Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 459 items for :

  • "political culture" x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access


Eva Maria Blum and Gisela Welz

The article analyses a long-term conflict centred on an abandoned shipyard situated across the Tagus from the historical city centre of Lisbon. Since 1999, ambitious plans to build high-rise office towers and luxury apartments on the deserted site polarized politics and public opinion in the area, and local struggles about what to do with this former industrial waterfront became a catalyst for debates that reverberated through the entire country, throwing into sharp relief conflicting cultures of modernity that compete for hegemony in Portuguese society. In our study that spans the years 1999–2007, we consider urban planning and the political controversies spawned by urbanist interventions as a privileged site for the investigation of the cultural construction of modernities.

Restricted access

French Slavery and Modern Political Culture

Pierre H. Boulle

Sue Peabody, “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

Laurent Dubois, Les Esclaves de la République. L’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation, 1789-1794, transl. by Jean-François Chaix (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 2000).

Restricted access

Political Culture and Political Change in Eastern Germany: Theoretical Alternatives

Laurence McFalls

In the past century, Germany, for better and for worse, offered itself

as a natural laboratory for political science. Indeed, Germany’s

excesses of political violence and its dramatic regime changes largely

motivated the development of postwar American political science,

much of it the work of German émigrés and German-Jewish

refugees, of course. The continuing vicissitudes of the German experience

have, however, posed a particular challenge to the concept of

political culture as elaborated in the 1950s and 1960s,1 at least in

part to explain lingering authoritarianism in formally democratic

West Germany. Generally associated with political continuity or only

incremental change,2 the concept of political culture has been illequipped

to deal with historical ruptures such as Germany’s “break

with civilization” of 1933-1945 and the East German popular revolution

of 1989. As well, even less dramatic but still important and relatively

rapid cultural changes such as the rise of a liberal democratic

Verfassungspatriotismus sometime around the late 1970s in West Germany3

and the emergence of a postmodern, consumer capitalist culture

in eastern Germany since 19944 do not conform to mainstream

political culture theory’s expectations of gradual, only generational

change. To be sure, continuity, if not inertia, characterizes much of

politics, even in Germany. Still, to be of theoretical value, the concept

of political culture must be able not only to admit but to

account for change.

Restricted access

Divided We Stand

An Analysis of the Enduring Political East-West Divide in Germany Thirty Years After the Wall's Fall

Lars Rensmann

within Germany can be found in the realm of political cultures and their historical legacies. Eastern and western political cultures in unified Germany are shaped by very different political trajectories in the course of the twentieth century, which

Restricted access

What Remains? The Political Culture of an Unlucky Birth

A. James McAdams

The future political culture of eastern Germany and, with it, the relationship

between unified Germany’s once divided populations will

depend heavily upon how all Germans respond to a distinctive fact

about the east. The region experienced not one but, counting the

German Democratic Republic (GDR), two separate eras of dictatorship.

This fact can be, and has been, understood in two different

ways, with significantly different implications in each case. The first

is the perspective of the victim. According to this view, the citizens of

the GDR uniquely had to shoulder the burden of having been born,

in effect, “in the wrong place.” Not only did they endure greater

hardships than their western counterparts, such as the rebuilding of

Germany after World War II, but they suffered by themselves

through the debilitating consequences of Soviet occupation and their

inability, until 1990, to act upon the right to “free self-determination”

(to quote the original preamble of the Basic Law). As a result, according

to this argument, easterners were owed special treatment after

unification because of their distinctive misfortunes.

Restricted access

The Role of Schools in the Rise of Egalitarian Political Culture

Simeon Mitropolitski

Modern political theory, while defining a democratic political regime, puts an emphasis on institutions and procedures. According to this view, whether a particular country is democratic or not depends on the ability of the opposition to oust the incumbent government without leaving the framework of existing institutions and procedures. Cultural values that sustain the democratic polity, including the spirit of political equality, are given much less attention. These values are assumed to be already present, either as a reflection of our similar physical constitution or as a reflection of the presence of democratic political regimes. This research challenges both the monopoly of the procedural understanding of democracy and the lack of particular interest regarding the construction of egalitarian political culture. I claim, first, that the rise of an egalitarian political culture contributes to the establishment of a democratic political regime and, second, that the establishment of modern schools in the late sixteenth century contributed to the construction of this egalitarian political culture.

Restricted access

Hastily Arranged Marriage: Political Culture in Germany Twenty Years after Unification

Tereza Novotna

Explanations for the roots and cures of the continuous divergence between East and West German political cultures tend to fall into two camps: socialization and situation. The former emphasizes the impact of socialization before and during the GDR era and ongoing (post-communist) legacies derived from Eastern Germans' previous experience, whereas the latter focuses primarily on economic difficulties after the unification that caused dissatisfaction among the population in the Eastern parts of Germany. The article argues that in order to explain the persistence and reinvigoration of an autonomous political culture during the last two decades in the new Länder, we need to synthesize the two approaches and to add a third aspect: the unification hypothesis. Although the communist period brought about a specific political culture in the GDR, the German unification process—based rather on transplantation than on adaptation—has caused it neither to diminish nor to wither away. On the contrary, the separate (post)-communist political culture was reaffirmed and reinstalled under novel circumstances.

Restricted access

Resonance and Discord

An Early Medieval Reconsideration of Political Culture

Steven A. Stofferahn

Scholars with an interest in politics have long searched for meaningful ways to conceptualize power relationships, notably turning in recent years to the notion of "political culture." By recounting this concept's historiographical trajectory vis-à-vis the early medieval practice of exile and by highlighting subtle arguments in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni regarding the proper application of banishment in Carolingian Europe, the present essay not only offers a new perspective on the elusive date of that seminal biography's composition, but also suggests that historians of any era may profitably apply Keith Michael Baker's definition of political culture to their own fields of inquiry by evaluating how dispute resolution practices either resonated or struck discord among a polity's chief stakeholders.

Restricted access

Germany United?

Trust in Democratic Institutions Thirty Years after Unification

Ross Campbell

between the two parts of the country. These are the two questions that this study seeks to address. Germany's political culture—the values and attitudes of its citizens toward political objects—has been intensively studied since unification. 4 Two

Restricted access

How Movements Are Mediated

The Case of the Hungarian Student Network in 2012–2013

Bálint Takács, Sára Bigazzi, Ferenc Arató, and Sára Serdült

principles of active citizenship based on direct democracy. It claimed that a democratic political culture could not function without the active, reflexive participation of its citizens. In the students’ opinion, democratic citizens had the right to the