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Post-democracy and Neoliberalism

This project has been ended.

On the usage of neoliberal argumentations in federal German politics between 1949 and 2011

The project „Post-democracy and Neoliberalism“ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In a joint cooperation with political scientists from the Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg the NLP group Leipzig seeks to identify momentous changes in justifications of politics in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The keyword „Post-democracy“ marks an intense and critical debate in political theory concerning tendencies of the recent development of liberal democracies. It is observed that markets more and more determine decisions in politics. Neoliberal agendas like deregulation and privatization are proclaimed without alternative. In the end this process leads to disenchantment with politics, lowered voter participation or rise of populist parties and social protest. The quality of democracy measured against an ideal of participation as free and equal as possible, seems to be shrinking.

The research project aims to evaluate these hypotheses of Post-Democracy empirically for Germany. We approach this with an discourse analysis of central neoliberal argumentations in newspaper discourse between 1949 and 2011. Qualitative assessment of the data is thereby complemented with quantitative analysis of the longitudinal media texts. Therefore we exploit more than 3,5 million German newspaper articles with different text mining tools.

Gerhard, Heyer; Schaal, Gary; Sebastian Dumm; Matthias Lemke; Andreas Niekler; Gregor Wiedemann (2013): Zur Nutzung neoliberaler Argumentationen in der bundesdeutschen Politik 1949–2011. Poster zum Kickoff-Workshop der eHumanities-Verbundprojekte 2013, 08./09. Arpil 2013, Leipzig. [Link to PDF]


Prof. Dr. Gary S. Schaal
Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg
Department of political theory
Postfach 700822
22008 Hamburg

Support program: Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Partner: Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg
Time frame: 05/2012 - 04/2015

Kontakt: Dr. Andreas Niekler, Dr. Gregor Wiedemann, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Heyer


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