Pledge fulfillment in Germany: an examination of the Schröder II and Merkel I governments

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University of Alabama Libraries

Past scholarly research has indicated that campaign pledges are important. This research has led scholars to examine the various institutional differences between states. For instance, single-party majoritarian system, the British Westminster (UK), the American federal system for pledge fulfillment, coalition and minority systems, e.g., Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden have been examined and compared. Combined, these scholars have presented academia compelling evidence that the rates of pledge fulfillment are a function of the individual institutional designs of the states examined. This dissertation expands on existing research by including the German system to the expanding understanding of pledge fulfillment and institutional design. This work examines the Schröder II (2002-2005) and Merkel (2005-2009) governments. I argue that there are several substantial questions that need to be addressed in relationship to Germany and pledge fulfillment. First, to what extent does the mandate model apply to Germany? Second, to what extent do parties in a grand coalition fulfill pledges, compared to normal coalition governments? Lastly, to what extent does the German case compare to previous research? I argue that pledge fulfillment under German coalition governments should be consistent with existing research; pledge fulfillment under grand coalition governments should be lower than previous research. By adding Germany to the already extensive work on pledge fulfillment, we are better able to make stronger inferences on the impact of institutional design on pledge fulfillment.

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Political science