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Clay Clemens

mandate but clinging on too long, and a complacent campaign relying on proven formulas despite resistance in the ranks amid ominous warning signs. These challenges and misjudgments did not deny Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social

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Stephen F. Szabo

Social Democratic ministers indicates, cabinet members seem to fear Merkel less and are more worried about their own constituencies. 7 In Seehofer’s case, the upcoming Bavarian state election in October 2018 and the threat to the Christian Social Union’s

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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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Harald Schoen

Although governing coalitions in Germany often win reelection,

many observers were surprised by the victory of the red-green coalition

in 2002. Earlier that year, the polls had shown strong support

for a potential coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)

and the Christian Social Union (CSU), together with the Free Democratic

Party (FDP). In the summer of 2002, however, the SPD and

the Greens began to gain ground; and finally, the red-green coalition

won the majority of seats in the election to the German parliament,

the Bundestag, on 22 September 2002.

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Jonathan Olsen

In the 2009 federal election, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) achieved the worst electoral result in its history. Immediately afterwards, the party worked to improve its public image and fine-tune its policies and electoral message, hoping that state elections in the ensuring period might provide some momentum going into the next national election. Yet, in 2013, the Social Democrats improved their result only modestly, with Angela Merkel and the Christian Democratic/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) again gaining a decisive victory. This article explores the reasons behind the SPD's failure to radically improve its electoral showing, arguing that this can best be explained by a combination of the impact of the past—namely, the legacy of its economic reforms during the Schröder era and the SPD's disadvantages coming out of the previous Grand Coalition—as well as the weakness of its 2013 chancellor candidate, Peer Steinbrück, and the popularity of Angela Merkel. The article therefore suggests that the immediate future does not look particularly bright for the SPD: any chances of gaining the chancellorship are largely out of its hand, dependent on both stumbles by its rival, the CDU/CSU, as well as the taming of a possible coalition partner, the Left Party.

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A Return to Fashion

Revisiting the German Model

Gregory Baldi

Christian Democratic and Christian SocialUnion” parties ( cdu / csu )—both in terms of German politics and in comparison with other Christian democratic parties in Europe—the programmatic evolution of the Union parties, changes to the organizational

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A New Blue-Collar Force

The Alternative for Germany and the Working Class

Philipp Adorf

of a smaller party—in other words, not the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union ( cdu / csu ) or the spd —in the history of the Federal Republic to enter parliament with 12.6 percent of the vote, allowing it to become the largest

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Understanding Germany’s Short-lived “Culture of Welcome”

Images of Refugees in Three Leading German Quality Newspapers

Maximilian Conrad and Hugrún Aðalsteinsdóttir

contributed to the sudden rise of the increasingly xenophobic “Alternative for Germany” domestically. Merkel’s position, taken in opposition even to certain circles within her Christian Democratic Union ( cdu ) as well as the Christian Social Union ( csu

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Investing in Early Crisis Relief or Reelection?

Comparing German Party Responses to the Euro Crisis

Alexandra Hennessy

the reform momentum away from Chancellor Schrőder, ignoring opposition from within her own party as well as the Bavarian Christian Social Union ( csu ) who warned that her proposal would inflict “social devastation.” 35 Schrőder’s call for an early

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Samuel Salzborn

2003 and was consequently thrown out of the parliamentary group of the cdu/csu (Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union), and then out of the cdu altogether. In his speech, Hohmann had tried to downplay