ROLE PERCEPTIONS, PARTY COHESION AND POLITICAL ATTITUDES OF EAST AND WEST GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIANS. FINDINGS FROM THE JENA PARLIAMENTARY SURVEY
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This article deals with similarities and differences in the orientations of East and West German MPs more than a decade after the unification of the country. Based on data from the Jena Parliamentary Survey, thus far the largest survey among German parliamentarians, carried out in 2003-4, the paper discusses three hypotheses. While differences between deputies from the East and the West are found to be significant for some dimensions, they are, in general, sub-ordinate to if not derived from the inter-factional differences induced by party competition. In spite of this evident impact of partisanship, German parliamentary parties exhibit unexpectedly low levels of party discipline / party unity in their attitudes towards the party and policy preferences. This phenomenon is slightly more pronounced in East Germany than in the West. Viewed against the background of parties as monopolists in the recruitment process and the reward schemes for MPs, this represents the most surprising finding from the survey.
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