Political Opportunity Structures and the Success of the German Left Party in 2005

Nachtwey, Oliver and Spier, Tim. (2005) Political Opportunity Structures and the Success of the German Left Party in 2005. Debatte. Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 15 (2). pp. 123-154.

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The “Linkspartei”, an electoral alliance of the former communist PDS and the social democratic splinter WASG, scored 8.7% of the vote and managed to gain parliamentary representation at the German Federal Election of 2005. As this is the most significant electoral appearance of a party of the non-social democratic left in Germany since Weimar times, our article addresses the question of the underlying social and political conditions. To analyse the success of the Linkspartei the authors combine elements of social-structural research of voting behaviour, political opportunity theory, and the concept of framing. It is argued that there is a strong demand for social justice in the German electorate, which had no determined parliamentary representation in the last legislative periods due to the social democrats' strategic shift to the “Neue Mitte”, therefore opening a political opportunity structure for the electoral alliance of WASG and PDS. The Linkspartei on their side succeeded in addressing this electoral group by adopting a master frame of social justice.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Sozialstrukturanalyse (Nachtwey)
UniBasel Contributors:Nachtwey, Oliver
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 May 2020 14:05
Deposited On:04 May 2020 14:05

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