Germany in the “Superwahljahr”
Back at Colorado College, teaching a class in Comparative Politics on the Superwahljahr 2021. The election to the 20th German Parliament will be held on September 26, 2021. It will, very likely, bring an end to 16 years as chancellor of Angela Merkel, who is not running for reelection. With ongoing fragmentation of the German party system, it is also quite possible that a new coalition format – for example between the conservative party, CDU, and the Greens – may emerge to govern the country. Our class uses this election for the in-depth comparative study of the German political system and its electoral process. It includes the investigation of candidate nomination processes, political campaigning, the role of political parties and government formation. These matters will be approached to gain in-depth knowledge and a systematic comparative understanding. The timing of the class gives us a unique opportunity to analyze the run-up to the election as it happens and we can analyze campaign events and debates. The overarching goal is to understand the dynamics of parliamentary democracy. The class can be complemented by special case studies of select European democracies according to the interest of the participants. Guest talks and discussions with political practitioners and academic observers in Europe will be part of the class.