German politics after unification and regional implications (Lecture)

From 30.06.2021 9:00 to 30.06.2021 10:30 (your local time)
Alternatively from 30.06.2021 15:00 to 30.06.2021 15:00 (your local time)

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The fall of the Berlin wall ended more than 40 years of communist dictatorship in the GDR. The peaceful democratic revolution was driven by citizens of the GDR, backed by international dynamics, especially in the Soviet Union. The end of the cold war paved the way for the unification of West and East Germany. The basis was the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), the institutions and laws of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. But still, almost 30 years after unification, living conditions in East and West are quite different, and considerable political differences can be identified.

The module first, introduces the history and basics of the two German states and the democratic revolution in the GDR. Second, basic elements of the political system of Germany are introduced (the parliamentary system, federalism, electoral rules). These parts are taught as lectures. Third, participants discuss in working groups selected fields of German politics after 1990 (economic and social development, parties, elections, and political culture). Results of the working groups are presented to all. Fourth and finally, actual problems of German politics today are discussed, as growing party disaffection and political disappointment, the rise of right-wing populism and extremism, and a still ongoing debate on different political identities in East and West Germany. The analysis and discussion of the problems shall show that even after almost 30 years, German unification is still not completed and an ongoing process.

Required Literature

Web resources:

Politics of Germany ( Wikipedia – Politics of Germany

Germany’s political parties CDU, CSU, SPD, AfD, FDP, Left party, Greens – what you need to know (

Additional Readings:

Saalfeld, Thomas, and Harald Schoen, 2015: Party Politics and Electoral Behaviour, in: Sarah Colvin (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of German Politics and Culture, New York: Routledge, 105-118 (äge%20in%20Sammelbänden/Saalfeld%20and%20Schoen%20Party%20politics_2015.pdf Saalfeld & Schön – Party Politics 2015

Lecture Presentation:

Additional Slides:

Recorded video of the lecture:


About the lecturer

Prof. Wolfgang Muno is working as the Chair of Comparative Politics at the University of Rostock. After studying and habilitating at the University of Mainz in Political Science he has been working and researching in the fields of comparative politics and democratization, populism in historical and comparative perspectives, and regionalism in Latin America.


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