After the Berlin Wall fell, scholars flocked to eastern Europe to conduct extensive opinion research on citizens' political attitudes and values. In eastern Germany, post-communist political elites were found to differ from western German politicians, exhibiting greater distrust of both political parties and party discipline, more political intolerance, a preference for economic equality over political freedom, and support for direct rather than representative democracy. These attitudes were expected to be hurdles to democratization. ""Becoming Party Politicians"" finds little evidence to suggest that the political attitudes and values of eastern parliamentarians have hindered their adaptation to united Germany's political system. Davidson-Schmich's conclusions, based on personal interviews with state legislators and analysis of parliamentary debates between 1990 and 2002, not only shed light on German politics and the sources of legislator behavior; they also contribute to broader debates involving both the ability of western European political institutions to survive societal change and the influence of political institutions on the consolidation of democracy in post-communist settings.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 230 x 169 x 18 mm
"A volume in the series Contemporary European Politics and Societyty compares the political attitudes and values of east and west German state legislators after German reunification. Implications for successful democratization and institutional resilience are discussed."--Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
"Contrasts the political attitudes and behavior of the state legislators in eastern and western Germany during the decade following the unification; finds little evidence that the easterners' values have hindered their adaptation to the new system."--The Chronicle of Higher Education