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Charles Lees

The article draws upon the formal coalition literature to demonstrate that party system change over the last thirty years means that the Volksparteien enjoy more coalition options and greater ideological leverage within coalitions that form than was the case in the past. The Free Democrats have lost their kingmaker status and the distribution of party weights over recent elections allows no other small party to act in this manner. By contrast, the numerical and ideological resources possessed by the two Volksparteien means that they remain the only parties within the German party system that can act as formateur in the coalition game and are less vulnerable to threats of a decisive defection by small parties to alternative coalitions than they were in the past.

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Frank Decker and Jared Sonnicksen

The recent Bundestag election in Germany warrants consideration for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the results are indicative of several trends developing since unification and that will continue to play an important, if not ever increasing role in German politics. These developments include the intensifying fragmentation of the German party system and German voters' growing electoral volatility, both of which are hampering the parties' ability to form government coalitions. In the following article, we distill five fundamental aspects of the election. Building upon this analysis, we explore their meaning as well as potential impact on the German party system and partisan competition, as well as coalition patterns. At the same time, we address the overarching question of whether—and if so, to what extent—German politics is experiencing a trend toward bipolarity between a center-right and left camp and whether such an antagonistic model will be a passing phase or is indicative of a more established five-party system in Germany.

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Yet Another Grand Coalition

The Social Democrats at the Crossroads

Andreas M. Wüst

Coalition lost 13.8 percentage points; albeit the cdu / csu more (−8.6 points) than the spd (−5.2 points). In light of the success of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD, 12.6 percent)—now the third largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag

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Coalition Politics in Crisis?

The German Party System Before and After the 2017 Federal Election

Frank Decker and Philipp Adorf

Socialism ( pds )/Left—continues to be regarded as a rather problematic if not unacceptable coalition partner, 4 the AfD’s emergence has created a similar constellation on the right. The spd ’s dubious pleasure of facilitating the rise of new and viable

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Alice Cooper

In 2008 the first state-level CDU-Green coalition was formed in Hamburg. Drawing on the literature on party goals (vote-, office-, policy, internal cohesion- and democracy-seeking), this article examines the GAL's decisions to join and to end the coalition. It examines the trade-offs between party goals as they evolved in different phases of “schwarz-grün,” with particular reference to the Greens' education reform agenda. While policy- and vote-seeking complemented each other during the election campaign, vote-, office- and party unity-seeking conflicted with each other in the Greens' decision to enter a coalition with the CDU. Later, policy- and democracy-seeking conflicted with each other when a referendum organized by a citizens' initiative defeated the Greens' education reform, a defeat that contributed significantly to the premature end of the CDU-Green coalition. New elections led to defeats for vote-, office-, and policy-seeking when the SPD achieved an absolute majority.

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Continuing Formalization of Coalition Formation with a New “Sound”

Negotiating the Coalition Contract after the 2021 Bundestag Election

Sven T. Siefken

The Bundestag elections in Germany do not lead to a new government directly. Negotiating, building, and forming a coalition is an important intermediate step. For various reasons—electoral law, institutional demands, political culture—governing by

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The Centrality of Difference in Coalition-Building across Divides

Palestinian, Israeli, and International Organizations in the Occupied West Bank

Michelle I. Gawerc

In the summer of 2017, marking fifty years of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian-led coalition involving ideologically diverse Palestinian organizations as well as international Jewish organizations and a joint

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Charles Lees

The eighteenth Bundestag elections of 22 September 2013 brought important changes to the Bundestag party system, some of which are contingent but others of which are more systemic and profound. The narrow failure of the FDP to scale the electoral threshold has had an impact on coalition negotiations and the improvement in the overall vote share for the CDU/CSU and the SPD, for the first time since the 1960s represents a significant, if probably only temporary, concentration of the German party system in the Bundestag. More systemically, the election saw a continuation of the ongoing redistribution of voting power in the Bundestag in favor of the catch-all parties as formateurs. The article also discusses how the increased importance of the potential formateuer parties has gone hand-in-hand with a greater focus on the individual leading candidates, and concludes that this is particularly good news for the CDU/CSU, given the political qualities of Angela Merkel and the failure of the SPD to find and support a leading candidate that can match her political acumen.

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Emma McNicol

-inclusive coalition is required to address injustice. She endorses a working-class coalition that entails the breaking down of the groups on the grounds of gender and race. For example, in the “History” chapter Beauvoir notes, “When the Civil War broke out, women

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Elisabetta De Giorgi

As summed up by Denis Verdini, coordinator of Forza Italia (FI), in an

interview in La Repubblica after the constitutional congress of People

of Liberty (PdL) at the end of March 2009, “It is more difficult to unite

the elites than to unite the voters.” This assessment is especially apt

considering the tensions that have characterized relations between

allies in the government during the early part of the current coalition’s

tenure. This analysis can be extended to the entire government,

which, beyond the newly formed PdL—composed of FI, the National

Alliance (AN), and a small sub-group of the Christian Democrats

who support northern Italian autonomy—also includes the Northern

League (LN) of Umberto Bossi and some smaller parties, represented

by a team of junior ministers: the Liberal Populists (a faction within

the PdL), the Christian Democratic Party (DC), and the Movement for

Autonomy (MpA) of the president of Sicily, Raffaele Lombardo.