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© 2019

Popular Support for Democracy in Unified Germany

Critical Democrats

Benefits

  • Analyses multiple indicators, thereby providing a deeper appreciation of popular support for democracy in Germany

  • Investigates the extent to which democratic values are embedded within the German public is still sensitive

  • Balances existing comparative studies with a single-country case study of Germany

Book

Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book examines attitudes towards democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany. By drawing on extensive survey evidence, it charts Germans’ changing views of the political system prior to and following unification. The study examines four aspects of the political system: how it functions overall, attitudes towards the Basic Law, trust in representative institutions, and views of the European Union. Rather than accepting or rejecting democracy, the research shows how Germans merge shades of criticism and support. In addition, it pinpoints the factors that condition support, showing how it is influenced by durable and changeable stimuli. Overall, the findings challenge suggestions of a crisis of democracy but they also demonstrate that support is particularly low towards aspects of the European Union. This book appeals to readers interested in public opinion and democracy in Germany, along with those interested in the changing relationship between citizens and the state.

Ross Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK. His research focuses on the politics of the Federal Republic of Germany and he has published widely on attitudes towards democracy, electoral behaviour and political participation. His recent articles have appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, International Political Science Review, German Politics and Contemporary Politics. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal for Contemporary European Studies.

Keywords

ALLBUS popular support in Germany specific and diffuse support postmaterialism social trust in Germany east-west differences political change satisfaction with democracy evaluations of socialism affective support constitutional patriotism civil society trust in democratic institutions democratic reform democratic deficit German trust in the EU integration social structure attitudes towards democracy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Media, Culture and SocietyUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyUK

About the authors

Ross Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK. His research focuses on the politics of the Federal Republic of Germany and he has published widely on attitudes towards democracy, electoral behaviour and political participation. His recent articles have appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, International Political Science Review, German Politics and Contemporary Politics. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal for Contemporary European Studies.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“We think we know lots about Germans and democracy. Campbell’s fascinating book illustrates that we’re wrong. It gets to the bottom of what Germans really do think about democratic institutions, processes and traditions. The result is a thoughtful, nuanced and genuinely insightful book. A must-read for anyone interested in democracy’s future, both in Germany and beyond.” (Professor Dan Hough, University of Sussex, UK)

“This is a timely book. Campbell has made a major contribution to our understanding of German political culture in the 21st century. He has taken research on political culture to a new level; Germans are increasingly critical of authority, institutions, and processes, but not of the fundamental constitutional and democratic order. To those tempted to succumb to the current “sky is falling” view of German democracy, this book should be required reading.” (Professor David Conradt, East Carolina University, USA)

“Based on an exhaustive and sophisticated statistical analysis of a wealth of data, this remarkable book provides some fascinating insights into recent developments in German politics. The book provides a reassuring message on the health of contemporary German democracy, a political system that has coped well with the challenges of the past and is more than ready to face the demands of the future.” (Dr Wolfgang Rüdig, University of Strathclyde, UK)