Democracy between the Wars: Germany and France in Comparison

Abgeschlossenes Projekt

Weitere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter:  

Prof. Dr. Manfred Kittel (ehemaliger IfZ-Mitarbeiter), Prof. Dr. Daniela Neri-Ultsch (ehemalige IfZ-Mitarbeiterin)


The problems that democratic systems had during the 1920s and 1930s were not limited to the Weimar Republic but were common throughout Europe. They did, however, have particularly dire consequences in Germany. This research project initiated and headed by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Horst Möller, which was completed in summer 2011, focused on topics central to the Weimar Republic and the Third French Republic.

The project combines several large studies, all connected by a search for the factors that contributed to the stability or instability of the two democracies. The comparative analysis aimed both at finding analogues as well as characteristic differences. A spectrum was depicted from the height of extremism in the metropolises of Berlin and Paris (Wirsching 1999) to the political behavioral patterns in rural milieus (Kittel 2000), from the problems of the parliamentary system (Raithel 2005) to the relations between employers and unions (Weber 2010) and the susceptibility of German and French intellectuals for the totalitarian temptation offered by the Soviet Union (Oberloskamp 2011). This was rounded off by study on the political biography of Paul Reynaud, the last Prime Minister of the Third Republic (Grüner 2001), and on left-wing French governmental coalitions (Neri-Ultsch 2005) as well as a conference volume (Möller/Kittel 2002). 

One important result of the overall project was that the greater fragility of the Weimar Republic, as compared to France, lay not only in the more extreme political, economic, and social challenges. The exacerbation of the crises was also precipitated by the lack of an integrating political culture that had developed in Francez during the course of history.

Publications within the project

Andreas Wirsching

Vom Weltkrieg zum Bürgerkrieg?

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 1999


Manfred Kittel

Provinz zwischen Reich und Republik.

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2000


Stefan Grüner

Paul Reynaud (1878 - 1966).

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2001


Horst Möller, Manfred Kittel (Hrsg.)

Demokratie in Deutschland und Frankreich 1918 - 1933/40.

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2002


Thomas Raithel

Das schwierige Spiel des Parlamentarismus.

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2005


Daniela Neri-Ultsch

Sozialisten und Radicaux - eine schwierige Allianz.

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2005


Petra Weber

Gescheiterte Sozialpartnerschaft – Gefährdete Republik?

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2010


Eva Oberloskamp

Fremde neue Welten.

"Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte"

München 2011


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