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Learning DemocracyDemocratic and Economic Values in Unified Germany$
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Robert Rohrschneider

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198295174.001.0001

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(p.138) 7 Pluralism
Learning Democracy

Robert Rohrschneider

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the eastern and western Germans' views about pluralist competition using the diffusion axioms. It tries to answer: how supportive are eastern Germans of rules which assume that non-violent contests over conflicting interests are necessary in a well-established polity? To answer the question, the chapter first discusses the importance of pluralist competition in liberal democracies and describes the views of pluralism in Germany using Ralf Dahrendorf's guide. The chapter then uses the institutional learning axiom to provide three hypotheses on East-West differences. The chapter reveals that eastern Germans are considerably less likely than western Germans to endorse pluralist principles. The chapter concludes that the eastern MPs' responses to the open-ended questions suggest a lack of support for the pluralist process in Germany.

Keywords:   pluralist competition, Dahrendorf, pluralist principle, liberal democracy, diffusion axiom, conflicting interest

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