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AuthorFisher, Stephen L. author
TitleThe Minor Parties of the Federal Republic of Germany [electronic resource] : Toward a Comparative Theory of Minor Parties / by Stephen L. Fisher
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1974
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Descript 232 p. online resource


Minor parties in the United States have been studied both individually and collectively. On the basis of these studies, social scientists have set forth certain generalizations concerning the types of American minor parties, their characteristics, their functions, and the obstacles they face in the American party system. However, in their comparative analysis of political parties, political scientists have generally limited themselves to comments about the major parties. This study examines in detail all the minor parties which have participated in the national elections of the Federal Republic of Germany since its inception in 1949 in light of the descriptive and explanatory generalizations which have been formulated about minor parties in the United States. The purpose of such an analysis is threefold. First, it provides materials on the West German minor parties which will be readily accessible for cross-national research. Second, through comparisons with the West German experience, the generalizations proยญ duced to explain American minor parties are made more suitable for comparative analysis. Third, and most important, it seeks to demonstrate that some minor parties play an important role in a party system and that, therefore, minor parties should not be ignored in the comparative analysis of political parties. I am deeply indebted to Professors William B. Gwyn and James D. Cochrane for their help on this project. This work could not have been completed without Professor Gwyn's guidance and prodding


I. Introduction: The Comparative Study of Minor Parties -- Minor Parties and Comparative Analysis -- Minor Parties Defined -- The Study of Minor Parties in the Federal -- Republic of Germany -- II. The Role of Minor Parties in the United States -- Forces Deterring Minor Parties in the United States -- The Classification of American Minor Parties -- Characteristics of American Minor-Party Activity -- Minor-Party Functions in the American Party System -- Minor Parties as Integral Elements of the American Party System -- III. The Evolution of the German Party System -- Party Development in Imperial Germany: 1848โ{128}{147}1918 -- Party Development in the Weimar Republic: 1918โ{128}{147}1933 -- Party Development in the Nazi Era: 1933โ{128}{147}1945 -- Party Development in the Immediate Post-War Period: 1945โ{128}{147}1949 -- The 1949 Bundestag Election -- The 1953 Bundestag Election -- The 1957 Bundestag Election -- The 1961 Bundestag Election -- The 1965 Bundestag Election -- The 1969 Bundestag Election -- The 1972 Bundestag Election -- Landtag Elections: 1949โ{128}{147}1972 -- Conclusion -- IV. The Minor Parties of the Federal Republic of Germany Part I: The Non-Extremist Parties -- The South Schleswig Votersโ{128}{153} League (SSW) -- The Bavarian Party (BP) -- The Rhenish-Westphalian Peopleโ{128}{153}s Party (RWVP) -- The Center Party (DZP) -- The German Party (DP) -- The โ{128}{156}Pro-Europeanโ{128}{157} Parties (EVD; EFP; EP) -- The All-German Peopleโ{128}{153}s Party (GVP) -- The Union of German Middle Class Parties (UDM) -- The Christian Peopleโ{128}{153}s Party (CVP) -- The Economic Reconstruction Party (WAV) -- The Refugee Party (BHE; GB/BHE; GDP; GPD) -- V. The Minor Parties of the Federal Republic of Germany Part II: The Extremist Parties -- Extremist Parties of the Left (KPD; BdD; DFU; DKP; ADF) -- Extremist Parties of the Right (DReP/DKP; SRP; DRP; DG; AUD; VU; UAP; FSU; NPD) -- VI. Conclusion: Toward a Comparative Theory of Minor Parties -- Forces Deterring Minor-Party Success -- Characteristics of Minor-Party Activity -- Minor-Party Functions -- Future Research Needs -- Conclusion

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