Politics @ Surrey

The blog of the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey

From Jamaica – with love?

The German election of 2021 Here are five thoughts regarding the recent German general election, the Bundestagswahl 2021. [Quick guide to the main parties and their acronyms: CDU – Christian Democratic Union – Germany’s main conservative party. CSU – Christian Social Union – the CDU’s sister party which only fields candidates in Bavaria. SPD – […]

The Outsider (Part VI): ‘The Physicist of Power (2005-2021)’

Politicians are under brutal public scrutiny at the best of times, and women, in particular, are placed under a microscope, often with a highly sexist lens. Merkel had spruced up her image as opposition leader in the early 2000s. But her first term as chancellor would cement her carefully crafted public image, which, unbelievably, remained […]

The Outsider (Part V): ‘The Road to Groko (2002-2005)’

Rot-Gruen’s welfare reforms remained unpopular and unemployment stubbornly high. Schroeder ploughed on with his so-called Agenda 2010, which was designed to make Germany economically competitive by 2010. This proposal included the infamous Hartz reforms, named after the CEO of Volkswagen, Peter Hartz, who advised the government. According to Hartz, Germany’s relatively generous unemployment benefits had […]

The Outsider (Part III): ‘The Kingslayer (1998-2000)’

In 1997, Tony Blair’s New Labour delivered a landslide election victory that provided a roadmap to power for other centre-left parties in Europe. Out of power since 1982,Germany’s main centre-left party, Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD), recycled Blair’s ideological outlook as the Neue Mitte (rough translation: the new centre). A new […]

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