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German vote shows migration, sovereignty still loom large as issues, European politics researcher says

Monday, September 25, 2017

LAWRENCE — Even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks to be re-elected, the recent vote there points to her party losing substantial ground. A University of Kansas researcher of European politics said the election results showed that Germany was not immune to other recent political sentiments in many countries and that migration still loomed large as an issue there.

Robert Rohrschneider, the Sir Robert Worcester Distinguished Professor of Political Science, has written extensively about political skepticism toward members in the European Union and the potential influence of nationalism on elections in European countries.

"The results show that Germany experiences the same tectonic shifts towards a right-wing populism that other countries experienced recently," he said. "While the Alternative for Germany attracted fewer votes than the French National Front or the Dutch PVV earlier this year, Germany's economy has been exceptionally strong, providing voters with every pocketbook reason to reward the government. But they didn't, badly punishing the Christian Democratic Union, its sister party the Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party. This suggests that European voters everywhere focus on migration and the loss of national sovereignty when they cast their ballot."

To arrange an interview with Rohrschneider, contact George Diepenbrock at 785-864-8853 or gdiepenbrock@ku.edu.