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.
4 The public and electoral politics Public participation – and non-participation – in electoral politics Electoral politics involves the public in many ways. Outcomes of elections, especially in relation to the composition of coalition governments and the policies which such governments then feel free to pursue, clearly impact upon the public. In addition, there are two obvious ways in which members of the public can directly participate in elections. They may participate as candidates, activist supporters of a party or candidate, financial contributors to a
3 Political parties and electoral politics The role of political parties in electoral politics Elections in democracies are structured by political parties, are contests between parties and their candidates and result in a party or a coalition of parties assuming responsibility for government. In Germany, the novelty of parties possessing constitutional status emphasises this relationship between parties and elections. Their responsibility to ‘participate in the formation of the political will of the people’ – a bland and generalised statement of obligation
barriers against the entry of a host of small parties to the Bundestag as well as provision for constituency representation. Electoral politics (a): candidate selection Because there are two ‘routes’ by which candidates can be elected: the constituency contest and the party list, so there are two different forms of candidate selection. In both cases, procedures are regulated by the Electoral Law. The process of selection of constituency candidates is very similar to the one in the UK. A constituency selection committee for each party makes a choice among
rewarded with record approval ratings. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, a captain of the Army Reserve, was recently elected president; he publicly pays homage to former military dictators and torturers, and his talk of gunning down opponents has provided licence for the spread of political violence. The election of Donald Trump in the US, in November 2016, was a watershed for electoral politics, giving global significance to rightward shifts elsewhere. With Trump in the White House, the US itself has become the greatest threat to the liberal order it
Given its significance in the history of Britain as the pioneer city of the industrial revolution, it is surprising that until the 1990s there was little academic research on the Manchester Irish. This book examines the development of the Irish community in Manchester, one of the most dynamic cities of nineteenth-century Britain. It examines the process by which the Irish came to be blamed for all the ills of the Industrial Revolution and the ways in which they attempted to cope with a sometimes actively hostile environment. The book first traces the gradual development of links between Manchester and Ireland, largely through the build-up of commercial connections, but also noting the two-way movement of people across the Irish Sea. Then, it focuses on Angel Meadow, discussing the rapid build-up of the resident Irish population and the spatial distribution of the Irish in the network of streets. An account on the significance of the Catholic Church for the migrant Irish follows. The book also examines the evolution St Patrick's Day. Next, it discusses how Manchester's Irish related to the broader political concerns of the city during the period from the 1790s to the 1850s whilst retaining a keen interest in Irish affairs. The role of the Irish in the electoral politics of the city from the 1870s onwards is subsequently examined. After an analyses on the evolution of the commemoration rituals for the Manchester Martyrs, the book attempts to trace the hidden history of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Manchester.
This book examines the role of political likenesses in a half-century that was crucial for the political modernisation of Britain, a two-party system that began to take shape and politicians became increasingly accountable and responsive to public opinion. Political language, especially electoral rhetoric, has been accorded considerable weight by recent studies in building broad coalitions of political support in popular and electoral politics. The book studies political likenesses, the key mode of visual politics at this time, as part of a nuanced analysis of contemporary political culture and the nature of the representative system. It examines a diverse range of material including woven silk portraiture, oil paintings, numismatics and medals, banners, ceramics, statuary and memorials as well as items printed on paper or card. After an analysis of the visual culture spawned by the reform bills of 1831-1832, the book shows how Conservative and Liberal/Reformer identities were visualised through semi-official series of portrait prints. The pictorial press, photographs and portrait testimonials, statues and memorials, MPs were venerated as independent representatives and champions of particular localities, trades, interests or issues, and not party hacks. Depictions of Lord Palmerston and his rivals, including Lord John Russell and Lord Derby, in the 1850s and 1860s often underplayed in pictorial representations to emphasise physical and political vigour. The role of political portraits and cartoons in the decade after the passing of the 1867 Representation of the People Act is also discussed.
1 Elections, parties and the political system There are many ways of analysing German politics. Recent studies have, for example, focused on policymaking, on institutions (Helms 2000), and on the interface between German politics and the politics of the European Union (Bulmer, Jeﬀery and Paterson 2000; Sturm and Pehle 2001). All these approaches are valid, but none captures all the intricate interconnections and multiple dimensions of the political process in Germany. The once-popular focus on electoral politics has been neglected of late, yet it can be
7 Conclusion The pervasiveness of electoral politics in Germany has been demonstrated in this book. Electoral politics in Germany aﬀects not only the party composition of governing coalitions, but also the choice and timing of policies, the career plans of politicians, the prominence given by the media to election preparations and campaigns and to the published results of periodic opinion surveys and the activities and financial outlays of party headquarters. Since these election-related phenomena are apparent throughout the four-year cycle between Bundestag
Emotions matter to politics. Despite their importance, emotions tend to be neglected in the study of such routine aspects of politics as elections. Whereas emotions have certainly been studied in the context of spectacular political moments, this volume attends to the passions generated by elections, which have all too often been dismissed as a relatively banal dimension of politics. The volume delves into the passions evoked by India’s 2019 general election, widely billed as a ‘battle for India’s soul’. It explores the processes of social, economic and cultural change within which the election was embedded. Contributions from economists, sociologists, geographers, anthropologists and political scientists shed light on a significant political moment in India.