Germany’s PDS: Between East and West




Olsen, Jonathan

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International Institute of Political Science


As with other communist successor parties, Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) enjoyed a political comeback in the mid-1990s. The PDS's success can be explained by many eastern German voters' disenchantment with the social, cultural, and economic effects of reunification as well as by the distinctive regional and fragmented character of the German Political Party System that allows the PDS, as the self-proclaimed defender of "eastern interests," disproportionate political influence. The PDS is faced with a dilemma, however. In the long-term it will have to become a true all-German party of the left if it wishes to survive electorally. Yet in becoming an all-German party the PDS risks losing the distinctive eastern identity that has been so essential to its success hitherto.


Article originally published in Central European Political Studies Review, IV. Published online 2002.


Post-communist parties, Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), German Political Party System, Ideology


This is a published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Olsen, J. (2002). Germany’s PDS: Between East and West. Central European Political Studies Review, IV. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.