'Red-Green' Coalitions in the Federal Republic of Germany: Models of Formation and Maintenance

Charlie Lees

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The thesis examines the processes of coalition formation and maintenance involving the SPD and Green party at the sub-national level in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The theoretical component builds upon formal models of coalition formation to posit a
New Model of Coalition Formation and Maintenance which balances office-seeking and policy-oriented Payoffs as a determinant of coalition behaviour. To this end, it uses the 'policy network' idiom of public policy analysis (with an emphasis on environmental policy) as a secondary theoretical framework. The theoretical framework is used in tandem with empirical data on institutional processes, policy
outputs and outcomes, party political behaviour and value-orientation within the
electorate. The empirical component centres around the research question: to what extent have the Greens assumed a 'normal1 role within the German party system? Such a 'normal1 role' means that the Greens' strategic behaviour can be interpreted as the rational pursuit of a specific bundle of (office-seeking and policy-oriented) preferences. The thesis argues that this is indeed the case and that these preferences - and the Greens strategic behaviour in pursuit of them - are consistent and predictable. The thesis concludes that the Greens have become increasingly pragmatic over time in pursuit of their preferences, although their strategic options (and those of the SPD) are constrained by the ability of the party's parliamentarians to mobilise the Basis in support of their strategic goals.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Birmingham
Award date1 Feb 1998
Publication statusUnpublished - 1998


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