motivating German political behavior. Contrary to protest movements prior to the 2017 election, citizen mobilization in 2021 centered on issues related to the pandemic (e.g., Querdenken , protests against covid -19 restrictions) and climate change (e
The Enduring Effect of Immigration Attitudes on Vote Choice
Evidence from the 2021 German Federal Election
Hannah M. Alarian
Giovanni A. Travaglino and Benjamin Abrams
Since its inception, Contention has aimed to illuminate our understanding of activism and political behavior across a full variety of contexts and settings. By examining political behavior across multiple geographical and social sites, we can
The emergence of the global debt society
Governmentality and profit extraction through fabricated abundance and imposed scarcity in Peru and Spain
Ismael Vaccaro, Eric Hirsch, and Irene Sabaté
an unavoidable factor of economic and political behavior and of the making of contemporary subjects. Debt is indeed a “total social fact.” Like Mauss's gift, debt touches nearly every social institution—from reorganizing kinship structures to
Two Patterns of Modernization
An Analysis of the Ethnic Issue in Israel
, based on such analysis, that Israeli Jews of Mizrahi origin would develop a radical social protest movement has not been borne out, to say the least. Nor has the attempt to label the rightist political behavior of Mizrahi Jews as a form of ‘false
From the Editors
We are pleased to present in this open issue of German Politics and
Society four contributions on issues central to the current debate in
German politics. In our lead article, Louise Davidson-Schmich offers
original data and innovative interpretations concerning the similarities
and differences in the political behavior and attitudes of party
elites in post-Wende Berlin. In some cases, Davidson-Schmich’s findings
confirm the expected east-west divide. In others, similarities and
conformities prevail, and differences emerge over other fault-lines.
Institutional Distrust, Institutional Participation, and Protest Behavior in the European Social Movement Sector
Institutional distrust has become a pervasive element of global society in general and European society in particular. Concurrently, participation in institutions is also declining, raising concerns about the effectiveness of civil society. Distrust of institutions like the political, education, legal-judicial, and law enforcement systems is linked to declining participation in mainstream political behaviors like voting, but it is unclear how individuals’ trust of and participation in certain institutions affects social movement activity and participation in protest. Here, I use recent European protest movements to better understand the link between institutional distrust, institutional participation, and social protest. Using the 7th wave of the European Social Survey, I construct several multilevel mixed-effects logistic regressions predicting participation in four forms of protest: signing petitions, boycotting products, wearing protest badges, and participating in demonstrations. It turns out that, while institutional distrust is moderately and positively linked to certain forms of protest, those who partake in mainstream political institutions are far more likely to participate in all forms of protest.
Anti-Americanisms in France
Why do the French appear as incorrigible anti-Americans? Why is France singled out as a bastion of systematic opposition to US policies? Anti-Americanism can be defined as an unfavorable predisposition towards the United States, which leads individuals to interpret American actions through pre-existing views and negative stereotypes, irrespectively of the facts. It is based on a belief that there is something fundamentally wrong at the essence of what is America. This unfavorable predisposition manifests itself in beliefs, attitudes and rhetoric, which may or may not affect political behavior. Is France, according to this definition, anti-American? It is difficult in practice to distinguish between genuine anti-Americanism (disposition) and genuine criticism of the United States (opinion). It is partly because of this definitional ambiguity that France appears more anti-American than its European partners. While it is not clear that the French have a stronger negative predisposition against the US, they do have stronger opinions about America for at least three main reasons: the deep reservoir of anti-American arguments accumulated over the centuries; the simultaneous coexistence of a variety of types of anti-Americanism; and the costless ways in which anti-Americanism has been used for political benefit. This article explores each of these three features in turn, before discussing briefly the consequences of French anti-Americanism on world politics.
What Should the Citizen Know about Politics?
Two Approaches to the Measurement of Political Knowledge
The aim of this study is to provide an empirical example of how an election-related empirical indicator of political knowledge can be constructed. Studies of political knowledge have shown that most citizens fall short of the democratic ideal in terms of their knowledge about politics. But according to critics it is unclear what the reference point for such conclusions has been. The critics say that indicators of political knowledge lack a transparent logic and connection to concrete political behavior. In this study two measures of political knowledge are compared: one is a general measure of political knowledge; the other is based on a specific analytical framework by Kuklinski and Quirk (2001). Both the aggregate distribution and the individual-level determinants of political knowledge are compared. The differences between the two measures are found to be minor. The findings suggest that although specific and theory-driven measures offer a nuanced view into the public's knowledge levels, general measures of political knowledge also provide a reliable understanding of what the public knows.
Intersectionality and the Substantive Representation of Migrant Interests in Germany
The paper uses the concept of intersectionality to examine the experiences of politicians with migrant backgrounds in Germany. The last decade has seen a significant increase in the number of persons with migrant backgrounds integrating into political parties and winning elections to both federal and regional legislatures. Do the migrant experiences of these persons shape their politics? Theories of substantive representation have suggested that gender shapes representation. What about the racial and ethnic identities that often coexist with immigrant status? Moreover, how do those identities and experiences interact with the prerogatives of party, partisanship, and regional representation? This study uses data gathered from both the federal and regional level to explore and explain the role of migrant-related concerns in the political behavior and articulated preferences of politicians with migrant background in Germany. It further explores how these relate to gender, careers, representational roles, and partisan identification. The article concludes that a consideration of the interaction of migrant identity with other factors allows us to see multiple dimensions of representation in Germany today.
Giovanni A. Travaglino and Benjamin Abrams
It is hard to think of the study of social protest and political behavior as anything but an interdisciplinary enterprise. It is grounded in a great many different perspectives, approaches, and levels of analysis. Different disciplines may