Party Identification in Germany: A Journey

I’ve just published a chapter on party identification’s continuing relevance for electoral choice in Germany (in German). I like the piece well enough, and it is full of nice graphs, but its intellectual history (if I may say so) is more than a little bit convoluted. It began its life some twelve years ago or so as an unloved chapter in my PhD thesis that was written at the behest of my supervisor. This chapter later evolved into a hopefully  much stronger paper on the subject, but an earlier revision of it somehow became alive, dropped much of the storyline but kept most of the graphs and began to sprout material for first year students. It then turned into a (sub)module for politik-on (can you spot the pun?), Germany’s first e-learning environment dedicated to Political Science that went online in 2002. In a bizarre turn of events, politikon (which never was much of a success story) was switched off some time ago after laying abandoned for years. At that point, someone had the bright idea to remove all the hyperlinks, online-quizzes and other embellishments and ask the contributors to update their material. The result? A series of well-crafted textbooks. We have come full circle.

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