In the shadow of Merkel
The German left and the crisis
in The European left and the financial crisis
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This chapter evaluates the responses of Germany’s parties on the left to the crisis, something which has so far been largely ignored as analyses have tended to focus almost entirely on the policy choices taken by Angela Merkel’s centre right Christian Democratic Party. The chapter looks at three phases and analyses the left’s role towards the crisis through the CDU/CSU-SPD (2005–2009); CDU/CSU-FDP (2009–2013), and CDU/CSU-SPD (2013–2017) coalition government periods. The 2013 election is particularly significant, and this chapter focuses on it. The result in 2013 made a left coalition possible, but instead, the SPD chose to go into a grand coalition with the right. The chapter concludes by evaluating the prospects for the left, particularly in relation to their cooperation and to challenging the dominance of the CDU/CSU.

Editors: Michael Holmes and Knut Roder
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