chapter  8
GERMAN UNIFICATION AND PARTY SYSTEM CHANGE
ByOSKAR NIEDERMAYER
Pages 13

Party systems can be characterized by their elements-the political parties-and the relationships between them or their attributes. Since the set of inter-party relationships constitutes the system level of analysis, its individual dimensions the party system properties-have to be the main topic of a party system analysis. In the following, we therefore will shortly describe these properties and their measurement. Thereafter, we will discuss how the development of party systems over time can be analyzed and which factors determine the persistence or change of these systems. In the main part of the chapter, this analytical framework will then be used to analyze the genesis of a pluralistic party system in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the development of the all-German party system till the second federal election of 1994.