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Follow-up to the Grand Coalition: The German Party System before and after the 2013 Federal Election

Frank Decker

The recent federal elections refuted a number of established hypotheses on the development of the German party system and contradicted the electoral strategies of nearly all parties involved. The outcome was neither a further fragmentation of the parliamentary landscape nor the unavoidable establishment of a grand coalition. On the contrary, in most cases, the respective parties failed as a result of their own mistakes in selecting adequate campaign issues, strategies and/or candidates. Aside from party-specific questions, such as the trajectories of both the AfD and the FDP, the future of the German party system seems largely dependent on the relationships between the three left-of-center parties at the federal level.

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Small Parties and the 2013 Bundestag Election: End of the Upward Trend?

David F. Patton

In the 2009 German federal election, the small parties together captured 43.2 percent of the vote; three small parties boasted a result in the double digits. Four years later, none of the small parties finished above 8.6 percent and only two reentered the Bundestag. Notably, the FDP, one of the original West German parties, dropped out of the federal parliament for the first time. Yet, any talk of catch-all party revival and party system concentration needs qualification. As a group, the small parties received nearly a third of all votes cast—the second highest share in six decades. Those that did not make it into the Bundestag won 15.7 percent, a higher share than in any other federal election. This article examines the positioning of the leading small parties in the 2013 Bundestag election campaign and their respective electoral results; highlights party systemic as well as internal party factors to explain small party performance; reassesses the commonplace classification of small parties by whether there is an established legislative presence or not; and considers the positioning and performance of small parties in the years to come.

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The Usage of Online Collaboration Platforms by Parties: Strengthening the “Party on the Ground” or the “Party in Central Office”?

Katharina Hanel and Stefan Marschall

Facing linkage problems, parties in Germany have started to respond to a changing media environment by reforming their internal structures of opinion forming and decision making, inter alia reacting to the rise of the social web and the successes of the Pirate Party whose party organization is to a large extent “digitalized”. Whether and how established parties implement and adapt Internet tools, i.e., whether these could contribute to more participation of the “party on the ground” or whether they strengthen the “party in central office” is the focus of this article. The case study on the employment of an online platform for drafting a motion for the party convention of the German Social Democrats in December 2011 reveals that the “party in central office” controlled the online procedure as well as the processing of the results to a remarkable extent—thereby constraining the participatory potential of the tool. At the same time, the case study indicates a quality of online collaboration platforms that might limit the instrumentalization of these tools by the party elites in the long run and possibly re-empower the “party on the ground.”

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The Alternative for Germany from Breakthrough toward Consolidation?

A Comparative Perspective on Its Organizational Development

E. Gene Frankland

the established parties? To what extent are the “mainstreaming” experiences of the early Greens relevant to the long-term development of the AfD? Genesis The Pirate Party fits the French notion of a “flash party,” 5 which comes out of nowhere

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“Where Is the New Constitution?”

Public Protest and Community-Building in Post–Economic Collapse Iceland

Timothy Heffernan

alternative political parties (including the Social Democrats, the Citizen's Movement, and the Pirate Party), women's rights collectives, independent media, and the Constitutional Society dispersed throughout the crowd. Many had become involved in democratic

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Thuringia

A Deviant Case or a Model of New Coalition Building on the German State Level?

Torsten Oppelland

successful on the subnational level, like the Pirate Party in the early 2010s, proved to be more ephemeral and never succeeded in institutionalizing on the national level. Such new parties make the subnational level a testing ground for new coalitions, which

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Protest Voting in Eastern Germany

Continuity and Change Across Three Decades

David F. Patton

voters ensured that the Pirate Party, Citizens in Rage (BiW), Freie Wähler, the Left Party, and the AfD all won seats to regional parliaments. 10 Unemployment rate of the non self-employed civilian workforce. “Die soziale Situation in Deutschland

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Investing in Early Crisis Relief or Reelection?

Comparing German Party Responses to the Euro Crisis

Alexandra Hennessy

not the spd that benefitted from disaffected cdu voters, but small parties like the Greens and Pirate Party. The Social Democrats failed to benefit from the crisis because officials were torn between the domestic and eu levels: they wanted to

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Kan-di(e)-dat?

Unpacking Gender Images across Angela Merkel’s Four Campaigns for the Chancellorship, 2005–2017

Joyce Marie Mushaben

the Alternative for Germany was the first such entity, beyond the short-lived (heavily male) Pirate Party, to cross the 5 percent threshold, allowing it to enter the Bundestag in 2017. While partisan de-alignment was already evident prior to

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Pointing Fingers at the Media?

Coverage of the 2017 Bundestag Election

Alexander Beyer and Steven Weldon

ideological leaning. The network-algorithm generates the spatial pattern in a way that best demonstrates the key patterns. The upper half of figure 6 represents most of the political spectrum in Germany. On the left is the Pirate Party’s cluster, with all