disseminated by specific offices to illustrate the process of overcoming a problematic past and constructing new identities. In turn, the historical role models promoted by the offices, the manner in which federalism was presented, the timing of and fashion in which the Holocaust became a significant theme and the way in which regional identities were understood and fostered, are examined. These cases illustrate how historical information was employed, at first in fairly simple and propagandistic fashion, but always to inculcate democratic and civil norms. The question of the impact of the offices' work is left open, since research on reception has yet to be undertaken, but some evidence about their important contributions to reshaping German values is provided.
The Private, the Public and the Political
public and the political, and that we should follow a different approach towards understanding the inner connection between moral conflict and politics. Therefore the first part of the argument, which has been most often associated with the work of
The AfD in Comparative Perspective
eastern German phenomenon. 5 This study acknowledges those important aspects, but examines the party in relation to other similar political forces in Europe. The article focuses on two particular features of the European party landscape—populism and
The Role of the Proto-Political Sphere in Political Participation
Pia Rowe and David Marsh
While Wood and Flinders’ work to broaden the scope of what counts as “politics” in political science is a needed adjustment to conventional theory, it skirts an important relationship between society, the protopolitical sphere, and arena politics. We contend, in particular, that the language of everyday people articulates tensions in society, that such tensions are particularly observable online, and that this language can constitute the beginning of political action. Language can be protopolitical and should, therefore, be included in the authors’ revised theory of what counts as political participation.
The Generative Power of Political Emotions
Mette-Louise Johansen, Therese Sandrup, and Nerina Weiss
despite neoliberal limitations of welfare provisions and bureaucratic decision-making. Within political science studies on emotions and elections, scholars have pointed to moral outrage as a crucial ingredient in the maintenance of the democratic state
The AfD's Appeal in Eastern Germany and Mainstream Parties’ Responses
Jennifer A. Yoder
will examine the subject through the lens of integration, namely the political integration of eastern Germans into the unified German system and its leadership. Integration entails a number of processes—economic, social, cultural, and political
While there has always been intellectual and methodological overlap between conceptual historians and political theorists, scholars in both fields have recently gone further to foster a greater degree of cross-pollination. 1 In particular, the
Hollie MacKenzie and Iain MacKanzie
In this article we focus on the potential for an alignment of certain feminist artistic practices and poststructuralist conceptions of critique that may enable ways of theorizing practices of resistance and engender ways of practicing resistance in theory, without the lurch back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. It will be claimed that an ontological conception of art, considered as that which makes a difference in the world, can not only challenge the primacy of the dogmatic and masculine ‘subject who judges’, but also instill ways of thinking about, and ways of enacting, feminist artistic encounters with the capacity to resist dogmatism. The theoretical stakes of this claim are elaborated through complimentary readings of Deleuze and Guattari’s constructivist account of philosophy and Irigaray’s feminist explorations of what it means to think from within the 'labial', rather than from the position of the dominant phallic symbolic order. We argue that this creative conjunction between Irigaray, Deleuze, and Guattari provides the resources for a conceptualisation of both feminist artistic practice and the critical practice of poststructuralist philosophy as forms of resistance to the dominant patriarchal order, in ways that can avoid the collapse back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. Revel’s discussion of the role of constituent rather than constituted forms of resistance is employed to draw out the implications of this position for contentious politics. It is concluded that constituent practices of resistance can be understood as a challenge to the phallogocentric symbolic order to the extent that they are practices of a labial art-politics.