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Jill Hopper, "Parties in a New Germany: The CDU and FDP in Eastern Germany, 1989-94," 7 (September 2001), Party Politics, 621-642.

First Paragraph:
With the recent waves of democratization in eastern Europe and Latin America, studies of institutional transformation have gained prominence in comparative politics. Through analysis of the processes of institution building and re-building during periods of democratic consolidation, social scientists can acquire a deeper understanding of the influence of institutions on political outcomes. Because of their crucial role in a democracy, political parties are an especially fruitful focus for the study of institutional reform and democratic consolidation. Political parties serve as intermediaries between the citizens and the government; party elites both reflect and influence the public's preferences. Parties remain vital for the consolidation of democracy and the development of a democratic citizenry. Indeed, for the newly democratizing countries of central and eastern Europe, the establishment of a stable party system is a primary goal on the road to democratic consolidation.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Results of the 1990 East German Volkskammer election
Table 2: Results of the 14 October 1990 state elections (%)
Table 3: Results of the 1990 federal elections (%)
Table 4: Results of the 1994 eastern German state parliament elections (%)
Table 5: Results of the 1994 federal elections (%)
Table 6: CDU membership in the eastern German states
Table 7: FDP membership in the eastern German states
Table 8: Social structure of CDU members (%)

Last Paragraph:
Likewise, these findings have implications for actor and institutional transformation in democratic transitions in other countries. For the broader questions of transition to and consolidation of democracy, these case studies indicate that institutions matter. Indeed, they suggest that the levels of centralization and flexibility in institutional structures and culture play an important role in fostering the circulation of elites, internal renewal and effectiveness in responding to the public interests in the development of policy.