This book analyses the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), one of Europe’s most successful and influential political parties. The CDU might have been expected to struggle in the circumstances of a more diverse, secular reunified Germany, yet it has prospered to an extent almost unparalleled in western Europe. Chapters consider the CDU’s policies (the factors driving them, their variation across Germany, the relationship to women, and the welfare state), its organisational development and change, and its position within the party system. Contributors particularly emphasise the diversity of the CDU, and the way it varies across Germany’s regions. The CDU is compared to other Christian Democratic parties, and special consideration is given to the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
This book was published as a special issue of German Politics.
1. Introduction: Understanding the Transformation of the CDU 2. Down but Not Out: A Comparison of Germany’s CDU/CSU with Christian Democratic Parties in Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands 3. Societal Transformation and Programmatic Change in the CDU 4. Christian Democracy is Dead; Long Live the Union Parties: Explaining CDU/CSU Dominance within the German Party System 5. The Genetic Origin of the CDU and its Developmental Path to a Catch-All Party 6. Is the CSU Still a Volkspartei? 7. The CDU and Party Organisational Change 8. The Federal Character of the CDU 9. The Programmatic Development of CDU and CSU since Reunification: Incentives and Constraints for Changing Policy Positions in the German Multi-Level System 10. Gender as a Modernising Force in the German CDU 11. Beyond Christian Democracy? Welfare State Politics and Policy in a Changing CDU 12. Concluding Remarks: The CDU – Revisiting the Elephant