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The Race for Third

Small Parties in the 2017 Bundestag Election

David F. Patton

“small” had narrowed. In 2013, the cdu / csu and spd had averaged 33.6, while the Left Party (die Linke), Free Democratic Party ( fdp ), and Greens had averaged 6.6 percent of the vote. Four years later, the catch-all parties had fallen to 26

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Mark E. Spicka

Perhaps the most remarkable development in the Federal Republic

of Germany since World War II has been the creation of its stable

democracy. Already by the second half of the 1950s, political commentators

proclaimed that “Bonn is not Weimar.” Whereas the

Weimar Republic faced the proliferation of splinter parties, the rise

of extremist parties, and the fragmentation of support for liberal and

conservative parties—conditions that led to its ultimate collapse—the

Federal Republic witnessed the blossoming of moderate, broadbased

parties.1 By the end of the 1950s the Christian Democratic

Union/Christian Social Union (CDU), Social Democratic Party

(SPD) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) had formed the basis of a

stable party system that would continue through the 1980s.

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Rolf Steltemeier

After the first Bundestag elections in 1949, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) established itself as kingmaker either of the Christian Democrats or the Social Democrats. The entrance of the Green Party into the German Bundestag in 1983 brought about a significant change in the German political landscape, which challenged the German Liberals to redefine themselves. At present, it seems that the FDP is on its way back into the federal government after ten years of opposition, although "neoliberal" ideology is currently facing a severe international crisis. This constitutes a puzzling issue for political scientists, which is addressed in this article by analyzing the factors that can explain the German Liberal's latest success. Furthermore, the FDP's chances in comparison to the other two small parties (Left Party and Greens) are discussed. Finally, attention is focused on the characteristics of the FDP's election campaign and its coalition options for 2009 and beyond.

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The “Alternative for Germany”

Factors Behind its Emergence and Profile of a New Right-wing Populist Party

Frank Decker


Until 2013, right-wing populist or extremist parties were unable to establish themselves as a relevant political force in Germany. With the advent of the Alternative für Deutschland the party landscape has changed significantly. The window of opportunity for the newcomer was opened in 2013 by the Euro crisis. Combining euroskepticism with liberal economic policies and a conservative social issue agenda the AfD mainly capitalized on the neglecting of these matters by the liberal party and the Christian democrats. Controversy between the market-oriented moderate wing represented by party founder Bernd Lucke and the radical advocates of national populism led to the split off of the former in July 2015. Only with the refugee crisis did the AfD regain its electoral fortunes and obtained its best results thus far in the March 2016 state elections. Most probably, the party’s prospects will remain promising if one considers the voter’s side. The main risks lie in its own ranks, where ideological battles, personal struggles and the unresolved question of how to distance the party from right-wing extremism could further self-destruction.

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Sarah Wiliarty and Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

Right Today (Medford, 2019). 2 In early 2020, the extreme reaction to the Thuringian cdu and Free Democratic Party's ( fdp ) cooperation with the AfD in electing a Minister President for this state—the stepping down of national cdu leader Annegret

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Yet Another Grand Coalition

The Social Democrats at the Crossroads

Andreas M. Wüst

—and the return of the Free Democratic Party ( fdp , 10.7 percent), there not even is an option for the spd to form a coalition of the political Left ( Linksbündnis ) anymore. The spd (20.5 percent), Greens (8.9 percent) and the Left Party (9.2 percent

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David Art

Euroskeptical, in that it wanted an orderly dissolution of the common currency but not of the European Union. The founders of the party included—in addition to the many economists—former members of the cdu (as well as of the classically liberal Free Democratic

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Tschüss, Perfidious Albion

German Reactions to Brexit

Eric Langenbacher

’: access to the internal market can only be achieved if all four basic freedoms, including the free movement of persons, are respected.” 29 The market-liberal Free Democratic Party ( fdp ) has taken a softer stance. Chairman Christian Lindner has said

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Joyce Marie Mushaben, Shelley Baranowski, Trevor J. Allen, Sabine von Mering, Stephen Milder, Volker Prott, and Peter C. Pfeiffer

executive board members tied to the Christian Democratic Union ( cdu ), the Social Democratic Party ( spd ), the Greens and the Free Democratic Party ( fdp ), her interview sample speaks to quality of the preliminary field research and networking she has

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Clay Clemens

Germany, such party affiliations had never been deep, making for an even more fickle cdu constituency. At the federal and Land levels, the cdu could no longer count on majorities with just the smaller center-right, free market-oriented Free Democratic