New article in Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen

In a new article in Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen (ZParl), Lukas Hohendorf and Ulrich Sieberer examine current developments in German party competition based on roll-call votes in the Bundestag.

The analysis of voting data from 1990-2021 shows clear differences in the relations between the German opposition parties. Over the last election periods, a clear convergence can be observed between the Greens and the Left, but not between the Greens and the FDP. A clear distancing from the right-wing populist AfD can be observed on the part of the other parties in the 2017-2021 election period, as all AfD motions were rejected by all other parties.

Furthermore, based on the data of the 2017-2021 electoral period, it could be seen that the cross-party consensus regarding the government's corona policy quickly gave way to typical patterns of party competition in the initial phase of the pandemic. Moreover, clear intra-party conflicts on the issue of corona protection measures emerged, especially within the Christian Democrats parliamentary party group. There were considerable overlaps between the group of Christian Democratic MPs, who in their parliamentary behaviour partly approached the AfD, and the group of critics of the government's corona protection measures within the Christian Democrats.

The article also shows that the AfD only submitted motions on the topic of migration at the beginning of the 2017-2021 parliamentary term, and that in the course of time it followed the salience of topics among the population (especially in connection with the Covid 19 pandemic). As is typical for right-wing populist parties, the AfD avoided emphasising its position in the economic-political dimension, but tried to make its mark decidedly in the socio-cultural dimension via issues from the area of identidy politics.

Hohendorf, Lukas/Sieberer, Ulrich, 2022, Parteienwettbewerb im Bundestag nach dem Einzug der AfD und während der Corona-Krise: eine Analyse namentlicher Abstimmungen, Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 53(2), 261 – 286.