Populism Personified or Reinvigorated Reformers? The German Left Party in 2009 and Beyond

Koß, Michael and Hough, Dan (2009) Populism Personified or Reinvigorated Reformers? The German Left Party in 2009 and Beyond. German Politics and Society, 27 (2). pp. 76-91. ISSN 1045-0300

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Abstract

Despite its recent electoral successes, the Left Party's position in the German party system is more fragile that it may at first appear. The Left Party gained support in 2005 largely on account of dissatisfaction with other parties and not because masses of voters were flocking to its (nominally socialist) cause. Not even a majority from within its own supporter base thought it possessed "significant problem solving competences." Rather, much of the Left Party's political discourse is based on negative dismissals of much that it seesin policy termsbefore it. We discuss the Left Party's political development through the prism of populist politics. After outlining what we understand populism to mean, we analyze the Left Party's programmatic stances and political strategy within the context of this framework. Although populism is certainly not the sole preserve of the Left Party, it clearly excels in using populist tools to make political headway. We conclude by discussing the ramifications that this has for German party politics in general and for the Social Democratic Party in particular.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Daniel Hough
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:41
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2015 10:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27502
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