The 'party for immigrants'? : social democrats' struggle with an inconvenient electoral issue
Title: The 'party for immigrants'? : social democrats' struggle with an inconvenient electoral issue
Author: SCHMIDTKE, Oliver
Publisher: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Citation: German politics, 2016, Vol. 25, No 3, pp. 249-270
ISSN: 0964-4008; 1743-8993
The German Social Democratic Party's approach to issues of immigration and integration is paradoxical: on the one hand, the SPD has traditionally been the party of and for immigrants', enjoying the support of the overwhelming majority of the guest workers' and their descendants. At the same time, however, the SPD has been extremely timid when it comes to promoting immigration and integration policies and capitalising on the immigrant vote. Using a frame analysis of party discourse, this article explores the reasons for the SPD's unwillingness to address immigration more forcefully, taking into consideration three main factors: the ideological divisiveness of the questions attached to immigration, the tactical choices of the SPD positioning itself in the strategic terrain of party competition and the challenges resulting from how the centre-right and smaller parties have made inroads into this field of highly contested electoral politics.
Subject: Western-Europe; Germany; Migration; Politics
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