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Between haiderisation and modernisation: the German free democrats since party unification

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This article examines the development of the German Free Democrats (FDP) since party unification in 1990. Two‐fifths of the FDP's membership now come from the new Lander which adds considerably to the party's internal volatility while it is faced with a dual policy and functional crisis. The current internal debate indicates the extent of the resulting disorientation and illustrates the post‐unification search for a new identity. There now appear to be three principal options for the FDP's future development: firstly, the ‘West German option’, that is the retention of the internal status quo ante; secondly, a radical Haider‐style transformation or the ‘Austrian option'; and thirdly, the ‘modernisation option’, which sees party unification as an opportunity for positive change which could make the Liberals the first truly all‐German party.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-242
Number of pages19
JournalGerman Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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