Andrea De Pretis Jens Woelk

"The Taming of the Shrew" or the limited success of antyparty parties in Germany

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In Germany, political parties are subject to detailed regulation in the Constitution and in ordinary legislation (art. 21 Basic Law and Federal Act on Political Parties). Together with the electoral system and regulations on public finances supporting parties and their activities, these rules shall guarantee above all pluralism and stability through internal democratic organisation as well as loyalty to the democratic constitutional system. New parties have to operate within these limits which for new approaches of "anti-party" political parties often become restrictions, making it difficult to present themselves as completely different from traditional parties. After examining the framework of the legal and political system, the article focuses extensively on the two German "anti-party" phenomena: the Pirate Party and the "Alternative for Germany". It concludes that, so far, the detailed framework which disciplines the representation of political pluralism in Germany has prevented major success of the new parties and thus managed to "tame the shrew".


  • Germany
  • Anti-Party Parties
  • Pirate Party
  • Alternative for Germany


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