Party studies from the IParl

The IParl observes the development of the party landscape in representative democracies. Thereby long-term trends, as well as present challenges and problematic issues, are taken into account. Currently, following party studies from employees of the IParl have been published:

Benjamin Höhne (2018): Engagement beugt Politikverdruss (nicht immer) vor: Demokratievertrauen und Parlamentszufriedenheit von aktiven Parteimitgliedern

In attitude and participation research it is argued that political participation can counteract political disaffection. However, the relationships between the action and attitude level are complicated, in particular, due to inconsistent causal relationships and their directions of action as well as multiple interactions. In this article, the interrelations of political participation on the one hand and political support on the attitude dimension on the other are multivariatly analyzed based on a survey of active members of all seven Bundestag parties in the run-up to the 2017 federal election. As one result, on the left and right of the political spectrum conventional participation in a party is accompanied by system-critical attitudes, and thus they find a system-appropriate outlet for their point of view.

The article is published in: ZParl, Vol. 49 (2018), Issue 4, pp. 919 – 932.

Elmar Wiesendahl, Benjamin Höhne and Malte Cordes (2018): Mitgliederparteien - Niedergang ohne Ende?

The decline of members of political parties in Europe has led to the presumption that they will disappear as membership organizations in the future. This view is opposed to the normalization thesis, meaning the survival of the member parties at a low level. The authors deal with the extent to which the disappearance or normalization of the parties in Germany can be expected. They point out that their membership development is subject to a business cycle whose climax ranges from the mid-1970s until shortly after the German-German reunification in the early 1990s. Since then, there has been a steady drop in membership, mainly due to a lack of entry, withdraws and an increasing mortality of a party cohort growing old. According to the normalization thesis, a further decline of the member level following the extraordinary inflow of members in the mid-1970s and early 1990s is expected, but in a longer term a stabilization is estimated. By means of a time series analysis the future development of the member numbers is estimated by the example of SPD and CDU until the year 2030. Their results show that the number of accessions will not fall as much as those of the departures, which are already determined by a high proportion of deaths. When this phase subsides, the volumes of entries and exits are likely to equalize.

The article is published in: ZParl, Vol. 49 (2018), Issue 2, S. 304 – 324.

Benjamin Höhne and Daniel Hellmann (2017): DIE FREIEN DEMOKRATEN. Comeback der FDP mit neuer Mannschaft, Mit-Mach-Organisation und Mut-Mach-Liberalismus

Benjamin Höhne and Daniel Hellmann analyze in a study the "new" FDP before the German Parliamentary Elections 2017. It is to expect that the liberals will be part of the German Bundestag again.

The study can be downloaded on the following website:

Benjamin Höhne (2016): DIE LINKE - Entwicklungsperspektiven zwischen Extremismus, Populismus und Regierungspragmatismus

Benjamin Höhne examines the various challenges the Left Party (DIE LINKE) has to face currently. Besides the inner-party disputes among the dogmatical and pragmatical representatives, external influences like the demographic change in Eastern Germany are also taken into account.

The study can be downloaded on the following website: