Ingo Schmidt
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German social democracy
A popular project and an unpopular party
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Social Democrats in Germany (SPD) should be particularly eager to embrace the popularity of the welfare state as a way to regain some of the support they lost on their Third Way trip. German politics, from the Great Recession to the Euro crisis, has been profoundly shaped by the export-oriented growth that accompanied welfare state expansion during the post-war era. Germany's beggar-thy-neighbour policies are a key factor in explaining the transformation of the Great Recession into the Euro-crisis. The founding of The Left represents a major challenge for the SPD. Prior to the 2008 state election in Hesse, then chairman, Kurt Beck had pushed the SPD to leave the decision to collaborate with The Left to the party branches in each state. The SPD is losing parts of its core constituency, and at the same time, working-class interests lose much of their voice in the political system.

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