Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 1, issue 4

Dieter Segert, "The East German CDU: An Historical or a Post-communist Party?" Party Politics , 1 (October, 1995), 589-598.

First Paragraph:
One of the most interesting questions concerning the new party systems in eastern Europe is where their 'elite' comes from. How are we to explain the high degree of continuity between the new and the old political elites (Beyme, 1994:190-1)? In what follows this question is examined in the case of the East German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which was one of the former 'bloc parties', which existed in four of seven European members of the Warsaw Pact as satellites of the ruling communist party.

Figures and Tables:

Last Paragraph:
The results of these moves towards renovation are ambivalent. On the one hand, there is a clear break between the tradition of the eastern CDU as a bloc party and its present manifestation. The motivations of CDU voters are directed towards the party of Helmut Kohl more than to the party of Lothar de Maiziere. From this stems, on the other hand, a major problem of the CDU in the new Lander : the two strong waves of elite change weakened that component of its identity that made it recognizable to the voters as a specifically East German party. In East Germany in the election of 1994 many voters honoured the party that demonstrated its independence from the West German parties most convincingly - the PDS, the Party of Democratic Socialism, successor to the East German ruling party, the SED.