Events Calendar

Thursday 14 September 2017 16:00 - 18:00
  • ELG
  • EPS

The 2017 German elections: Business as usual or earthquake elections?

german elections.jpg

On 24 September 2017 German voters are asked to elect a new parliament (Bundestag). Currently, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) together have a majority in the Bundestag and thus support a Grand Coalition with Angela Merkel as Chancellor.

If she were to be re-elected, it would be her 4th term since she first came into office in 2005. Will we see a continuation of the current government and Merkel as Chancellor? Her party is the largest party in the polls, and the main candidate, Martin Schulz, of the major rival party SPD, is lagging behind despite high hopes among the party’s members. Can the SPD still recover lost ground? And, what are the chances for an alternative, left-leaning coalition between the SPD, the Greens and The Left? 

Besides, we are likely to see two additional parties in the new German Bundestag: despite decreasing support, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) will probably be elected for the very first time; and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) is likely to be able to return to parliament, having lost all its seats in the previous elections in 2013. Which voters support these parties? And, in what way do these parties’ likely electoral gains impact on party competition? Finally, how do the media report about the campaigns, which issues and politicians dominate the campaigns, and how do these affect voter behaviour? 

These and many more questions will be addressed during this symposium, in which political scientists and communication scientists from Germany will take a look at the election campaigns, examine voter behaviour and discuss possible election outcomes.  



About the speakers

Thomas Gschwend is Professor for Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences at the School of Social Sciences and a project director at the Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung (MZES), University of Mannheim. His substantive research focuses on electoral behaviour, public opinion and comparative politics. He is currently involved in a new forecasting project,, to predict the outcome of the 2017 election in Germany.

Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck is Professor of Political Science with a specialisation in Political Sociology at the University of Mannheim. His research interests comprise internationally comparative election and attitude research, political communication and political campaigns, public opinion, political participation and political culture. He is co-director of the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES) and has published widely on the German Bundestag elections. 

Andreas Schuck is Associate Professor of Political Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. His current research projects focus on public opinion dynamics during election campaigns, political participation and mobilization, public support for EU integration, and the role of emotions in political communication. He holds the Chair of ECREA’s Political Communication Section. 

Katjana Gattermann (moderator) is Assistant Professor of Political Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. Her work is concerned with political communication, political behaviour and public opinion and feeds into debates about the accountability of politics within and across the EU.



UvARoeterseiland Campus, Room C10.20