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GERM 22023



Handbook entry Unit homepage Unit bibliography Useful links Past examination papers



In this unit we will consider:

The seminars will consist of a mixture of informal lectures and student presentations: every student will give on (unassessed) presentation of approximately 15 minutes during the unit. However, every student should do some preparatory reading on the topic to be discussed each week, so that everyone can contribute to discussion after the presentation, and have questions ready to ask the speaker. Whether you are preparing your seminar presentation, or reading up on the modern policies of a particular party, you will find plenty to occupy you at the links collection for this unit.

In the examination (two hours, May or June) you will write two essays, which will require you to show an understanding of the broad framework of party politics in Germany and Austria, historically and in the present, and a more detailed knowledge of the most significant political parties. As a guide, have a look at the past papers using the link above (the first paper was in June 2002).

Seminar Outline

1. Introduction
Legal framework and role of political parties in Germany and Austria
2. The party political systems of Germany and Austria: historical overview
3. The CDU/CSU
The CDU and CSU since 1945
Student presentation 1: What does the modern CDU stand for?
4. The SPD
Historical overview of social democracy
Student presentation 2: What does the modern SPD stand for?
5. Liberalism in Germany
Historical overview
Student presentation 3: What does the modern FDP stand for?
6. Green politics
Student presentation 4: How did Bündnis 90-Die Grünen develop from the 1970s to 1998?
Student presentation 5: What does Bündnis 90-Die Grünen stand for?
7. The left and the GDR legacy
Student presentation 6: What does the PDS stand for?
8. The Austrian party political system (1)
Student presentation 7: What does the ÖVP stand for?
Student presentation 8: What does the SPÖ stand for?
9. The Austrian party political system (2)
Student presentation 9: What does the FPÖ stand for?
Coalition politics in Austria
10. Right wing extremism in Germany
Historical overview since 1945
Student presentation 10: Discuss the programme of one or more of the following German parties:
DVU, NPD or Republikaner
11. Revision seminar
Come prepared to discuss the question:
'How and why has the German party political landscape been transformed since 1980?'

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This page is maintained by the unit director for GERM 22023, Dr Mark Allinson