CJ -- Politics and Political Science

Lexikon der Politik: Begriffe, Theorien, Methoden, Fakten [Dictionary of Politics: Concepts, Theories, Methods, Facts]. Ed. Dieter Nohlen. Berlin: Directmedia, 2003. CD-ROM. (Digitale Bibliothek, 79). ISBN 3-89853-179-1: EUR 59.90 [04-1-294]

This CD-ROM edition contains the text of the seven-volume print edition published in 1992-1998 by C.H. Beck. Several individual volumes of the print edition have already been reviewed (see RREA 5: 190; 194; 196). The price for the full-text CD-ROM is approximately half the price most recently charged for the print version. Although the text of the print edition was not updated for the cd edition, the cd offers considerable added value: one can permanently bookmark locations in the text; cross-references function as hot links; tables of contents and indexes link directly to the text; and an array of search options is available. Results of searches can be saved for future reference, and one can add one’s own comments to the text. Printed books and computer screens tend to be read in different ways, and the CD-ROM cannot completely take the place of the book. Each format has advantages and disadvantages. As mentioned above, the text of the print version was not updated for this cd edition, and that is particularly noticeable in those sections of the book dealing with regions of the world that have undergone significant change since the print version’s publication. These sections of the work must be used with caution. On the other hand, the sections on political theory, concepts, and methods are less subject to obsolescence. Unfortunately, the pagination used in the CD-ROM edition does not correspond to the pagination of the print edition, although a concordance is offered. Libraries that already own a copy of the print edition will probably not feel a need to acquire this cd. [jpl/crc]

Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft: Theorien, Methoden, Begriffe [Dictionary of Political Science: Theories, Methods, Concepts]. Ed. Dieter Nohlen and Rainer-Olaf Schultze. 2 vols. München: Beck, 2004. 1,146 p. 19 cm. (Beck’sche Reihe, 1463-1464). ISBN 3-406-51126-0 (vol. 1), ISBN 3-406-51127-9 (vol. 2): each EUR 19.90 [04-1-295]

This second, “updated and enlarged,” printing of the Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft follows the original edition (see RREA 8:213) by a mere two years. Like its predecessor, Pipers Wörterbuch der Politik, this volume was created in the “dictionary workshop” of political scientist Dieter Nohlen at the University of Heidelberg. The new printing has 25 more pages than the original one, and the number of contributors has increased from 146 to 150, but little new material has been added, and in one instance a half-column of text was cut from one of the entries. The volume will be attractive only to libraries that feel obligated always to offer their users the newest edition. [sh/crc]

Gesellschaft und Staat: Lexikon der Politik [Society and State: Lexicon of Politics]. Ed. Hanno Drechsler, Wolfgang Hilligen, and Franz Neumann, together with Gerd Gohlen. 10th rev. and expanded ed. München: Vahlen, 2003. xiv, 1,106 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-8006-2987-9: EUR 28 [04-2-530]

The title reveals that this lexicon stems from the realm of political education. The subtitle conveys the contents more accurately, because it is primarily political facts that are included; social topics appear only when they concern basic conditions for politics (e.g., population changes). The work first appeared in 1970. The number of articles in the 10th edition appears to be approximately 2,500; they vary in length from a few lines to several pages. Topics covered include political theory, political systems, fields of politics, international politics, and interest groups. There are no articles on geographic topics or on persons. This dictionary differs from Nohlen’s and Schultze’s Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft (see RREA 10:211), which emphasizes the scholarly discipline and its methodology. Because its goal is information about politics itself, Gesellschaft und Staat is more comparable to Das Politiklexikon by Schubert and Klein (Bonn, 2003), but is superior in length, completeness, clarity, and value for price. At http://www.lexikon-der-politik.de the publisher offers readers online updates to the print edition of the lexicon. [jpl/vh]

Wörterbuch zur Politik [Dictionary of Politics]. Manfred G. Schmidt. 2d rev. and expanded ed. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2004. xiii, 825 p. 22 cm. ISBN 3-520-40402-8: EUR 34 [04-2-531]

Schmidt, a political scientist at the University of Heidelberg, presents a new edition of his well-received 1995 work. It has been both comprehensively updated and also expanded, with some 600 new entries, for a total of over 3,800. The entries cover topics and concepts (with special emphasis on Germany’s political system), as well as significant institutions (e.g., parties, international organizations, special interest groups), but not places/jurisdictions or persons. Like the first edition (see RREA 1:488), this work is based on current political-science research and offers well-founded articles on its topics. But while some concepts that were overlooked in the first edition have been added, others that are currently under discussion in the field, such as “global governance,” “public policy,” and “civic courage” are missing.

Many references to other topics are embedded in the articles, facilitating in-depth exploration, but while cross-references from synonyms are also present, they are not as plentiful as in the Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft (see RREA 10: 211), and are particularly lacking with regard to names of organizations. For instance, APEC (officially the “Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation”) can only be found under its German name, “Asiatisch-Pazifische Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit,” while ASEAN is accessible only under the spelled-out English name “Association of South-East Asian Nations” and not under its German name.

Even so, students and teachers will find Wörterbuch zur Politik very useful. In comparison with Lexikon der Politikwissenschaft it offers many more articles, with a more concise treatment of each topic. [jpl/gw]

Handbuch der Ausländer- und Zuwanderungspolitik: von Afghanistan bis Zypern [Handbook of Immigration Policies: Afghanistan to Cyprus]. Wolfgang Gieler. Münster: Lit-Verlag, 2003. iii, 751 p. 22 cm. (Politik: Forschung und Wissenschaft, 6). ISBN 3-8258-6444-8: EUR 98.50 [04-1-297]

How do states treat their foreign residents and immigrants? This handbook attempts to answer this question by summarizing policies and practices in 107 nations. Countries are arranged alphabetically. The length of the articles on each country varies greatly, with 18 and 16 pages, respectively, devoted to Germany and the United States, and two to three pages covering smaller nations, such as Albania. Each article opens with a chronology going back 30 to 45 years, followed by tabular population statistics, and concludes with a brief bibliography of relevant sources. The descriptive portion of each article summarizes laws, policies, and practices, but differs greatly from country to country, depending on the particular problems each country has with its immigrants and minorities. This is the only handbook of its kind and should be acquired by all academic and public libraries. [sh/ba]

Europa-Handbuch [Europe Handbook]. Ed. Werner Weidenfeld. 3d updated and rev. ed. 2 vols. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann-Stiftung, 2004. 791, 480 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-89204-769-3: EUR 44 [04-2-535]

With the incorporation of 10 new members, the European Union has exhibited the greatest show of strength in its history—reason enough for a third edition of the Europa-Handbuch. Most of the authors and the basic structure of the articles included in earlier editions have been retained. The stated goal of the new edition is to go beyond the focus on economics, which characterized the discussion around expansion, and to place greater emphasis on security issues, as well as on the essence of the EU. The traditional opening essay on EU history asks what the center of a European identity might be that could serve as a basis for political integration. Other chapters in volume 1 cover the political system of the EU, areas of political authority (agriculture, currency, migration and asylum, education, and others), foreign policy, and “The Future of Europe.” The second volume also begins with a familiar topic, Germany in Europe.

There follow 36 country chapters, covering member states, states interested in joining the EU (Bulgaria, Croatia, Rumania, Turkey), and states which show little interest (Switzerland). A section “EU in Zahlen” [The EU in Numbers], which is limited for the most part to data from 2000-2002, is included at the end of volume two, along with a detailed chronology and a name and subject index. The two volumes of the Europa-Handbuch give a good overview of the current position of the EU and allow the reader to become familiar with all of the currently pertinent questions about the process of European unification. The user should be aware, however, that this work is not intended as a ready reference source, but it does provide a good starting point for an in-depth approach to information on EU-related concepts. [vb/vh]

Statisten in Uniform: die Mitglieder des Reichstags 1933-1945: ein biographisches Handbuch; unter Einbeziehung der völkischen und nationalsozialistischen Reichstagsabgeordeten ab Mai 1924. [Supernumeraries in Uniform: Members of the Reichstag, 1933-1945; A Biographical Handbook, with Inclusion of the Nationalist and National-Socialist Members of the Reichstag from May 1924 Onward]. Ed. Joachim Lilla with Martin Döring and Andreas Schulz. Düsseldorf: Droste, 2004. 47, 996 p. ill. 25 cm. (Veröffentlichung der Kommission für Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der Politischen Parteien). ISBN 3-7700-5254-4: EUR 120 [04-1-298]

This biographical listing of members of the rubber-stamp German parliament during the Nazi years (extending also to proto-Nazi and Nazi parliamentarians during the time before they actually came to power in 1933) includes over 1,400 entries. For the most part they focus on their subjects’ professional and political careers and are divided chronologically (pre-1933, 1933-1945, post-1945). There are numerous indexes, of which the largest by far (129 pages) is by organization and institution. Biographical dictionaries of leading figures during the Nazi time are still far and few between (for another new work on this subject, Die Stellvertretenden Gauleiter und die Vertretung der Gauleiter der NSDAP im “Dritten Reich,” see RREA 10:217), making this publication especially welcome. [sh/sl]

Die Stellvertretenden Gauleiter und die Vertretung der Gauleiter der NSDAP im “Dritten Reich” [Deputy District Leaders and Representatives of the District Leaders of the Nazi Party during the “Third Reich”]. Comp. Joachim Lilla. Bremerhaven: NW-Verlag, 2003. 112 p. 24 cm. (Materialien aus dem Bundesarchiv, 13). ISBN 3-86509-020-6: EUR 9.50 [04-1-299]

Although recent publications have been devoted to Gauleiter, as the district leaders of Germany were called during the Nazi period, their ca. 100 deputies have, until now, remained obscure. Lilla’s introduction describes the office of deputy Gauleiter, their recruitment, and their status at the end of 1943, at which point the position was vacant in at least eight of the 42 districts. Following a tabular overview of the districts and their leadership comes the main, biographical section of the volume, consisting primarily of lists of offices held and responsibilities exercised, in chronological order. Also included are excerpts of evaluations from Nazi Party records. [sh/sl]

Schlagwörter der Nachkriegszeit 1945-1949 [Catchwords of the Post-War Period, 1945-1949]. Dieter Felbick. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003. xi, 600 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-11-017643-2: EUR 39.95 [04-1-300]

For this dictionary, which originated as a University of Bonn dissertation, the author has analyzed representative publications of the post-war press in Germany’s Eastern and Western zones, reconstructing the political discourse of those years based on what he found to be the 71 most important terms employed at that time. Entries begin with a short description of variants, related word forms, connections to other terms, and to situations in which the term was used. In addition, many contain discussions of the term’s definition, etymology, subject, discourse, introduction, development, occurrence, and influence. A bibliography and text excerpts round out the articles. What makes this work special is its comparative examination of sources from East and West, so that the differences between usages in the two parts of Germany—the word Einheit (unity), for example—can be highlighted. This work is recommended for libraries with modern history and political science collections. [jpl/tl]

Biographisches Handbuch der deutschen Politik [Biographical Handbook of German Politics]. Ed. Bruno Jahn. 2 vols. München: Saur, 2004. xii, 1,262 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-598-11579-2: eur. 398 [04-1-301]

This comprehensive biographical dictionary includes brief sketches of around 4,400 Germans active in contemporary politics at the national, state, and local levels, as well as in the European Union. In addition to presidents and members of parliaments, the work includes heads of central organizations, members of the judiciary, heads of special interest groups, mayors of major cities, and many others.

The brief biographies are uniformly constructed and include details of birth date and place, religious affiliation, contact information, vita, membership in political groups, extra-political interests and activities, and a bibliography of writings by and about the person. Although some of the people included here are also covered by the Biographisches Handbuch der Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages 1949-2002 (see RREA 8:216), the articles in this handbook are more up-to-date, and many additional people are included.

Following the biographies is an extensive section providing tables of election results and information about parliaments and governments at both the national and regional level, as well as about German participation in the European Parliament.

This work offers a great deal of information about people currently active in German politics. Even though this information is quickly outdated and in part available elsewhere, and in spite of its high price, this is a worthwhile addition to public and research libraries. [hcp/baw]

Die liberalen Abgeordneten des Deutschen Reichstags 1871-1918: ein biographisches Handbuch [The Liberal Deputies of the German Parliament, 1871-1918: A Biographical Handbook]. Bernd Haunfelder. Münster: Aschendorff, 2004. 512 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-402-06614-9: EUR 49 [04-2-539]

This book, by a leading biographer of 19th- and early 20th century German parliamentarians, profiles the Reichstag deputies considered part of the “liberal” faction, including left liberals, nationalist liberals, and independents. Their careers reflect the rise to prominence, failure to agree on common goals, and ultimate irrelevance of German middle-class liberalism in the years leading to World War I, even as these politicians reflected the intellectual and entrepreneurial forces that were transforming Germany. Entries for the 979 individuals covered include birth and death data; years of legislative service and party affiliation; brief details regarding education, career, awards, accomplishments, social and professional affiliations, and sources of further information. In an introductory essay the author weaves various individuals’ stories into a composite portrait of the liberal movement, but less successfully than in his earlier book about the Center Party, Reichstagsabgeordnete der Deutschen Zentrumspartei 1871-1933 (see RREA 6:253). Even so, this book is a substantial addition to an already impressive series of biographical dictionaries. [sh/gw]

Deutsche Kommunisten: biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945 [German Communists: A Biographical Handbook, 1918 to 1945]. Hermann Weber and Andreas Herbst. Berlin: Dietz, 2004. 992 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-320-02044-7: EUR 49.90 [04-2-540]

This collection of approximately 1,400 biographies of the leaders of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in the Weimar Republic and the National Socialist period owes the density of its information to the opening of the archives of the German Socialist Unity Party (SED) and the Comintern Archives in Moscow. Now the lives of the high functionaries of the party from 1918 to 1945 can be described in detail. It goes far beyond the material previously published by Weber in Die Wandlung des deutschen Kommunismus [The Development of German Communism] (Frankfurt am Main,1969) and that in Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung: biographisches Lexikon [History of the German Workers’ Movement: Biographical Dictionary] (Berlin, 1970). Persons included belonged to Communist Party organizations; a series of well-known German Communists are also included, even though they had no higher party function. Although 500 positions had to be filled at any one time, the high number of 1,400 can be explained by replacements and also by the toll taken by National Socialist and Stalinist terror, which particularly affected this group. The biographies average a little more than one column and let the facts of the subjects’ lives and work speak for themselves with little evaluation. That death dates could be given for most persons deserves special mention, because this is often hard to determine. Sources are given in the appendix, except for relatively recent comprehensive biographies. The inclusion of about 800 portraits, from the period covered if possible, is also noteworthy. The introduction traces the history of the Communist Party of Germany and its leadership structure.

This is an important collective biography of a group of people who could be researched insufficiently up to now. It belongs in the reference collections of all research libraries with related collection areas and in larger public libraries. [sh/gh]

Christliche Demokraten gegen Hitler: aus Verfolgung und Widerstand zur Union [Christian Democrats against Hitler: From Persecution and Resistance to the Christian Democratic Union Political Party]. Ed. Günter Buchstab, Brigitte Kaff, and Hans-Otto Kleinmann for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 2004. 536 p. ill. 20 cm. ISBN 3-451-20805-9: EUR 19 [04-2-541]

Despite the leadership role played by Buchstab and Kaff at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung [Konrad Adenauer Foundation], this collection of 60 biographical portraits authored by 37 scholars is no party-promotional publication, but holds itself to strict factuality and objective standards of research. Its premise is that, in addition to the socialist workers’ movement and ecclesiastic and military resistance groups, there existed an element of “political” resistance among former members and functionaries of the Weimar parties and labor unions, with the majority of them coming from members of the Partei des Politischen Katholizismus [Party of Political Catholicism] and Christian labor unions. Biographical information on individuals from this “political” resistance constitutes the substance of this work. Each entry, illustrated with a portrait and document facsimiles, provides information on family background, education, occupation, church affiliation, resistance activity and persecution from 1933-1945, and political involvement after the war. While understandably falling short of comprehensiveness, this work includes the most important individuals. It is a significant and useful publication, and despite the large number of contributors, succeeds in achieving cohesiveness while lending itself both to browsing and in-depth study. [frh/rlk]

Handwörterbuch des politischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Concise Dictionary of the Political System of the Federal Republic of Germany]. Ed. Uwe Andersen and Wichard Woyke. 5th, rev. ed. Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 2003. xix, 808 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-8100-3865-2 (hbk.): EUR 48; 3-8100-3870-6 (pbk.): EUR 24.90 [04-2-542]

This standard work has remained true in its concept, structure, and quality to the previous editions (for 3d and 4th eds., see RREA 5:202 and 7:232, respectively) and has grown by 40 pages. New articles on “direct democracy,” “energy politics,” and “political system” have been added, and the data in the articles and in the appendix have been updated, as have been the bibliographies at the end of the articles. The contributors are, by and large, well-known professors of German political science. This is a must-have for all academic as well as [German] public libraries. [jpl/hh]

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Last update: July 15, 2007 [TB]
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