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The study of German electoral politics has been neglected of late, despite being one of the most pervasive elements of the German political process. This book argues that concentration on electoral politics facilitates deeper understanding and appreciation of the German political system. It provides explanations and analysis of the federal electoral system, its evolution and the challenges that have been made to its format; discusses the role of electoral politics in relation to political parties and to the public; and the influence of second-order elections in the German political system. The book goes on to evaluate the effectiveness of the German electoral system in relation to its functions, and challenges the premise that electoral politics makes a difference in Germany. Ultimately, it aims to reconcile the apparently limited role that elections have in determining the composition of governments with the notion that there is a ‘permanent election campaign’ in existence in German politics.

Geoffrey K. Roberts

attempts that have been made to change the fundamental attributes of the system and the importance in recent Bundestag elections of previously neglected details (concerning surplus seats, for instance). The chapters 3–5 examine the ways in which parties on the one hand, and the electorate on the 2 German electoral politics other, react to the electoral process, as ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’, as it were. Chapter 5 consists of a brief review of each Bundestag election since 1949, looking at particularly interesting and pertinent features of the campaign, the operation

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

high level of turnout. In 2002 80.7 per cent of the western German electorate voted, but only 72.8 per cent of the eastern German electorate. Bremen was the western German Land 52 German electoral politics with the lowest turnout (78.9 per cent), but this was higher than every one of the eastern German Länder, including Berlin. The economic situation in eastern Germany, the mistrust of party politics, the feeling of neglect by what is seen as a western German-oriented governmental system: these are among the explanations for this marked reluctance of eastern

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

, which does not prescribe any particular form of electoral system, does require such a system to be general, direct, free, 12 German electoral politics equal and secret (Article 38). Within those broad requirements, various electoral systems could be designed, and the work of the committee of the Parliamentary Council in 1948–49 (see below) was directed at selecting a system that not only met those requirements, but also incorporated other desired attributes. The system which they then recommended, and the reformed versions of that system adopted in 1953 and 1956

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

failure of the Weimar democratic system to flourish or even, ultimately, to survive and 28 German electoral politics for the success of the Nazi party in establishing a dictatorship by way of a constitutional, if not necessarily a very democratic, takeover of power in 1933. Most of these diagnoses would include some blame being placed at the door of the political parties. So when the drafters of the Basic Law in 1948–49 considered how best to protect their new democracy and prevent a second dictatorship from occurring, they decided to include an Article of the new

in German electoral politics
Abstract only
Geoffrey K. Roberts

politically preferable mode of policymaking and an often necessary means of passing legislation when the opposition parties in the Bundestag control a majority of votes in the Bundesrat, the necessity of 120 German electoral politics trimming political decisions to the imperatives of electoral politics results in a reluctance to undertake radical reforms. Kitschelt has argued that in countries such as Germany (but also Austria, France and Italy, among others) where the party system is based on centripetal competition, reform of the welfare state and its entitlements

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

local council and the mayor. In a few areas, once the voters have elected a council, that council chooses either a single person or a collective leadership group to direct the administration of the local authority. Another pattern provides separate political and administrative leadership, each with formally distinct (but often politically linked) authority. Each Land is responsible for stating in its constitution which pattern of local authority structure will exist in that Land, and for deciding upon the method of 100 German electoral politics election of the

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

the population, influxes of refugees from the Soviet Zone 74 German electoral politics and Eastern Europe, shortages of basic provisions, the psychic burdens of the failure of the Weimar democracy and experience of Nazi tyranny, the restricted sovereignty which the new state would be granted by the western Allies, and the fact of a divided Germany all contributed to a very disturbed political background for the election. The elections to Land legislatures and constituent assemblies had already revealed the regional strengths of the SPD and the Christian Democrats

in German electoral politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts

Föderalismus in Deutschland’ , Das Parlament. Beilage: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte , 24 : 3–11 . Roberts , G. ( 2005 ) German Electoral Politics , Manchester , Manchester University Press . Statistisches Bundesamt ( 2013 ) Statistisches Jahrbuch für das Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2013 , Wiesbaden, Statistisches Bundesamt . Further reading Benz , A. and Broschek , J. ( 2013 ) ‘Germany: federalism under unitary pressure’ , in Loughlin, J. , Kincaid, J. and Swenden , W. (eds), Routledge Handbook of Regionalism and Federalism

in German politics today (third edition)
Geoffrey K. Roberts

, London , Frank Cass . Roberts , G. ( 2005 ) German Electoral Politics , Manchester , Manchester University Press . Rohrschneider , R. (ed.) ( 2010 ): ‘Germany’s federal election, September 2009’ , Electoral Studies, (special issue) , 1. Rudig , W. ( 2014 ) ‘The Greens in the German federal elections of 2013’ , Environmental Politics , 1 : 159–65 . Schmitt-Beck, R. and Fass , T. ( 2006 ) ‘The campaign and its dynamics in the 2005 German general election’ , German Politics , 4 : 393–419 .

in German politics today (third edition)