The Missing Linke? Restraint and Realignment in the German Left, 2005-2017 ¿El eslabón perdido? Restricción y realineamiento dentro de la izquierda alemana, 2005-2017

RODER, Knut (2017). The Missing Linke? Restraint and Realignment in the German Left, 2005-2017 ¿El eslabón perdido? Restricción y realineamiento dentro de la izquierda alemana, 2005-2017. Revista Española de Ciencia Política - Ciencia Política y de la Administración (45), 43-65.

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Abstract

This article serves two purposes: Firstly, it aims to introduce the reader to the rich and diverse party environment of the German radical left party “Die Linke”. Secondly, this paper is going to argue that the party’s apparent lack of “office-seeking” at the national level is directly relates to the requirements of its immense diversity. The issue addressed focuses on one of the aspects of the failure of cooperation between the three parties on Germany’s centre-left at the national level, and argues that besides the hesitancy of the SPD and Greens to embrace such an undertaking, Die Linke has not been ready to push for a left of centre cooperation either, due to an existential need of self-preservation and internal cohesion. This paper is based on an analysis of Die Linke’s policy debates on the issue of the economic and euro-zone crises as an example to document the large number of competing and politically diverse factions within the party that must find common policy ground and be accommodated when reaching party-wide policy positions. While this tension can be overcome by agreeing on low common denominators to voice concerns and reject government policies in an opposition role, the role as a potential junior partner in a wider “centre-left” party coalition would require far more advanced agreements on wide-ranging policy compromises with the SPD and Greens; and this would be highly divisive and threaten Die Linke’s inner-party cohesion. In response, Die Linke has continued to avoid committing to a strategy that would clearly advocate the formation of a national level “left-of-centre” party coalition to challenge the country’s centre-right government.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cohesion, cooperation, crisis, Germany; left; Die Linke, office-seeking, party politics, radicalism
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Departments: Development and Society > Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Identification Number: 10.21308/recp.45.02
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Knut Roder
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 14:55
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2017 20:27
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17470

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