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From the Publisher“Sarah Wiliarty provides a fascinating look inside one of the largest and most important political parties in Europe. In closely analyzing a ‘traditional’ party’s response to gender issues, in developing a new and compelling perspective on party organization, and in linking the empirical literature on political parties to normative democratic theory, this book deserves a wide audience.”
– David Art, Tufts University
“This is one of the most important works yet written on one of the most important political parties in modern Europe. Sarah Wiliarty’s insightful analysis of the CDU’s internal dynamics is a major contribution to our understanding of a key player in German democracy. It also offers a fresh perspective on how organizational structures shape intra-party policy making.”
– Clay Clemens, The College of William & Mary
“Was Angela Merkel’s rise to become the first woman chancellor in German history an accident of party politics or a miracle of gender representation? Wiliarty shows how both party politics and women’s mobilization transformed the CDU, a religious, conservative party, away from its patriarchal ideas about women and family (called ‘traditional’) and led not only to Merkel’s breakthrough role but to her party’s leadership in providing paid family leave for women and men. But even more fundamentally, Wiliarty shows that careful attention to gender politics can explain a great deal about how parties themselves function. The corporatist catch-all party that Wiliarty describes as the CDU model may be increasingly the style for all political parties in the age of identity politics and multiple interest groups vying for influence.”
– Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin
“This is an excellent piece of research, utilizing high-quality, historical, and comparative methodology to answer the timely question of how conservative political parties respond to women’s demands. The quality and scope of the analysis will allow the book to reach a broad international audience at undergraduate, graduate, and scholarly levels.”
– Kathrin Zippel, Northeastern University
"Wiliarty’s book is carefully crafted, exceedingly well written, rich in detail, and timely...This book will appeal to scholars of comparative politics broadly and especially those concerned with party politics, gender politics, and European politics. It would be well received by students in upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses on these topics."
– Miki Caul Kittilson, Comparative Political Studies
"Sarah Wiliarty’s book ... makes strong empirical and theoretical contributions to the study of German politics, comparative politics more broadly, and gender and politics."
– Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, German Politics and Society