The Democratic Culture of Unified Germany

Dieter Fuchs

in Critical Citizens

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295686
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600043 | DOI:
The Democratic Culture of Unified Germany

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Taking the example of unified Germany, this chapter examines how a democratic culture can develop among people who have lived for decades in an autocratic state. The first section outlines the theoretical framework, starting with the concept of political support, and going on to consider various normative models of democracy in order to understand what type of democracy people in West and East Germany ultimately prefer. Discusses the formation of democratic attitudes within state‐socialist systems, comparing demonstration and socialization hypotheses on the influence of the social structure on political attitudes. On this basis, expectations about attitudes towards democracy among the East German population are formulated. Develops the empirical analysis further by examining trends in democratic attitudes among West and East Germans—including the commitment to democratic values and principles, support for democratic institutions, and satisfaction with democratic performance. The conclusion summarizes the most important findings and considers their consequences for the prospects of democracy in a unified Germany.

Keywords: democracy; democratic attitudes; democratic culture; democratic institutions; democratic performance; democratic values; demonstration hypothesis; East Germany; Germany; models of democracy; normative models of democracy; political attitudes; political trust; social structure; the theory of socialization; unified Germany; West Germany

Chapter.  9899 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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