Marc Debus
Party Competition and Government Formation in Multilevel Settings: Evidence from Germany

Government & Opposition , 2008: 43, issue 4, p. 505-538
ISSN: 1477-7053

Governing in multi-level settings has become a prominent research field in comparative political science. This paper asks if German state parties adopt similar ideological positions and coalition strategies to the parties on the federal stage. The results of a content analysis of state and federal election manifestos show that German political parties on the state level indeed adopt different programmatic positions than the federal parties. Government formation on the state level, however, is not only influenced by the state parties’ programmatic viewpoints, but also by the predominant patterns of coalition politics on the federal sphere.