Thomas Däubler
Wie entstehen Wahlprogramme? Eine Untersuchung zur Landtagswahl in Baden-Württemberg 2006

Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 2012: 22, issue 3, pp. 333-365
ISSN: 1430-6387

Election manifestos play an important role both in political practice and in political science research. Nevertheless there are only few studies which examine how parties develop election manifestos. I present an exploratory study of the preparation of the election manifestos for the German state level election in Baden-Württemberg in 2006. The empirical analysis consists firstly of interviews with key actors in the preparation process and secondly of a comparison between the manifesto proposals the party leaderships presented to the party conferences and the final versions. Based on the interview findings I introduce a stylized model of manifesto preparation. The results show that the process was comparatively similar across parties, but there were differences especially with regard to the involvement of party members prior to the party conference stage. This involvement was lower in the two large parties CDU and SPD. All examined party conferences extended the leadership’s manifesto proposal considerably. The Greens and the WASG, the two parties with the supposedly most strongly policy-oriented members, changed the original versions more strongly than the others.