December 2, 2008

The Left Party in Germany: Origins, Aims and Expectations

Michael Brie

In September 2005, the Left Party emerged as a new player in German politics, receiving 8.7 percent of the vote and entering the federal parliament with 54 deputies. Where did the Left Party come from? What are its principal values and goals? And what challenges does the party face in its quest to become an enduring beacon for left politics in Germany?

In this collection of essays published shortly after the 2005 elections and edited by Michael Brie, Director of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Institute for Critical Social Analysis, various authors seek to answer these questions. Their words shed light on the broader struggles and successes of the left in Germany and across Europe. Their analyses and prescriptions are at the same time modest and audacious—basing their work in pragmatic considerations, the Left Party is daring enough to advocate for solidarity and participatory democracy in the age of neoliberalism.