Arthur B. Gunlicks
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Elections in the Länder

Five phases can be distinguished in the development of political parties in the Länder. In order to provide the reader with some of the flavour and spice of Landtag elections, and to better assess some of the hypotheses about Land elections and parties in Germany, this chapter presents a very brief overview of political developments in the Länder since 1945. This overview also contains a summary of the major issues, personalities and events associated with the most recent Land elections. The chapter first looks at the old Länder (Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein), and then focuses on politics in city-states such as Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin. Finally, it examines the five new Länder (Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia) and whether Land elections are ‘partial’ federal elections.

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