Our experts analyse: Coalition dispute, political Framing, AfD

Sophie Pornschlegel, Johannes Hillje, Robert Schütte and Fedor Ruhose comment on recent political developments in national and international media

Sophie Pornschlegel and Robert Schütte explain what the coalition dispute in Germany means on a national and European level in interviews with the BBC and the Spanish newspaper “La Razón.“ Johannes Hillje discusses political ‘framing’ in three major news outlets, pointing out the dangers of expressions like “transit centres” and “asylum tourism.” And Fedor Ruhose explains how established parties should compete against their right-wing populist contestants in this year’s regional elections in an op-ed in “Frankfurter Rundschau.”

Coalition dispute

Policy Fellow Sophie Pornschlegel explains in the BBC World Business Report how German interior minister Horst Seehofer’s challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel concerning asylum policy unfolded into a full-blown governmental crisis to an international audience.

You can listen to her analysis here.

Policy Fellow Robert Schütte commented on the consequences of the Bavarian rebellion for the Spanish daily La Razón. The demands of Seehofer’s CSU party are endemic for a continuous shift towards the right in the state. However, if the party decides to dissolve its union with Merkel’s CDU, it risks losing its grip on power both in Berlin and in Munich. Read his interview here (in Spanish).

Also in La Razón, Sophie Pornschlegel looks at the scenario of Seehofer’s potential resignation. You can read her interview here (in Spanish).

Political Framing

The concept of “framing” in political analysis describes how subtext is created in political language in order to carry certain messages, and to suggest simple solutions by playing with the associations language evokes.

Policy Fellow Johannes Hillje put the topic on the national media’s agenda, commenting on the use of framing in the recent migration debate.

Writing for Süddeutsche Zeitung, he explains the origins of the expression “master plan”, as famously used by Horst Seehofer with his “Masterplan Migration”, and why it creates false aspirations (in German).

Countering the AfD in regional elections

Policy Fellow Fedor Ruhose commented on the presumptive strategy of the far-right Alternative for Germany in the upcoming regional elections in Bavaria and Hesse in Frankfurter Rundschau. Read his op-ed on how established parties should position themselves to get ready for the game here (in German).


Fedor Ruhose

Policy Fellow
Fedor Ruhose is State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Transformation and Digitalization of Rhineland-Palatinate. Between 2014 and 2021, he worked as the Executive Director of the SPD parliamentary group in the state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Robert Schütte works as a speechwriter at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. He is a policy fellow at Das progressive Zentrum and founder of the German human rights NGO Genocide Alert.
Sophie Pornschlegel is a Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum and currently works as a Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC) and as a project manager for Connecting Europe, a joint initiative of the EPC and Stiftung Mercator.
Johannes Hillje is a political and communications consultant working in Berlin and Brussels. He works for institutions, political parties, companies and NGOs. In 2014, he managed the EU election campaign of the European Green Party.

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