Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Two patterns of opposition: Party Group Interaction in the Bavarian State Parliament

Steinack, Katrin (2011) Two patterns of opposition: Party Group Interaction in the Bavarian State Parliament. Journal of Legislative Studies, 17 (1). pp. 1-26. ISSN 1357-2334. (doi:10.1080/13572334.2011.545176) (KAR id:20529)


Most research on parliamentary opposition focuses on constitutional and institutional aspects. This article argues that these approaches are limited in explaining differences between opposition parties. A case study of the Bavarian State Parliament, shows that there is support for the assumption that complex patterns of a number of factors, such as individual party groups’ ideology, history, their members’ socio-demographic background, and their informal rules of engagement, influence the way opposition parties behave. The study shows distinctive differences between the appearance and the strategies employed to influence the majority’s decision-making. The Social Democrats, a traditional mass party with over 40 years in opposition, focused on a strategy of professional, subject-oriented co-operation within parliament. The Greens chose confrontational power policies that had their main effect outside parliament. This stands in line with the party’s origin in grassroots movements and its culture of conflict resolution. Those findings raise the question of how party identities and policies coincide with the preference of one opposition strategy over another and they contribute to the discussion of how parliamentary behaviour and representative roles are interwoven.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13572334.2011.545176
Projects: Grant Number PTA-026-27-1803
Additional information: Outcome of workshop at Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Wroxton College, Oxfordshire, UK in 26-27 July 2008
Uncontrolled keywords: parliamentary opposition, parliamentary party groups, parliamentary behaviour, opposition strategies, Bavaria
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: European Research Council (
Depositing User: Katrin Steinack
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2009 09:06 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Steinack, Katrin.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.