Notes de l'Ifri Notes du Cerfa
Olaf Scholz, Member of the Social Democrats speaks at Party Conference in Berlin. December 17. 2021.

The SPD Between Programmatic Reorientations and Political Continuity? Notes du Cerfa, No. 164, Ifri, July 2021

Just like most of the European Social-Democratic parties, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has been going through a major crisis for several decades. Its centrism that got Gerhard Schröder elected in 1998 and 2002 is seen as a betrayal by the party's traditional electoral base.

Since then, the Social Democrats have been trying to get back to their basics to win back the working-class vote, at the risk of disappointing its post-materialist inner-city voters. The SPD is therefore trying to please both categories without satisfying either. This contribution seeks to analyze the SPD's efforts to win back its electorate and, if possible, win the election in September 2021.


Etienne Dubslaff, PhD is an Associate Professor of German Studies at the University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 and a member of the research group Centre de Recherches et d'Études Germaniques (CREG - EA4151). He has recently published the monograph “Oser plus de social-démocratie. La recréation et l’établissement du Parti social-démocrate en RDA”, Peter Lang (2019).


This publication is available in French: "Le SPD entre réorientations programmatiques et permanence politique ?" (pdf).


German domestic politics German election 2021 German federal election 2021 German political parties Olaf Scholz Post-Angela Merkel Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) Germany